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Meeting Information

Budget and Policy Committee

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 

Department of Elections
Elections Commission

Approved: 7-17-02

City and County of San Francisco
Minutes of the Meeting Held
Wednesday, March 13, 2002

1.          Call to Order and Roll Call. Commissioners Alix Rosenthal, Robert Kenealey and
Brenda Stowers were present.

2.          Public Comment:
Charles Kalish
          Christopher Bowman
          Charles Marskeller
          Peter Fries
          Steven Hill
          Joseph McGuire
          Kay Burke
          Michael Denning

3.          Discussion and possible action regarding the Department of Elections Annual
Budget for fiscal year 2002-2003:

Committee President Rosenthal explained that the deadline for the baseline
budget to the Mayor is March 1st. Ara Manasian has already submitted this to the Mayor with the exclusion of special projects. The budget is very similar to last year. Committee members decided not approve the baseline budget because more time is needed to examine it. Director Haygood requested three more IS personnel be added because, due to Propostion A, the Department can no longer use City employees to help out on election day. Ms Haygood said she feels it is important to have these workers year-round.

Ara Manasian said that the Mayor has requested that all departments
decrease their baseline budgets by 10 per cent and those departments have to
come up with recommendations from where that cut might come. The Committee agreed that it would be extremely difficult to come up with a ten per cent cut because much of what the Elections Department does is mandated by law. One example is the mandated use of Sheriffs on election day.

The Committee discussed an increase in fee revenues and requested that the Director of Elections report back with an answer to the question of whether or not we can eliminate or decrease fees and discounts for submission of initiatives, ballot arguments and the fees for candidates. Currently the DOE is granting deep discounts. The Committee plans to give a report and recommendation to the full Commission after its next Committee meeting.

The Committee voted to recommend that the November 2000 ballots be moved
from where they are currently being stored (Pier 29) to a bonded security location. The DOE currently has a Sheriffs Deputy watching these ballots 24 hours a day, costing the department a great deal. The Director expressed that she doesn't want to move the ballots in light of the States' proposed investigation and deferred to the Committee whether to move them to a more secure location. The November 2002 ballots are currently stored in such a bonded location.

Commissioner Rosenthal stated that consolidating space was a priority for the Elections Department and this would eliminate the need for Pier 29.

Committee members discussed the possibility for using Proposition 41 funds to help implement touch screen voting, however the amount needed is not yet known. ES&S, the Department's current vendor, says that it would be extremely difficult to write and implement the software within the guidelines in time for this November's election.

Director Haygood suggested a community outreach to help make voters with a second language feel more comfortable with voting. Ms. Haygood also suggested an Election Academy to train election officers. The training would take place once each month and provide a pool of officers ready to go during an election. Funding for this training is still under investigation. Ms. Haygood said that the election officer position should be considered a "civic" activity and not a "job" and she wants to promote it as such. With this ongoing election training, we would have more experienced officers.

The Budget and Policy Committee discussed the translation and transliteration of
candidates names into Chinese names. The Committee voted to recommend holding hearings on the issue and invite the public to speak. The committee also asked for legal advice from the City Attorney.

4. Discussion on Department of Elections Policies: It was determined that there are written and non-written policies used by staff. Director Haygood said that she would request that her managers collect the written policies and she would give them to the Committee.