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Minutes – November 13, 2015


Minutes of the Special Meeting of
The San Francisco Ethics Commission
November 13, 2015
Room 400 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 9:00 AM.

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Paul Renne, Chairperson; Brett Andrews, Vice-Chairperson; Beverly Hayon, Commissioner; Ben Hur, Commissioner; Peter Keane; Commissioner. 

STAFF PRESENT: Garrett Chatfield, Investigator/Legal Analyst.

OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY: Jon Givner, Deputy City Attorney (DCA), Andrew Shen, DCA.

OTHERS PRESENT: Charles Marsteller; Larry Bush; Lynn Mason; Elena Schmidt; Sharyn Saslafsky; and other unidentified members of the public. 

II. Discussion and possible action regarding the Commission’s appointment of a new Executive Director, including interviews of applicants.  Closed session.

Chair Renne stated that the purpose of the special meeting was to interview the final candidates for the vacant Executive Director position.  He stated that Commission will conduct the interviews in closed session.  He stated that he anticipated that the Commission would return to open session at 3:00 PM.  He stated he would take general public comment and public comment on the motion to go into closed session. 

Public Comment:
Charles Marsteller stated that the Commission adopted the public financing program in 2000 through Proposition O.  He stated that the ballot measure ensured that the Commission would aggressively monitor the public financing program.  He stated that there is a current matter pending with the Commission regarding a publicly financed candidate from 2010.  He stated that five years is too long and there may be criminal conduct involved in the matter. 

Motion 151113-01 (Keane/Andrews) Moved, seconded, and passed (5-0) that the Commission go into closed session for the purpose of interviewing candidates for Executive Director. 

Public Comment:
Larry Bush stated that the public’s approval of Proposition C indicates that it is time for the Commission to move forward on issues that it previously overlooked.  He stated that the Commission needs an Executive Director that can move on pressing issues quickly and that has stature with the public and with City officials.
Lynn Mason thanked the Commission for putting Proposition C on this November’s ballot.  She stated that the Commission needs to address complaints, and that the City is in a crisis.  She stated that the Commission needs new blood in an Executive Director.

Elena Schmidt thanked the Commission for its work on Proposition C.  She stated that the Commission did an excellent job engaging with the public regarding the Executive Director search.  She stated that the Commission should hire an Executive Director that will be able to change the culture of the staff. 

Sharyn Saslafsky also thanked the Commission for its work on Proposition C.  She stated that the Commission has also done an excellent job regarding the search for a new Executive Director. 

Charles Marsteller stated that he has watched the Commission and its Executive Directors for 20 years.  He stated that the leadership at the staff level has been lacking.  He stated that San Francisco is an international city and that the Commission should consider the City’s international stature in its hiring of an Executive Director. 

The Commission went into closed session at 9:14 AM.  All members of the public left the hearing room.  Staff member Chatfield also left the hearing room.  DCA Shen and the five members of the Commission relocated to the Department of Human Resources to conduct the candidate interviews.

DCA Givner replaced DCA Shen at 1:00 PM during closed session to advise the Commission while it conducted the candidate interviews. 

Commissioner Andrews was excused from the meeting during closed session at 2:40 PM. 

The Commission returned to open session at 3:02 PM.  Chair Renne, Commissioner Hayon, Commissioner Hur, Commissioner Keane, and DCA Givner all returned to the hearing room.  Staff member Chatfield also returned to the hearing room. 

Motion 151113-02 (Keane/Hur) Moved, seconded, and passed (4-0, Andrews excused) that the Commission keep its closed session deliberations confidential except that the Commission did select a candidate during closed session to whom it will offer the position of Executive Director. 

Commissioner Renne stated that he hoped to be able to announce the selected candidate’s name at the Commission’s next regular meeting.

Public Comment:
Charles Marsteller thanked the Commission for its due diligence and for its quick decision. 

III. Adjournment.

Motion 151113-03 (Keane/Hur): Moved, seconded, and passed (4-0, Andrews excused) that the Commission adjourn. 

The meeting adjourned at 3:05 P.M.

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