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Meeting Information

Budget and Policy Committee

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 


(Approved:   __________)

City and County of San Francisco


                                            BUDGET AND POLICY COMMITTEE    

Minutes of the Meeting Held

Wednesday, July 30, 2003


1.         Call to Order and Roll Call.  Commissioner Brenda Stowers, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm, Commissioner Mendelson was present,   Commissioner Robert Kenealey was absent.


2.         Public Comment – District Attorney Terrance Hallinan said he was concerned about the difficulty facing the Commission regarding the recall and he assured the Committee that San Francisco citizens are counting on the Elections Commission to do the very best it can to implement RCV in November as stated by the Charter.  He urged the Committee and the Commission to hold off any decision until everything possible has been done to do the will of the voters.  He said that he and the voters are counting on the Commission to come through.

3.          Discussion and possible action to recommend approval of the proposed Commission Annual Report dated 24 January 02 – 19 March 02 submitted by Michael Mendelson, President and edited by Alix Rosenthal, Vice President and formatted and re-edited by Committee Chair, Brenda Stowers.  Commissioner Michael Mendelson MOVED to approve the Annual Report.  The motion CARRIED.

4.        Discussion and possible action to review various cost expenditures associated with Ranked Choice Voting and the Gubernatorial Recall Election and make possible recommendations to the Commission.  Commissioner Michael Mendelson MOVED that the Budget Committee recommend to the full Commission that the Department continue on with the process of generating an election procedure that will conform in all respects to the Secretary of State’s requirements; that is, the California Elections Code, and that this Commission will seek to ensure, both financially and with the personnel necessary, to implement the Charter amendment requiring Ranked Choice Voting as soon as possible.

Discussion:  Commissioner Mendelson thanked the District Attorney for attending the meeting saying that his presence demonstrated that public officials are interested in the most critical interest of all - the exercise of the franchise.  He said it was clear that the obligation of the Commission was to follow the law and the facts, and that John Arntz and his very capable staff will find a system that will implement the will of the voters within the context of the law.  Further, the Commissioner said that the rejection by the Secretary of State and the approval committee can serve as a dry run for the DoE to point out the weaknesses of the presented system and as a result, the Department can strive to correct those weaknesses to create a system that will fulfill the will of the people.  Commissioner Mendelson repeated that the Commission wants to see Ranked Choice Voting implemented.


Chair, Brenda Stowers explained the reality of the funding needed to implement RCV.  She said the estimates for the three scenarios which may appear were: RCV with a hand count would cost $2.7M; the recall election will cost $3.7M; RCV with the software implementation - $2.6M (which would be added to the cost of the recall, or $6.3M); a regular November election without RCV and runoff is $8.7M.  She said these are the first estimates and may change.  Commissioner Stowers said the real cost is not just money but time and resources as well.  The DoE has only so many resources to do so many things.  With the recall, the department is cramming five to six months of work into eight weeks.  The analogy Commissioner Stowers said that may make the most sense is:  you can’t have two women make one baby in 4 ½ months each – you just can’t divide the job up like that.

MOTION (07-30-03 Budget) carried.


ADJOURNMENT at 5:47 pm.




Disability Access

The Elections Commission meeting will be held in Room 400, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA. The Commission meeting room is wheelchair accessible. 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.

The following services are available on request 48 hours prior to the meeting; except for Monday meetings, for which the deadline shall be 4:00 p.m. of the last business day of the preceding week: For American sign language interpreters or the use of a reader during a meeting, a sound enhancement system, and/or alternative formats of the agenda and minutes, please contact The Elections Office at (415) 554- 4375 or our TDD at (415) 554-4386 to make arrangements for the accommodation. Late requests will be honored, if possible.

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. Individuals with chemical sensitivity or related disabilities should call our accessibility hotline at (415) 554-6060.

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 ordinance, contact the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, Donna Hall, Clerk, City Hall, Room 409, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102-4683 at Phone No.: (415) 554-7724; Fax No.: (415) 554-7854; E-mail: [email protected] Copies of the Sunshine Ordinance can be obtained from the Clerk of the Sunshine Task Force, the San Francisco Public Library and on the City's website at

The ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. Please be advised that the Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person(s) responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices.

Lobbyist Registration and Reporting Requirements

Individuals and entities that influence or attempt to influence local legislative or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance [SF Campaign & Governmental Conduct Code §2.100] to register and report lobbying activity. For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 3900, San Francisco, CA 94102; telephone (415) 581-2300, fax (415) 581-2317; web site at