Minutes of the Special Committee of
The San Francisco Ethics Commission
May 19, 2015
Room 421, City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
I. Call to order and roll call.
Chairperson Renne called the meeting to order at 3:03 PM.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Paul Renne, Chairperson; Brett Andrews, Vice-Chairperson.
STAFF PRESENT: Garrett Chatfield, Investigator/Legal Analyst.
OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY: Andrew Shen, Deputy City Attorney (DCA).
OTHERS PRESENT: Bob Planthold; Larry Bush; David Pilpel; Eileen Hansen; Charles Marsteller; Andrew Sinn.
– Department of Human Resources Job Description for Department Head I (#0961);
– Department of Human Resources Request for Proposal to recruitment firms.
II. Discussion regarding the hiring of a recruitment firm for the position of Executive Director of the San Francisco Ethics Commission.
Chair Renne introduced the purpose of the meeting, which was to discuss hiring a recruiter, and asked if there were any objections to the meeting being recorded. No members of the public present objected.
Chair Renne stated that after a recruiter is hired, additional interested persons meetings will be held to discuss what qualifications should be included in the job profile for Executive Director. Chair Renne also outlined the projected timeline for the hiring process, stating that he optimistically hoped to have a new Executive Director hired by September 2015.
Larry Bush and Bob Planthold both stated that the Commission should hire a recruiter with an understanding that the Commission’s Executive Director is more than just a department manager.
Eileen Hansen stated that it is unlikely that the Commission will have the position filled by September 2015.
Chair Renne explained that the current Deputy Executive Director would become the Acting Executive Director until the position is filled. He stated that the current Deputy Executive Director expressed his interest in applying for the Executive Director position, and thus will have no role in the recruitment and hiring process.
David Pilpel stated that the Commission does not need to spend a large amount of money to hire a recruiter for the Executive Director position because there are many sources for a candidate to find out about the open position. He stated that there are both advantages and disadvantages in hiring an individual currently involved with ethics laws. He stated that the Commission should consider hiring an individual who is willing to make at least a five to ten year commitment to the Commission.
Charles Marsteller and Eileen Hansen both expressed their views that appointing the current Deputy Executive Director as the Acting Executive Director could create an appearance of a conflict as he might make decisions that are not best for the Commission but would put him in a favorable light to be hired as the permanent Executive Director.
Eileen Hansen stated that she has accepted Executive Director positions at other organizations in the past on an “interim” basis with the understanding that she would not apply to be the permanent Executive Director. She stated that the Commission should consider that approach instead of having the current Deputy Executive Director become the Acting Executive Director after John St. Croix leaves the Commission in August.
Eileen Hansen stated that there are other Ethics Commissions in the country that are more proactive than the San Francisco Ethics Commission and that any recruiter that is hired should solicit applications from those organization. She stated that the local advocacy group “Friends of Ethics” would also know of qualified individuals.
Vice-Chair Andrews stated that he is an Executive Director for a non-profit and understands that the Ethics Commission’s Executive Director is more than just a manager, and that the Commission will consider that factor when looking at applicants.
The meeting adjourned at 4:09 PM.