Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Agenda – January 26, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
January 26, 2015, 5:30 P.M.
and AGENDA
Room 400 City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco

  1. Call to order and roll call.
  2. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda that are within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission.
  3. Discussion and possible action on a matter submitted under Chapter Two of the Ethics Commission’s Regulations for Violations of the Sunshine Ordinance. Under Chapter Two of the Regulations, the Respondent bears the burden of showing that he or she did not commit a violation of the Sunshine Ordinance. In a show cause hearing, the votes of at least three Commissioners are required to make a finding that a Respondent has met his or her burden and has not committed a violation of the Sunshine Ordinance. Respondents and Complainants may speak on their own behalf, subject to the following time limits: Respondent shall be permitted a five-minute statement; Complainant shall be permitted a five-minute statement; and Respondent shall be permitted a three-minute rebuttal. (Attachments: for the matter listed, copies of all documents received from the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, notice letters from Commission staff to the Respondent and Complainant, and any documents submitted to the Commission by the Respondent and Complainant; a copy of the Ethics Commission Regulations for Handling Violations of the Sunshine Ordinance and a copy of the Sunshine Ordinance, Chapter 67 of San Francisco Administrative Code.)
    1. Ethics Complaint No. 01-140107
      Complainant: Allen Grossman
      Respondent: John St. Croix, Executive Director, Ethics Commission
  4. Discussion and possible action regarding the approval of proposed amendments to the San Francisco Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance, which are intended to update and streamline certain reporting and disclaimer requirements, as well as to repeal certain contribution limits. (Attachments: Staff Memoranda including Exhibits.)
  5. Discussion and possible action on Ethics Commission budget. By February 23, 2015, all departments must submit their budget requests to the Controller’s Office. At this meeting, the Commission will review staff’s recommendations and possibly provide guidance in preparing the budget submission for FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17. (Attachment: January 21, 2015 staff memorandum.)
  6. Discussion and possible action regarding a complaint received or initiated by the Ethics Commission. Possible Closed Session.
    1. Public comment on all matters pertaining to Agenda Item VI, including whether to meet in closed session.
    2. Vote on whether to assert attorney-client privilege and meet in closed session under Charter section C3.699-13, Brown Act section 54956.9 and Sunshine Ordinance section 67.10(d) to discuss anticipated litigation as plaintiff: 1) San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 3.216 (receiving a prohibited gift from a restricted source); and 2) California Government Code sections 84200(a) (failure to file semi-annual Form 460), 84104 (failure to maintain campaign records), and San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.118 (failure to pay expenditures within 180 days). (Action.)
    3. Conference with Legal Counsel: Anticipated litigation as plaintiff. (Discussion and possible action.)
      Number of possible cases: 2
    4. If closed session is held, reconvene in open session.
    5. Discussion and vote pursuant to Brown Act section 54957.1 and Sunshine Ordinance section 67.12 on whether to disclose any action taken or discussions held in closed session regarding anticipated litigation as plaintiff. (Discussion and possible action.)

      Motion: The Ethics Commission moves (not) to disclose its closed session deliberations re: anticipated litigation.

  7. Discussion and possible action on the minutes of the Commission’s meeting of December 16, 2014. (Attachment: December 16, 2014 draft minutes.)
  8. Discussion of Executive Director’s Report. An update of important Ethics Commission staff activities since the previous monthly meeting. The written report, which is available at the Commission office and on its website, covers the investigation and enforcement program, revenues, campaign finance disclosure program, revenues, public financing/campaign finance audit program, lobbyist program, campaign consultant program, and outreach and education. Any of these subjects may potentially be part of the Director’s presentation or discussed by the Commission. (Attachment: Executive Director’s Report.)
  9. Items for future meetings. Commissioners may propose items for future agendas and the Commission may determine the priority of these items. (Discussion.)
  10. Adjournment.

There will be an opportunity for public comment on each agenda item.

Materials contained in the Commission packets for meetings are available for inspection and copying during regular office hours at the Ethics Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, at least 72 hours prior to meetings. Any materials distributed to members of the Ethics Commission within 72 hours of the meeting or after the agenda packet has been delivered to the members are available for public inspection at the Ethics Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, during normal office hours.
Cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices: The ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. The Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices.

Disability Access: The Ethics Commission meeting will be held in Room 400, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA. The Commission meeting room is accessible to persons using wheelchairs and other assistive mobility devices. Ramps are available at the Grove, Van Ness and McAllister entrances. The closest accessible BART station is the Civic Center Station at United Nations Plaza and Market Street. Accessible MUNI lines serving this location are: #42 Downtown Loop, and #71 Haight/Noriega and the F Line to Market and Van Ness and the Metro Stations at Van Ness and Market and at Civic Center. For information about MUNI accessible services call (415) 923-6142. There is accessible curbside parking adjacent to City Hall on Grove Street and Van Ness Avenue and in the vicinity of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue adjacent to Davies Hall and the War Memorial Complex.

To request assistive listening devices, real time captioning, sign language interpreters, readers, large print agendas or other accommodations, please contact the Ethics Commission at (415) 252-3100 or ethics.commission@sfgov.org at least 72 hours in advance before the meeting, except for Monday meetings, for which the deadline is 4:00 p.m. the previous Friday. Late requests will be honored, if possible.

Language Access: Per the Language Access Ordinance (Chapter 91 of the San Francisco Administrative Code), Chinese, Spanish and or Filipino (Tagalog) interpreters will be available upon requests. Meeting Minutes may be translated, if requested, after they have been adopted by the Commission. Assistance in additional languages may be honored whenever possible. To request assistance with these services please contact at (415) 252-3100 or ethics.commission@sfgov.org at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing. Late requests will be honored if possible.

Chemical-Based Products: In order to assist the City's efforts to accommodate persons with severe allergies, environmental illnesses, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical-based products. Please help the City accommodate these individuals.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE (Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code): Government's duty is to serve the public, reaching its decisions in full view of the public. Commissions, boards, councils, and other agencies of the City and County exist to conduct the people's business. This ordinance assures that deliberations are conducted before the people and that City operations are open to the people's review.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE OR TO REPORT A VIOLATION OF THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE, CONTACT THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE TASK FORCE, City Hall, Room 244, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102-4689; phone: (415) 554-7724; fax: (415) 554-7854; email: SOTF@SFGOV.ORG. Copies of the Sunshine Ordinance can be obtained from the Clerk of the Sunshine Task Force, at the San Francisco Public Library, and on the City's website at http://www.sfgov.org

Lobbyist Registration and Reporting Requirements: Individuals who influence or attempt to influence local policy or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code sections 2.100 – 2.160) to register and report lobbying activity. For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94102; telephone (415) 252-3100, fax (415) 252-3112; and website: www.sfgov.org/ethics.

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