LIBRARY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
July 15, 2009
Room 278 City Hall
Wednesday July 15, 2009
City Hall: Room 278
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, California 94102
ORDER OF BUSINESS
I. Call to Order, Roll Call/Introductions, Sue Cauthen, Chair 6:05 PM
Present: Enne Braun, Sue Cauthen, Lucille Cuttler, Houston Garcia, Roger Kallen, Neil Mills, Clarice Moody, Michael Olinger, Jan Seeman, Gladys Soto, Peter Warfield, Dan Weaver
Absent: Ted Bamberger, Shanica Dismuke, Linda Guitron, Margaret Lee, Stina Skewes-Cox
Late Arrivals: Neil Mills, Gladys Soto, Dan Weaver
II. Select minutes-taker (Jean Barish)
III. Branch Maintenance & Security
Roberto Lombardi, SFPL Facilities Manager
Mr. Lombardi explained how city government looks at long-term planning for maintenance costs, and how this relates to the SF Capital Plan and the Capital Plan Data Base. The SFPL uses a database created for all SF long-term maintenance projects.
There are several ways to plan for funding of maintenance:
1) Periodic assessment - This has the disadvantage of not allowing for cost projections and being too labor intensive
2) Percent square footage evaluation - Est. that maintenance should represent between 2-4%/square foot of the value of the property. The SFPL maintenance costs are between 1.25-2%/square foot. But this evaluation does not consider expiring assets.
3) Predictive Model - Developed by Pacific Partners Consulting, which created the Capital Plan Data Base. This data base enables the accurate prediction of maintenance costs, thereby enabling better budget planning. This is an excellent budget tool, and the one used by the SFPL. This model, when combined with percent-per- square-foot guidelines, is the best technique.
Maintenance costs must also consider any backlogs that occur, personnel staffing needs (e.g. offices), and ongoing expenses (e.g. carpet cleaning, painting).
The Capital Plan Data Base is the backbone for estimating maintenance costs.
There is currently no maintenance backlog, but going forward there will probably be a backlog. It is important to have a plan to fund maintenance.
Joan Wood: 1) There is an ugly fence around the North Beach Library to discourage a homeless man. 2) Request for use of matching paint to abate graffiti.
Mr. Lombardi will look into the problem with the fence. Regarding repainting graffiti, he said that maintenance is disadvantaged due to an injured staff painter. He will coordinate the use of the correct color with the staff grounds superintendent and SFDPW.
N. Mills: The Main Library maintenance has gotten much better. Response time to maintenance requests is faster.
L. Cutter: Is maintenance sub-contracted?
R. Lombardi: Some is and some is not. Sub-contracted work includes elevators, gardening (Rec & Park), hazardous materials work (DPH)
D. Weaver: What is the situation with the Main Library bathrooms?
R. Lombardi: This is still an area that needs attention, but it is getting better. Health & safety monitors as well as a social worker try to control activity in the bathrooms, but it is an ongoing challenge. Also, there is a high level of injuries among bathroom custodians. Recently their working conditions have improved, which appears to have improved their performance.
M. Olinger: What is the relationship between SFPL and Rec & Park?
R. Lombardi: SFPL has a $276,194 work order with Rec & Park. The two agencies are improving their system for interfacing.
P. Warfield: 1) Which is better, linoleum or carpeting? 2) PW expressed disappointment that J. Wood has not gotten more responsive treatment regarding her requests about the North Beach library. 3) The bathrooms in the Main Library are a mess. Staff should be held accountable for their maintenance.
R. Lombardi: 1) The library is trying to be as green as possible, and seeks to replace carpeting with linoleum as needed. 2) The problem with ML bathrooms is lack of resources. Despite the staff's best efforts, it is very difficult to stay on top of people messing up the bathrooms. Lombardi likes Warfield’s suggestion that bathroom workers sign time sheets. He said more training is needed.
L. Cuttler: Is there a reserve for maintenance?
R. Lombardi: Routine projects that can wait are being delayed to provide for emergency maintenance.
IV. Ortega Library Demolition
Clarice Moody, District 4 LCAC Member
C. Moody spoke against an Appeal of the Demolition Permit that was filed by Inge Horton, a retired senior planner at the Department of City Planning . Moody distributed a position paper, "Move forward on the Ortega Branch Library," which set forth the reasons the library should be demolished. I
Inge Horton, Sunset Parkside Education & Action Committee (SPEAK)
I. Horton filed an Appeal of the Demolition Permit. She learned of the demolition in early '09.
The Ortega library illustrates post-war architecture, and an environmental report overlooks the fact that the library is an important historic resource. SPEAK has submitted a letter setting forth reasons why the demolition is opposed.
Howard Wong, Preservation group representative: The Ortega Branch is an Appleton & Wolfard library. A report by Carey & Co., historic preservation architects, states that all Appleton & Wolfard libraries are historically significant. There is a need to delay the demolition until there has been a more extensive review of the Ortega branch.
Marian Chatfield-Taylor, Friends of the Library: Hundreds of people support the demolition of the Ortega branch. There is a sense among the community that demolition is appropriate.
Joan Wood, North Beach: Adaptive reuse is preferred to demolition. The original plan was to preserve both the North Beach and Ortega branches. Proper notice may have been overlooked. It is unfortunate that the Ortega branch got a categorical exemption, enabling demolition without further review.
Katy Tang, Office of Supervisor Carmen Chu: The contract for rebuilding the Ortega branch has already been awarded, and a delay will increase costs. The new library will have a new community room, which is important to the local community. Supervisor Chu's office supports the demolition.
Ryan McCarthy, Sunset BEACON: The BEACON serves 2,000 children and adults, and supports the project. Renovation is not an option, since more community space, and a better, more accessible library is necessary. Mr. McCarthy presented letters from children supporting the demolition.
Charles Moody, LCAC Member: Even though this library is an Appleton & Wolfard building, it does not have the features such as I-beams and a fireplace that characterize
other Appleton & Wolfard libraries. The process has been mandated by the City, and it is time to move on with a better, new library.
Ellen Egbert, Bernal Heights: The Ortega library is no longer functional, must be ADA compliant, and a community room is necessary. All these require a new building.
L. Cuttler: Was a renovation ever considered?
C. Moody: Yes, a renovation was considered but it was decided it would not be reasonable. Additionally, the renovated building would have to be seismically upgraded.
S. Cauthen: All the libraries in the modernization program are being seismically strengthened. This was a key condition of the bond program.
D. Weaver: Since LCAC does not have the expertise to evaluate this issue, why is it being discussed? LCAC should not be in the position of making decisions about preservation.
I. Horton: The appeal of the demolition permit will be heard on August 5. The issue is still pending and under consideration.
R. Kallen: Must every important building be preserved?
I. Horton: Yes, if it can be successfully renovated and retrofitted.
P. Warfield: When the voters approved the original bond program, no demolition was planned for the Ortega branch. How did the process change from a renovation to a demolition? It appears there is a problem with the process.
C. Moody: In October, 2008, Sophie Middlebrook determined that the library was not an historic resource per CEQA, and a categorical exemption was granted.
I. Horton: The categorical exemption review was flawed, and fails to consider all issues. Refer to Carey & Co. letter.
C. Moody: C. Moody wants a swift decision to go forward with the project as planned. This branch should not be paired with the North Beach branch. LCAC is to watch the process and follow BLIP.
I. Horton: Reasons for the appeal of the demolition permit:
1) Closing 3 libraries in the Sunset simultaneously is bad planning.
2) Rebuilding is a waste of money. The library bond does not mention demolition.
3) Even though the trees surrounding the library are old, that does not mean they are not healthy. The trees on Sunset Blvd. are older and still standing.
J. Seeman, LCAC: Is the building unique? The key to this issue is to consider what the community wants.
L. Cuttler: Was proper process used?
K. Tang: Yes
R. McCarthy: Waiting will increase cost.
I. Horton: The demolition must await An "Order to Proceed," which issues at the end of the appeal period.
V. Officer Reports
The Short Form and Long Form of the LCAC Annual Report was distributed. Both versions were also distributed and emailed to the Board of Supervisors. The Long Form includes all resolutions. It is to be given to the Library Commission on July 16, and the Clerk, Board of Supervisors, with a request that the Clerk notice the report on the next BOS agenda. The minutes are posted on the LCAC website.
Election of Officers
Elections will be postponed until the next meeting.
Ortega Branch Issue
C. Moody asked that this issue be an Action Item. Chair Cauthen reviewed the process bringing the item before LCAC: It was added to the agenda at Moody’s request . However, since the maintenance item was a time-consuming issue and there was other business to transact, Ortega was added as a discussion item with the understanding that it could be an action item in August, if necessary. Cauthen asked how many members wanted to see the Ortega matter on the August agenda. No one responded.
S. Cauthen and D. Weaver concurred that LCAC does not have the expertise to express an official opinion on this issue. It could be reconsidered by LCAC in August.
Discussion followed regarding setting the meeting agenda. Under the by-laws the Chair sets the agenda, tries to accommodate all agenda requests.
There was further discussion regarding the process resulting in the decision to demolish, not renovate, the Ortega branch. Several people said they were not aware until recently that the project was slated to be a demolition.
VI. Approval of May Minutes
Peter Warfield left the meeting.
M. Olinger moved to approve the June, 2009, Minutes; seconded by G. Soto.
A vote was taken to approve the May 2009 Minutes
Aye: Braun, Cauthen, Cuttler, Garcia, Kallen, Mills, Moody, Olinger, Seeman, Soto, Weaver
Motion to Approve Minutes Passed.
VII. Meeting Adjourned 8:23 pm