Minutes of the Regular Meeting of
The San Francisco Ethics Commission
June 14, 2010
Room 408, City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
I. Call to order and roll call.
Vice-Chairperson Harriman called the meeting to order at 5:36 PM.
COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Jamienne Studley, Chairperson (arrived at 5:40 PM); Susan Harriman, Vice-Chairperson; Eileen Hansen, Commissioner; Benedict Y. Hur, Commissioner; Charles Ward, Commissioner.
STAFF PRESENT: John St. Croix, Executive Director; Mabel Ng, Deputy Executive Director; Richard Mo, Chief Enforcement Officer; Catherine Argumedo, Investigator/Legal Analyst.
OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY: Andrew Shen, Deputy City Attorney.
OTHERS PRESENT: Allen Grossman; Kimo Crossman; Marc Salomon; Peter Warfield; Hope Johnson; Richard Knee; and other unidentified members of the public.
– Staff memorandum re: Regulations regarding enforcement of the Sunshine Ordinance, dated June 7, 2010.
– Letter to the Commission and the Executive Director from Allen Grossman, dated June 10, 2010, regarding staff’s above memorandum.
– Staff memorandum regarding possible amendments to Ethics Commission Regulation 3.234-5, to define the term “department, board, commissioner, office or other unit of government, for which the officer or employee served” in section 3.234(a)(2) of the Government Ethics Ordinance (“GEO”), San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 3.200 et seq.
– Draft Minutes of the May 10, 2010 Regular Meeting of The San Francisco Ethics Commission.
– Executive Director’s Report to the Ethics Commission for the Meeting of June 14, 2010.
II. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda that are within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission
Vice-Chairperson Harriman stated that each speaker would have three minutes for public comment.
A member of the public stated that the lack of enforcement of violations of the Sunshine Ordinance has a dramatic effect both on the person filing the initial complaint and on the implementation of democratic public policy in the City. He also stated that he noticed his comments from a previous meeting were not accurately noted in the minutes; he had said “ghettoization” not “starvation.” He stated that the only way to guarantee full participation from individuals is to break down the influence that money holds. He stated that the power must be balanced by rules that guarantee public participation. He stated that the public is waiting to see some of these violations enforced by the Commission.
[Chairperson Studley arrived 5:40 PM.]
Marc Salomon stated that the position of Fines Officer used to have a special condition and a policy decision to remove the condition was made last year without bringing it forward to the Commission. He stated that campaign finance laws often require interpretations by the City Attorney and the FPPC. He stated that the Fines Officer was an award-winning staffer and that he had been let go by the slip of the bureaucratic hand. He stated that the public now knows that the person in that position will not have experience in campaign finance. He suggested looking at the fiscal impact of the change, as there would be an expected change in revenues to the general fund. He suggested that all funding to the Commission be cut except for campaign finance-related work.
Kimo Crossman spoke regarding Oliver Luby. He stated there were a myriad of laws about campaign finance and expressed concerns about a new employee having no experience with campaign finance. He asked the Commission to please reinstate the special condition and rehire Mr. Luby.
III. Consideration of policy recommendations regarding the Commission’s enforcement of Sunshine Ordinance.
Chairperson Studley stated that the Commission has been working with staff and the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force (“Task Force”). She also stated that Commission Harriman met with Mr. Grossman. Executive Director St. Croix recommended that the Commission make policy decisions regarding its enforcement of the Sunshine Ordinance (“Ordinance”) and then staff would begin drafting regulations in order to implement those policy decisions. Chairperson Studley stated that any comments or additional ideas from the Task Force would be taken into consideration.
Commissioner Harriman thanked Mr. Grossman for meeting with her and stated that the meeting was helpful. She stated that the policy decisions presented are very broad and that she would like staff to begin drafting regulations. She also stated that the Commission needed input from the Task Force.
Commissioner Hansen stated that she would be willing to discuss the policy decision points as long as there would be ongoing communication with the Task Force. Commissioner Hur stated that the Commission should discuss the decision points. Commissioner Ward stated that Mr. Grossman’s request (that the Commission wait to hear from the Task Force) was reasonable, but that he saw a representative from the Task Force and hoped to hear his point of view. Commissioner Hansen asked to hear from the Task Force representative first, prior to having a discussion.
Richard Knee, the Chair of the Task Force, stated that he appreciated the Commission giving the Task Force so much time to render its opinion. He stated that he was not speaking as a member of the Task Force and only for himself. He stated that the policy decision points presented were broad and did not see any harm in discussing them. He stated that if the Commission did not act on the decision points, then they would be on the Task Force’s agenda for its next meeting on June 22, 2010. He stated that the Commission may need to have another joint meeting with the Task Force regarding this issue.
Chairperson Studley stated that the Commission would discuss each decision point and then allow public comment on each decision point.
Decision Point 1
Commissioner Hur asked whether the policy directives stated under part III.A.3 of staff’s memo (complaints brought to the Commission) were taken from section 67.35(d) of the Ordinance. Executive Director St. Croix stated that they were taken from that section. Commissioner Hur then asked whether staff suggested in its memo, under parts III.A.2 and III.A.3, that the Commission has the authority to act to both make a determination of a violation and then enforce and penalize that violation. Commissioner Harriman stated that a complainant could come to the Commission first and that section 67.35(d) provides that option. She stated that the Commission had the ability to institute proceedings, after which the Commission could make a finding and then move to determine a penalty.
Mr. Grossman stated that there is confusion on the part of the staff between violations, willful violations, enforcement of orders, and official misconduct. He stated that language in part III.A of staff’s memo – referring to “alleged” violations – is incorrect. He stated that the referrals from the Task Force are not alleged violations. He stated that the Task Force had determined that they violations took place and the referrals are necessary where the Respondent(s) do not comply with an Order of Determination issued by the Task Force. He stated that this work was serious legal work and that staff does not have the capability of doing it. He stated that the Commission needed a skilled lawyer to draft it and only then would there be a draft that has some critical understanding and explanation and articulation of the role of the Commission.
Richard Knee referred to the top of part III.A of staff’s memo. He stated that staff discussed whether the alleged violation was willful in nature. He stated that the Task Force was unlikely to send or refer any violation that was not willful. He stated that the only reason that the Task Force would refer a violation is if it had found that a willful failure occurred. He also stated that a California court recently found that if a lawsuit is not frivolous and the plaintiff still loses, the plaintiff does not have to pay the City’s legal fees.
Chairperson Studley asked Mr. Knee for clarification of his comments. Mr. Knee stated that when the Task Force sends a complaint to the Ethics Commission, it is only for willful violations. He stated that once the Task Force finds in favor of a plaintiff and then the Respondent refuses to comply with an Order of Determination, then that act becomes willful even if the original Respondent’s act was not willful.
Commissioner Hansen asked Mr. Knee whether he would object to keeping the language of “alleged violations,” as there could be a chance that it would occur. Mr. Knee stated that he was not a lawyer and that if the Commission receives a complaint, maybe it starts from step one again. He also stated that the Task Force spends a lot of effort in its work and that it looks at evidence from both sides. He stated that the Task Force looks at the Brown Act, Sunshine Ordinance, and confers with its DCA. He stated that there was an attorney sitting on the Task Force to help the Task Force determine whether there was a violation and, if so, what the violation was.
Marc Salomon associated himself with Mr. Grossman's comments. He stated that the finding of fact and law has been made by the Task Force. He stated that the Commission is the prosecution's agent and there should be no way to re-litigate. He stated that the goal is to avoid Sunshine complaints being filed in the first place.
A member of the public stated that he would make his comments about all three decision points. He stated that he was impressed with Mr. Grossman’s memo. He stated that there seems to be a deliberate attempt to exempt elected officials and department heads. He stated that Mr. Grossman is clear; appointed officials are subject to Sunshine Ordinance. He approved of the idea to have hearings for all referrals. He stated that the public as a whole has an underlying interest in all of these violations, even if the complaint is driven by the complainant.
Hope Johnson stated that she was recently sworn in as a member of the Task Force. She stated her objection to the use of the word “alleged” in staff’s memo. She stated that there should be language that emphasizes that a finding of a violation has already been made.
Peter Warfield stated that he has brought quite a number of complaints over the year, some of which have gone to the Commission as referrals. He concurred with Mr. Grossman’s comments regarding “alleged” violations. He stated that the complaints filed with the Task Force pass through a time-tested process. He stated that there are many hurdles and that there has been a finding of a violation prior to referral. He stated that there are instances of violations when representatives from departments do not appear.
Kimo Crossman stated that he supported Mr. Grossman’s letter and objected to the use of the word “alleged.” He stated that there is no question that the Task Force has made a determination. He stated that there is no question that there does not need to be another hearing. He mentioned the Ed Jew matter. He agreed that appointed officials should be included when they have committed a violation. He also asked that the Commission wait to hear from the Task Force after it has had a chance to meet.
Commissioner Hansen asked for clarification from Mr. Knee, as it seemed that he believed a matter could potentially be re-adjudicated upon reaching the Commission and that the others who spoke seemed to believe that was an incorrect interpretation. Mr. Knee stated that the Task Force is a quasi-judicial body, as is the Commission. He stated that if the Commission received a referral, the Commission could be in the position to want to start from the beginning. He stated that the Task Force, however, has already determined a violation occurred and that is when a referral is made.
Commissioner Harriman asked to address Mr. Knee’s comments. She stated that if the Commission were to cross out the word “alleged,” nothing would change in the decision point. She stated that the Task Force made a referral because it found a violation. She stated that, like anything else that is referred to the Commission, the Commission must do its job. She stated that the Commission is in the same category as a court. She stated that the burden of proof is on the Respondent, but it would still be a hearing. She stated that in the Ed Jew matter, there was still briefing and there was a hearing, as the Commission was not going to just accept the Mayor's charges. She stated that the shift of the burden of proof makes it more difficult on the Respondent and crossing out “alleged” does not change the decision point.
Commissioner Hur asked whether there was anything in the Ordinance that requires that the Task Force to refer only willful violations. Commissioner Harriman read part of section 67.30(c) of the Ordinance – “[t]he Task Force shall make referrals to a municipal office with enforcement power under this ordinance or under the California Public Records Act.” She stated that it appears the Task Force has to make that conclusion before it makes a referral to the Commission.
Chairperson Studley stated that the word “alleged” could change, but that there still may be different perspectives on what the Commission’s role is regarding the referrals. Executive Director St. Croix suggested amending the language in the decision point to delete the word "alleged.": “The Commission’s jurisdiction regarding violations and alleged violations of the Ordinance.”
Motion 10-06-14-1 (Harriman/Ward): Moved, seconded and passed (5-0) that the Commission adopt decision point 1, as amended.
Kimo Crossman stated that the problem with the word “alleged” is that it would indicate that adjudication would have to occur again once reaching the Commission. He stated that re-adjudicating rather than moving to enforcement is the big problem. He stated that another series of hearings was not envisioned in the Ordinance.
Marc Salomon stated that it is a bifurcated process; once the Task Force has completed its duty, then it is referred to the Commission. He stated that Commission simply imposes punishment for violations and does not review the Task Force's finding of guilt or innocence. He asked how many times has the Commission has received Sunshine complaints directly from a complainant and not through the Task Force.
Allen Grossman stated that there is a learning curve involved. He stated that the problem starts with the City Attorney claiming that the Charter trumps the Sunshine Ordinance. He stated that the Task Force was formed by voter initiative and that it ranks equal to or higher than anything in the Charter because its function is enabled by two sections of state law, the PRA and Brown Act. He stated that the Task Force has an express responsibility created by the Ordinance. He stated that the Task Force makes findings and then goes through another process to see whether its order of determination has been complied with by the agency or official. He stated that only then does it come back to the Task Force. He stated that if the Task Force determines that there has been no compliance then the order is set in stone. He stated that the Commission cannot re-litigate it and cannot hear everything again.
Commissioner Hur asked whether it was Mr. Grossman’s view that, under section 67.35(d), a person instituting a proceeding is only seeking enforcement and not a finding of fact. Mr. Grossman stated that he met the people who drafted the Ordinance and that there are fuzzy gaps. He stated that it is possible for a complainant to short circuit the proceedings and appear before the Commission, but that he did not see subsection d as significant in light of the other provisions.
Decision Point 2
Chairperson Studley asked to remove the word “lesser” from the third sentence of the second paragraph of part III.B.
Commissioner Harriman stated that the Ordinance did not give guidance regarding penalties. She stated that 67.35(d) was the only mention of penalties in the Ordinance.
Commissioner Hansen stated there was a similar issue with the use of the word “alleged” and asked whether it was intentional to leave out appointed officials. Commissioner Harriman stated there could not be penalties of an alleged violation and referred to section 67.34 regarding appointed officials.
Motion 10-06-14-2 (Ward/Harriman): Moved, seconded and passed (5-0) that the Commission adopt decision point 2.
Marc Salomon stated that there was no language compelling production of documents that are requested. He stated that was important as that is the Commission’s job. He also asked about what penalties the Commission would be permitted to impose, as there were possible labor issues. He asked what ideas have been presented and suggested that a Respondent be provided with no more than five days to produce documents.
Executive Director St. Croix stated that the regulations would clarify those matters. He stated that Commission staff will draft regulations, provide the Task Force its draft, and seek the Commissioners further review. He stated that the actual procedures will be included in the regulations itself.
Richard Knee stated that, at the time of the joint meeting of the Task Force and Commission, the Task Force was unable to give guidance regarding penalties. He stated that, after that meeting, the Compliance and Amendments Committee (“CAC”) proposed an amendment to enable the Task Force to recommend fines from $500 to $5,000 per violation. He stated that the amendment has not yet reached the full Task Force and probably will not reach the voters in November. He also suggested removing “alleged” from the memo. He also stated that Respondents frequently argue that their failure to comply with an Order of Determination stems from their acting on advice from the City Attorney’s Office. He stated that one of the Task Force's members is an attorney and that there are a number of cases where the City Attorney’s advice has been erroneous. He stated that when the Task Force sends a referral in these cases, the reason is because the Task Force believes the City Attorney is incorrect. As an example of such a disagreement, he cited their opposing views with respect to the obligation to produce electronic documents in their native format.
Chairperson Studley stated that the Commission was not voting on language to include in the regulations tonight, but that the Commission would cross out the word “alleged” in part III.B.
Kimo Crossman stated that he read section 67.34 again and did not see "any managerial city employee" in the language. He encouraged the Commission to include that category. He suggested that fines be paid personally by the individual employees and not their departments. He suggested using a percentage of the net income of the person who committed the violation. He stated that Sunshine violations are not only about getting public records, but also about getting public bodies that are not allowing rights to be exercised. He stated that the Commission would potentially tell bodies to reconsider matters if action was taken without proper compliance with the Sunshine Ordinance.
A member of the public stated that the Task Force processes about three to four dozen complaints a year. He described the process a complaint goes through in the Task Force. He stated that a complaint begins at the full Task Force and then is sent to the CAC. He stated that, after the CAC, the complaint is then sent back to the full Task Force, if there has not been full compliance. He stated that only a very small subset of violations is referred to the Commission. He stated that by the time the full Task Force refers the matter, the complainant has already been through 3-5 meetings.
Peter Warfield stated that the Ordinance provides for many violations, other than document production violations. He stated that many times there are no representatives from the departments at the Sunshine meetings and that deprives the Task Force of questioning the department. He stated that the timing of production of documents is important.
Mr. Grossman stated that the way that staff has described the process of enforcement using official misconduct and penalties leaves a little to be desired. He stated that he was educated as a lawyer and spent over 55 years practicing law. He stated that this work requires a serious lawyer and that staff needs to understand what it is writing about. He stated that if a matter is referred for enforcement of an order of the Task Force, there is no investigation. He stated that the Commission would ask the department head why there has been no compliance and if the department head cannot explain why there was no compliance, then the Commission must demand delivery of the public record. He stated that if the person then does not comply, then it becomes official misconduct under the Charter. He stated that the department head could then lose his/her position or be removed or suspended. He stated that would only need to happen once and then everyone would comply.
Commissioner Hansen asked about “appointed officials” in section 67.34. Commissioner Harriman stated that the first sentence includes “other managerial city employees” and the second sentence excludes those employees. She stated that the second sentence is the one that includes the Ethics Commission and so it must be read as if it were done deliberately. Commissioner Hur suggested that the Commission could handle “other managerial city employees” but that it has exclusive jurisdiction over elected officials and department heads.
Decision Point 3
Motion 10-06-14-2 (Harriman/Ward): Moved, seconded and passed (3-2; Hansen and Hur dissenting) that the Commission adopt decision point 3.
Commissioner Hur asked where the Commission obtains the authority to set the standard of review and how the Commission will adjudicate the matters presented. Commissioner Harriman stated that the Ordinance was silent on the matter. Commissioner Hansen stated that she was comfortable approving the concept of a hearing, but asked for clarification on the burden of proof. She asked to hear from the public regarding this decision point. Commissioner Hur stated his approval of a more streamlined hearing process. He agreed with shifting the burden to the Respondent, as it would give some discretion to the Commission.
Executive Director St. Croix stated that this decision point is the most responsive to the proposals presented by the Task Force. He stated that once the Commission receives a complaint, the complaint would be put on the calendar for a Commission hearing.
Commissioner Ward stated that the Respondent would appear before the Commission in a hearing and would be asked to show cause as to why s/he had not followed the Order of Determination. Commissioner Ward expressed approval of the Executive Director’s idea for a referral to come directly to the Commission without staff’s involvement. Commissioner Harriman stated that section 67.35(d) refers to court or the Commission. She interpreted that to mean that the Commission is able to do whatever a court is permitted to do. She stated that this part of the Ordinance creates the basis of the authority of the Commission and allows the Commission to have a hearing.
Kimo Crossman referred to page 2 of Mr. Grossman’s memo, where he addressed a fast and efficient response to document requests. He stated that it was important for there to be fast resolution of these matters. He stated that the complaints spend about three to four months at the Task Force before they are referred to the Commission. He also stated his belief that Mr. Grossman misspoke and that violations have been determined prior to arriving at the Commission. He stated he was surprised by the burden of proof provision. He stated that the Commission should determine only enforcement of the violation.
Commissioner Ward asked Mr. Crossman why the process takes so long at the Task Force. Mr. Crossman stated that there is an initial hearing, a pre-hearing, and then the matter is referred to the CAC (which occurs about two to three weeks later). He stated that the CAC reviews the status and then the matter is referred back to the full Task Force, where there is another hearing where the matter is potentially referred to the Commission. He stated that meetings occur about every two to three weeks. Commissioner Ward suggested that perhaps the process at the Task Force could be reviewed and streamlined.
Marc Salomon stated that due process occurs at the Task Force. He stated the Commission should only determine penalties. He suggested taking the third sentence of part III.C.
Mr. Grossman stated that he assumed there must be a type of hearing once the referral reached the Commission. He stated that this hearing would be for the Respondent to show why the Order of Determination should not be enforced, not to hear evidence again. He suggested that the referral could follow this process at the Commission: calendar the referral once received; allow Respondent to show cause; permit time for Respondent to comply; and, if the Respondent does not comply, schedule the penalty phase for the next meeting. He stated that the Task Force goes out of its way to accommodate Respondents. He stated that perhaps Respondents may have something new to explain why the Order was not followed.
Commissioner Hansen stated that if the Commission holds a show cause hearing, then the burden is on the Respondent. Mr. Grossman stated that the Respondent would not be able to revisit the initial complaint, but could try to present something that was not presented earlier. He stated that, if there is no other excuse given, the order should be entered and the violation would constitute official misconduct under section 15.105 of the City Charter, not under section 67.34 of the Ordinance.
Richard Knee noted that Commissioner Hur bears no resemblance to Charlton Heston. He responded to a query from Commissioner Ward regarding the complaint process at the Task Force. He stated that the Task Force meets once a month and consists of volunteers. He stated that the complaint process has worked quite well and that sometimes complaints never reach the Task Force because the Administrator is able to resolve the matter. He stated that sometimes an Order of Determination alone is enough to resolve the matter, but other times, it is not. He stated that some Respondents need more time to comply with an Order of Determination. He stated that all parties are given ample time and only then does the full Task Force make a referral to the Commission.
Peter Warfield stated that the Task Force bends over backwards for the parties, especially for the Respondents. He stated that a Respondent may ask for a continuance because of vacation or other reasons and so the matter is postponed for another month. He stated that an enforcement hearing as presented in part III.C is an improvement over staff handling the matter. He stated that he once had a Sunshine matter referred to the Commission and never heard anything from the Commission. He stated that he read a dismissal letter, which was addressed to the Task Force, that there was a finding of no violation. He suggested that the process for these violations be more open, so that everyone may understand the process.
Hope Johnson stated that she disagreed with the third sentence of part III.C as well. She stated that it was inappropriate to allow new evidence, as is the case in an appeal from a trial court's decision. She stated that allowing new evidence would be unfair to the original complainant, as s/he would have no knowledge of the new evidence.
Commissioner Hur stated that the Commission could create a simple mechanism for these cases, like enforcing a settlement agreement. He stated that the proceedings in front of the Commission should be narrower and more summary. He stated that cases involving official misconduct should have a full hearing and the Commission should be satisfied that there has been a violation.
Chairperson Studley asked staff to begin drafting regulations with these policy decision points in mind. She stated that the Task Force will have the opportunity to give its input and that the Commission would continue communicating and working with them while staff develops the regulations. Chairperson Studley and Commissioner Hansen thanked Commissioner Harriman, Mr. Grossman, and staff regarding their work on this complicated issue. They also thanked the members of the public in attendance for their commitment to this matter.
[Break at 7:45 PM.]
[Return from break at 7:52 PM.]
IV. Consideration of possible amendments to Ethics Commission Regulation 3.324-5, to define the term “department, board, commission, office or other unit of government, for which the officer or employee served” in section 3.234(a)(2) of the Government Ethics Ordinance (“GEO”), San Francisco Campaign and Government Conduct Code section 3.200 et seq.
Deputy Director Ng stated that GEO was amended in 2009 and the one-year post-employment ban applies to employees who have transferred between two City departments, as well as persons who have left City employment altogether. She stated that the language of this amendment conforms to the language of section 3.234 itself. Chairperson Studley read the amended language: “officer or employee served, including those in another agency and those who have served and departed.” Commissioner Hansen noted a typographical error in the regulation language at (B)(2): “for which an officer or employee…”
Motion 10-06-14-4 (Harriman/Hur): Moved, seconded and passed (5-0) that the Commission adopt the proposed amendment, as amended.
V. Consideration of education and communication with the public.
Chairperson Studley stated that there were no members of the public present, but suggested setting a timeframe for this issue. She suggested introducing ideas, but recognizing that the Commission needs input from interested members of the public. She stated that there may be other people, other than those who are actively interested, who may care about the Commission’s work and possibly be able to provide perspective to the Commission.
Commissioner Hansen thanked Chairperson Studley for her willingness to include her and this topic onto the agenda. She stated that she believed that there were people interested in the Commission’s work. She stated her interest in taking staff’s time into consideration and that she was interested in expanding the group of people who are interested in the Commission’s work. She suggested expanding the number of interested persons’ meetings and the topics covered in those meetings. She suggested adding people to the interested persons list, by specifically reaching out to individuals, clubs, and organizations that are engaged in the political process. She stated her interest in obtaining more dialogue on more topics discussed during Commission meetings.
Chairperson Studley agreed with Commissioner Hansen’s interests, but suggested presenting ideas that may be accomplished with minimal resources.
Commissioner Hansen stated her interest in bringing more people to Commission meetings. She stated that the dialogue that occurred with members of the public during the earlier item was helpful. She stated that her second area of concern was about how the Commission conducts itself and relates to the public in meetings. She stated her approval that the Commission is getting a clock for the public, so that each person is aware of how much time has passed during their comment period. She stated that she has heard far too many comments that the Commission is not a friendly body. She stated that the Commission has been rude to people in the public and that the Commission has not listened or responded to members of the public. She stated her interest in responding to members of the public when they speak at meetings. Chairperson Studley stated that it could be difficult to determine where to draw the line, when a topic is not on the agenda.
Chairperson Studley asked the Executive Director how the interested persons list was generated. Mr. St. Croix stated that the list was self-generated and that if people do not ask to receive something, staff does not send it. He stated that most people on the list are online, but there are some who ask for mailings. He stated that clubs could be contacted, if the Commissioners suggest particular clubs and staff could input addresses onto the list. He stated that, in terms of outreach, the Commission always encourages people to ask questions and all meeting summaries are sent to the interested persons list, media, and all office holders.
Chairperson Studley suggested speaking with Commissioner Hansen outside of the meeting about possible ideas and groups to add to the list. She stated that she would bring names for staff to add to the list. Commissioner Hansen stated that she would be happy to meet with Chairperson Studley and asked that staff add all of the political clubs to the list, as they are engaged more often than not in the elections. She stated that various clubs have expressed interest to her in the Commission’s work.
Commissioner Hansen stated that she would like the Commission to respond to a member of the public after a comment is made or a question is asked during public comment. She stated that when nothing happens, that does not generate respect for the Commission.
VI. Minutes of the Commission’s regular meeting of May 10, 2010.
Commissioner Hansen asked whether Marc Salomon received the documents he requested, as noted in the minutes. Executive Director St. Croix stated that there were some documents which he was allowed to view and others that were not disclosed.
Motion 10-06-14-5 (Harriman/Hur): Moved, seconded and passed (5-0) that the Commission adopt the minutes of the May 10, 2010 meeting, with typographical corrections.
VII. Executive Director’s Report.
Executive Director St. Croix stated that the Commission will require temporary staff during the campaign season and that he was looking for student interns. He stated that the first budget hearing was in two days and that there had been no challenges from the budget analyst so far. He stated that the Mayor needs to restore $6.2M to the election campaign fund.
Commissioner Hansen expressed her concern about the removal of the special condition for the fines officer. She expressed concern that someone in the position would have no experience and that Mr. Luby had years of experience. Chairperson Studley stated that this was a personnel matter as well as a management issue. She stated that possible consequences of the personnel shift could be discussed, but not a specific employee, as that is a personnel matter.
Commissioner Hansen stated that the decision was made without the Commission’s concurrence and now there is someone in that position with no experience. She asked what projections staff has made regarding any loss of revenue due to that person's lack of experience. Mr. St. Croix stated there was no expectation of loss of revenue at all. He stated that everyone has the same learning curve when hired and that he does not like the bumping system. He stated that his job is to ensure the Commission does the best with what it has available.
VIII. Items for future meetings.
Commissioner Hansen asked to review the issue of fundraising for the Democratic County Central Committee ("DCCC") races. She stated that there were tremendous amounts of money spent on candidates running for DCCC, who are also running for Supervisor. She stated that there appeared to be a loophole allowing candidates to raise money for the DCCC race that could not be raised for a supervisorial race. She stated that lobbyists and others give money to these candidates with more of an interest in potentially influencing supervisorial races.
Executive Director St. Croix stated that the deadline for electioneering communications is 90 days from the election. Chairperson Studley stated that the Commission would address its authority over this type of behavior.
IX. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda that are within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission.
Motion 10-06-14-2 (Studley/Harriman): Moved, seconded and passed (5-0) that the Commission adjourn.
Meeting adjourned at 8:32 PM.