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Minutes – June 8, 2009


(Approved July 13, 2009)

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of
The San Francisco Ethics Commission
June 8, 2009
Room 408, City Hall

I. Call to order and roll call.

Chairperson Studley called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:  Jamienne Studley, Chairperson; Emi Gusukuma, Commissioner; Charles Ward, Commissioner.  Vice-Chairperson Harriman and Commissioner Hansen were excused.

STAFF PRESENT:  John St. Croix, Executive Director; Mabel Ng, Deputy Executive Director; Garrett Chatfield, Investigator/Legal Analyst.

OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY:  Andrew Shen, Deputy City Attorney.

OTHERS PRESENT:  Richard Knee; Anita Mayo; and other unidentified members of the public.


  • Supplemental Memo III regarding Proposed Changes to Lobbyist Ordinance from the Executive Director dated June 2, 2009
  • Lobbyist Ordinance Draft dated June 2, 2009
  • Draft of the May 11, 2009, Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the San Francisco Ethics Commission
  • Draft of the April 24, 2009, Minutes of the Special Joint Meeting of the San Francisco Ethics
  •  Commission and Sunshine Ordinance Task Force
  • Executive Director's Report to the Ethics Commission for the Meeting of June 8, 2009

II. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda that is within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission.

Richard Knee stated that the Ethics Commission should develop a separate set of regulations for the Sunshine Ordinance.  He stated that when the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force forwards a finding of a willful violation of the Ordinance, the Ethics Commission could exercise some discretion if it discovers mitigating factors.

Executive Director St. Croix stated that the Ethics Commission will continue to work with the Task Force to improve the Sunshine Ordinance complaint process.

III. Consideration of possible amendments to Lobbyist Ordinance.  

Commissioner Ward stated that Decision Point 47 appears to be a possible exception to the rule outlined in Decision Point 46.  He stated that it is possible to envision an instance in which filings are very late and he would like the Commission to retain some ability to review a waiver of a fine by the Executive Director. 

Executive Director St. Croix stated that the Commission could adopt Decision Point 47 instead of Decision Point 46, and if the process becomes cumbersome, then the Commission can revisit this section. 

Motion 09-06-8-1 (Gusukuma/Ward) Moved, seconded and passed (3-0) that the Ethics Commission adopt staff's recommendation for Decision Point 47.

Public Comment.


Commissioner Gusukuma stated she wanted to ensure that there is language in this section that requires a Campaign Consultant to file monthly if he or she engages in lobbyist activities.

Deputy Executive Director Ng confirmed that any Campaign Consultant who meets the required thresholds required by the lobbyist ordinance would then qualify as a lobbyist and be subject to all requirements of the ordinance.

Motion 09-06-08-2 (Ward/Gusukuma) Moved, seconded, and passed (3-0) that the Ethics Commission adopts staff’s recommendation for Decision Point 48.

Public Comment.

Chairperson Studley thanked staff for their work on the proposed changes to the lobbyist ordinance.  Commissioner Ward also thanked Deputy Executive Director Ng for her work on the proposed changes.

IV. Minutes of the Commission’s regular meetings of May 11, 2009.

Motion 09-06-8-3 (Gusukuma/Ward) Moved, seconded and unanimously passed (3-0) that the Ethics Commission adopt the minutes for the May 11, 2009, regular meeting.

V. Executive Director’s Report.

Executive Director St. Croix stated that one position will be cut in November.  The Commission is making some sacrifices, and already had mid-year budget cuts during the last fiscal year.  He also stated that the Mayor’s Office has assured the Commission that money the City borrowed from the public financing fund will be restored by 2011.

Public Comment.

VI. Items For Future Meetings.

Chairperson Studley stated that the Commission will continue to address changes to the Sunshine Ordinance Regulations and Enforcement Regulations. 

Public Comment.

VII. Public Comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda that are within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission.

Anitia Mayo stated that the Commission should develop a clear process to terminate a lobbyist who fails to pay the required registration fees. 

VIII. Adjournment.

Motion 09-06-8-4 (Gusukuma/Ward) Moved, seconded and passed (3-0) that the Ethics Commission adjourn.

Meeting adjourned at 6:09 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Garrett Chatfield

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