FOR THE 2000 REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
OF THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2001
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - 12TH FLOOR
CHRONOLOGY OF THE MEETING:
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Pesqueira at 4:10 p.m. Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m. to the next scheduled Redistricting Commission meeting of March 21, 2001, at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 12th floor City Administration Building.
||CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Ralph Pesqueira called the meeting to order at 4:10 p.m.
Analyst Bonnie Stone called the roll:
(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present
(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-not present
(M) Charles W. Johnson- present
(M) Marichu G. Magaña-not present
(M) Shirley ODell-not present
(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present
(EO) Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster-present
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A004-008.)
ATTENDANCE DURING THE MEETING:
(C) Chairman Ralph R. Pesqueira-present
(VC) Vice Chairman Leland T. Saito-present
(M) Mateo R. Camarillo-not present
(M) Charles W. Johnson-present
(M) Marichu G. Magaña-present
(M) Shirley ODell-not present
(M) Juan Antonio Ulloa-present
(EO) Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster-present
This portion of the agenda provides an opportunity for members of the public to address the Redistricting Commission on items of interest within the jurisdiction of the Commission.
Comments are limited to no more than two minutes per speaker. Submit requests to speak to the City Clerk prior to 4:00 p.m. Pursuant to the Ralph M. Brown Act, no discussion or action, other than a referral, will be taken by the Redistricting Commission on any issue brought forth under "Non-Agenda Comment."
COMMENT 1: None.
||APPROVAL OF COMMISSION MINUTES
Approval of Commission Minutes for the meeting of February 14, 2001.
MOTION BY COMMON CONSENT TO APPROVE THE MINUTES.
Vote unanimous; Commissioner Camarillo-not present; Commissioner Magaña-not present; Commissioner ODell-not present.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: B205-210.)
||REDISTRICTING SERVICES AVAILABLE FROM PLANNING, SANDAG
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A275-B138.)
Senior Planner Joey Perry and SANDAG Director of Research Jeff Tayman will address the types of services and assistance the Planning Department and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) are able to provide to the Commission.
Joey Perry introduced Jeff Tayman who is the Director of Research at SANDAG, stating that he would talk a little about what SANDAG can do to help. Ms. Perry also introduced Supervising Management Analyst David Bryant from the Planning Department, who would talk about how Planning's resources could be used by the Commission.
Chairman Pesqueira noted that the Redistricting Commission somewhat sits on outside the margins of anything else the City does. How can SANDAG be of service to the Commission? Chairman Pesqueira sought assurance that when the Commission needs the services SANDAG provides, those services will be forthcoming. Chairman Pesqueira also stated that the goal is to be finished with the redistricting and the final plan signed off within the first week of September, and that the Commission will do everything it can to get there. That will require a tremendous amount of cooperation from the various agencies such as SANDAG, and the various departments, the Commission will need to go to.
Jeff Tayman expressed his thanks, and passed out a brochure with a brief overview of SANDAG's services offered. Mr. Tayman assured the Commission that SANDAG will provide any help Ms. Perry needs that SANDAG is capable of providing, through a program called Local Technical Assistance.
QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION:
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: Let me ask you a question, Mr. Tayman -a scenario. Your phone rings and you pick it up and it says that SANDAG is going to be 100 percent responsible for the redistricting in San Diego. After you've swallowed two or three times, take an Advil and hang up the phone -you say, "What resources do I have, and do I have enough resources, or do I shop somewhere else?" What would be your answer?
MR. TAYMAN: The way the LTA program works, the City would get the first $1,000 free, then the City would have to pay on a cost-reimbursement basis for either our services, or, if we go out and sign a consultant. From a resource point of view, the real issue is, does the City have the resources to pay above the $1,000, or two days, of our work? The other part of the question is, would we do 100 percent of it? I think we would provide technical assistance. I think SANDAG would not get into the politics of redistricting. We would provide you technical assistance in terms of data, mapping, etc., to help the technical infrastructure for you to carry out your redistricting services. Frankly, on staff we do not have a redistricting expert. What our expertise would be is to get you the data which will come to (Ms. Perry) -helping her if she needs some additional analysis or processing, or producing some maps. Coming to meetings if she needs some help with technical explanations or assistance. One of the things we are pretty good at is being responsive and meeting whatever deadlines needs to be met.
MS. PERRY: I would like to add that I have put in a Local Technical Assistance request for a map for the Census 2000 geographies from the Tiger File that SANDAG is in the process of developing.
MR. TAYMAN: Let me inform you--and in addition to the census data, for example, that might be ancillary information -the discussion you had on income. I didn't see the map that was handed to you, but my guess is it was based on low/mod income of 1990 census statistics or 1990 census tracts. We have a program where every year we produce estimates of household income for census tracts, blocks, in the San Diego region and city. (Ms. Perry) said there might be some concern in how areas may grow in the future. We have a five, ten, 15-year forecast for you of virtually any area you would like to define as part of this process. So, aside from the particular mechanics of redistricting, and helping with the technical aspects, we have a number of different kinds of information that might be useful in your deliberations.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: That is excellent. Thank you. Rather than go outside the City, when there are things perfectly available to the City, let's go to the City first. We are going to be very ambitious in April, May, and June to inform the public what we are doing. Then, we can spend the later part of June and July in a map-drawing area and come up with some preliminaries.
MS. PERRY: I'd like to add that SANDAG has been very responsive to our requests, and often comes in ahead of schedule.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: What you're saying is a thousand dollars, or approximately 16 hours?
MR. TAYMAN: Right. Basically, after that, whatever it costs us including the materials. It is a good deal.
MANAGER'S LIAISON KATHY MAYOU: Could you give us an idea of the normal cost on a map that would take you, say, two hours? I'm trying to get a feel for, after the thousand dollars, what we would reimburse you on expenses. What are the costs of expenses we would be looking at?
MR. TAYMAN: Depends on the kinds of things you might be requesting. E.g., say you used up the thousand dollars in two days -if we have to produce a poster size map, then in terms of staff time, that may be a $100 to $150. Some of the information you may request will be on-line and may not cost you anything. If we get into doing analysis, or having to write reports, or do customized programming, or buying software; we don't have to facilitate this. That tends to be more of an expensive kind of project. Again, you would only be charged our cost to do the job - no mark-up - just our staff time and cost. Keep in mind the technology today is quite a bit different than it was ten years ago.
MR. BRYANT: The Planning Department is well aware of the importance of this redistricting process and has worked with the City Manager to commit at least half of (Ms. Perry's) time to this effort. (Ms. Perry) is also committed to see this through to its completion. At this point, because of some of the other things that we have as priorities from the Council, and the strategic framework that's going on, we are flexible in knowing that there is going to be peaks and valleys in the workload.
RALPH PESQUEIRA: As (Ms. Stone) has pointed out to us several times, it would be very nice to have for Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8 (those going for election) What is the date for that?
MS. STONE: The nominating period for the 2002 elections opens in early November. The Registrar of Voters is of course concerned that the boundary lines are redrawn at such an earlier time that the Registrar's computers can know what the boundaries are, who lives in those boundaries, and therefore, who is eligible to run for one of those offices.
COMMISSIONER ULLOA: What services will SANDAG be unable to provide that will require an outside consultant?
MR. BRYANT: At this point I don't know what the entire scope is as far as what is being asked for. I know that our department is committed to the time that we have put forward for (Ms. Perry). The mapping areas we have mentioned as far as the ability to plot out, or to generate some of the maps...at this point I am uncomfortable saying that we could give 10 percent or 20 percent just because of the backlog they do have. Clearly, if that backlog disappears, and we are able to provide some of that support - we will. I just don't have enough information at this point to give a firm number for that.
MR. TAYMAN: When we don't have the type of service the City needs, we have often helped the City find a consultant.
DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY LISA FOSTER: I'd like to add that our office is also going to be providing legal support regarding the legal issues associated with this process. This process is primarily for the purpose of equalizing the population in our eight districts. As a correlation to that, in the process of moving the boundaries to achieve that equality, we're going to have to look at a limited number of factors. In addition to the population data, we're going to be looking at data having to do with the ethnic population, voting patterns of groups, and essentially the process of redrawing the boundaries. We are not going to be affecting the representation of any cohesive groups that are minority groups in districts that have patterns of voting. There are specific categories of information we will need to work with, and of course, the geographic information that will assist in determining where the boundaries ought to be.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON: Thank you, gentlemen, for coming today, and in my dealings with SANDAG I have high praise for the work that you have done for this community. I have had the opportunity to deal with SANDAG on several occasions, and have found the response to be timely, and the numbers are always updated. You are doing a great job. I appreciate the Planning Department coming, particularly with the community updates and those types of things.
COMMISSIONER SAITO: Ms. Foster mentioned voting data. Does SANDAG have that type of data?
MR. TAYMAN: No, not in house. I think we could help you get that from the Registrar of Voters.
MS. STONE: Or through the Clerk's Office.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: (Ms. Stone) has that. Thank you, gentlemen. We look forward to working with you.
||REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR CONSULTANT SERVICES
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: B140-202.)
Update on responses for the Request for Proposal; discussion and possible action related to hiring a consultant for redistricting.
Analyst Bonnie Stone reported the receipt of eight responses to the RFP, plus one that seems to be strictly for legal services. At least one more response appears to be on its way, and will probably be in-house shortly. Respondents range from California to Washington, DC, and reported costs for consultant services range from an estimated $50,000 to an estimated $350,000.
Chairman Pesqueira commented that if there is something the Commission specifically wants to go after, the Commissioners need to address that and be able to ask whatever company that they want to talk to -if they should want to talk to. Chairman Pesqueira expressed his belief that City staff are quite capable.
|| IMPACT OF REDISTRICTING ON CDBG FUNDS
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: A019-262.)
Staff will discuss the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) process, and potential effects of redistricting on the allocation of CDBG funds.
Analyst Bonnie Stone introduced Ernie Linares, the City's Community Development Administrator.
MR. LINARES: I oversee the Community Block Grant Program for the City of San Diego. It's my understanding of what the concern is - of the Commission is -you want to understand what impacts that the redistricting process might have on the CBDG program. Should CDBG concerns be considered when discussing boundaries?
I could cover briefly some of these points, and then open it up to questions. Starting with the total overall block grants entitlement amount received from the Federal Government -I don't believe the way the boundaries would be set would have any impact on that. There is no concern on how much they would be getting from the overall City standpoint. With regard to CDBG eligibility, my office spends a good amount of time insuring that the uses of this money are benefitting low and moderate income residents. How you set the boundaries would not impact project eligibility. That wouldn't be taken into consideration when determining if it meets the test.
Thirdly, by Council District Allocations -by Council Policy 700-2, the City Council distributes 60 per cent of the block grant entitlement to the eight districts, and they do that by the proportion of low/mod residents that reside in each district. Of course they rely on the most recent census, which of course is 1990. I have a handout, and the Commission should have that breakdown. The percentages for you use the current year dollar amount, and also indicate how that translates into dollars. (See handouts.) Of course those percentages would likely change if the district boundary changes. We are waiting on the year 2000 census as well, because we know that the overall low/mod statistics for the City will change. That will have an impact -don't know if it will be more or less -but should have an impact on how much we do get from the Feds. It could have an impact on how much -even if we don't change the boundaries at all -those new census figures will change what the percentages by districts will be. As far as whether or not I think that is a consideration for redistricting - that is more of a policy level question. From a block grant administration standpoint, it doesn't matter because we would still have the same amount of dollars as a City -still has to go toward benefitting low/mod residents. By shifting the dollars from one district to the other, it could change the ultimate projects that were decided on. However, they would be all CDBG eligible.
Moving onto the color map - just a handout because we get a lot of requests for that. The orange census tracts have 51 percent or greater low/mod residents within it, and by Federal Statute that makes it a low/mod census tract. That's the percentage for a test to make the project eligible. We don't necessarily have to look strictly at census tract to determine eligibility -we can look at the census block level, or we can use other methods for determining projects' eligibility. In terms of the CDBG program, I think how you redistrict would have no impact on the overall program, but it will have an effect on district allocations.
QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION:
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: About "the guy on the street," a person who is in a particular district where low/mod is now very important to that neighborhood -the fact that neighborhoods and that particular Council person is more receptive to the concepts of the low/mod where another neighboring district may not be, or has a reputation of being not quite receptive to it. If that gets moved, is that affected in any way? If that line were to change so that a neighborhood was to go from one district to another district?
MR. LINARES: I think if I understand your scenario -it likely would in terms of whether or not a particular Council member is favorable to a neighborhood or not, and they would have the ability to spend the money anywhere in their district as long as it meets the eligibility test.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: In that sense, it is potentially possible that a particular census tract could be adversely affected if they moved from one district into another district?
MR. LINARES: Yes.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: I believe that is the concern (Commissioner Johnson) was addressing. I can understand a sense of ownership that takes place by people in a particular district, and in a particular census tract. That ownership has been supported by that authority in that district who used the money in another area. So, what we end up with is perhaps a census tract that was beginning to build -beginning to look like a nice neighborhood -now finds itself in another district where CDBG money is being spent somewhere else. It's potentially possible that the census tract could diminish if it were to receive the same allocation. But, it is speculation, and it could have an impact on where you would draw the line.
MR. LINARES: One distinction. It probably would be broken down between neighborhood and community, as opposed to census tract.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON: Thank you, Chair. I'd like to welcome you, Ernie. My concern basically is census tracts - not boundaries. My concern is not splitting the census tracts in these districts. Speaking about low income to moderate income census tracts, for instance, I just got done working on a community block grant in my community. What census tract are you applying for CDBG monies -and who lived within these census tracts? The ethnicity, etc. etc. Whom will the money serve? So I am quite concerned when we draw these redistricting boundaries that we do not split census tracts. It is my understanding this money means health, education, economic development, etc. HUD - I understand HUD also looks into this. My concern is basically census tracts -not boundaries. It's a whole different issue. Please compare, for example, Linda Vista to La Jolla.
MR. LINARES: Clearly Linda Vista is a CDBG low/mod income area, and La Jolla is not.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON: What I hear you saying it is important that we do look at census tracts.
MR. LINARES: My understanding is that the federal census tracts that are in place today will not change by and large.
SENIOR PLANNER JOEY PERRY: The census tracts were modified for the Census 2000. So some of the census tracts that you see on the map in front of you have been subdivided because of population requirements from the Census Bureau. So, as (Mr. Linares) pointed out, these may not be the census tracts that are eligible for block grant monies once Census 2000 data comes out. We will not know what census tracts are eligible for 2000 until the income information comes out, which will be after the redistricting process. Census tracts are created for Census 2000, and those census tracts are in place for the next decade. Those census tracts are set in time as of April of 2000. Our Council districts will be based on Census 2000 geographics, which we will get in the next month or so.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON: Census tracts will stay the same as they are?
MS. PERRY: The census tracts are set and we have no control over the boundary of the census tracts. The data that will determine whether a census tract is CDBG eligible - the data has already been collected and will be released after the redistricting process. So, in a year we should know what census tract from Census 2000 is CDBG eligible.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: I need to clarify -the question that (Commissioner Johnson) asked. If a census tract in District 5 receives something different from a census tract in District 1 -is it based on the district? Is that true?
MR. LINARES: It's based on the percentage of low/mod individuals.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: The only thing I would be concerned with is that we would have at least a monitor as we move a boundary line that causes a census tract to leave one district that might have a higher percentage, into a district that has a lower percentage. We need to understand what impact that might have on that particular census tract, and presuming it beats all other qualifications.
MS. PERRY: My understanding is that CDBG money is not allocated to census tracts, or to projects, or to neighborhoods working on projects. Ernie, please correct me if I am wrong.
MR. LINARES: I think certainly redistricting, moving census tracts in or out of a particular district, could change the amount of a block grant available to that district.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: From what I am hearing, we at least need to be sensitive to the fact that when we move a boundary line, e.g., say District 5 gets eight percent versus District 4 getting 14 percent. If a census tract now in District 4 that would share part of the 14 percent finds itself (after the boundary movement) in District 5 which only gets eight percent - or would that go up at the time? In other words, there would be some sort of an adjustment?
MR. LINARES: There would be an adjustment to allow for that.
COMMISSIONER SAITO: One of the things we can do is use these kinds of maps, and income distribution so we can see how our lines fall. Mr. Linares, you mentioned that 60 percent is distributed to the eight districts according to the percentage of low/mod income residents?
MR. LINARES: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SAITO: How is the other 40 percent distributed?
MR. LINARES: Go to the handout that lists the dollar amounts. If you look at the bottom number of $18,250,000-- that is the total allocation this year. By Council Policy 700-2, our administrative costs come off the top, then the remaining money gets split: 40 percent into Citywide--and that is the $7,065,500 figure-- then 60 percent of it is spread among the eight districts. Each December we go out and start an application process, leave it open for two months, then Council makes its decisions typically in early May each year. Individual Council offices have the authority to recommend to the overall Council projects to total their amount; then the Citywide money is used in a number of ways, partially, at the discretion of the Mayor and the City Manager's recommendations.
COMMISSIONER SAITO: Who is eligible to apply for these funds? Could I just walk off the street? Or is it organizations that apply?
MR. LINARES: It is generally organizations. Many of the applicants on the block grant side are nonprofits, but you don't have to be nonprofit.
COMMISSIONER SAITO: Say you have a neighborhood that has applied in the past, or a brand-new neighborhood that has recently sunk below the income threshold and is going to apply. But this neighborhood is divided into two separate Council districts; does this affect their application in any way?
MR. LINARES: No, an example would be Linda Vista which generally falls within the majority in District 6, but some in District 5. What you see sometimes, because Linda Vista is a CDBG eligible community, is that they are jointly funded projects.
COMMISSIONER SAITO: What is that census tract that is in the La Jolla area that is on the low/moderate income map?
MR. LINARES: That is UCSD, and because of the preponderance of students that live there, that would meet low income eligibility.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: B214-C360.)
Discussion and possible action related to the Commission's budget, procedures for negotiation staff compensation, and presenting the budget to the City Council.
Manager's Liaison Kathy Mayou recommended that Redistricting Operations Director Staajabu Heshimu present her budget, and that Ms. Mayou would then represent the City Manager and make recommendations to Ms. Heshimu's budget.
Ms. Heshimu provided the Commission with the handout "Redistricting Commission Proposed Budgets for FY 2001 and FY 2002."
Ms. Heshimu stated she was very grateful to Ms. Mayou, and that much of her handout was based on the information that Ms. Mayou gave her. Ms. Heshimu noted that she and Ms. Mayou wanted to present the budget to the Manager and the City Council in the way they were accustomed to receiving budgets; that would be by fiscal year and object accounts. We are in the middle of FY 2001 which actually ends June 30th. Ms. Heshimu stated the Manager would need to find this money among monies that haven't yet been spent.
Ms. Heshimu went over each line item of her handout for the Commission.
QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION:
MS. MAYOU: The City Manager went over his midyear report earlier this week which outlines where we are for this fiscal year, and what we need to do to balance the budget. By Charter we need to come in with a balanced budget by the end of the fiscal year. Also outlined is in which departments we are over- spending, and where we are achieving savings in order to balance the budget. We're also in the process of preparing the 2002 budget. The General Fund is very strapped for money. There are really no discretionary funds out there to be had. Based on that, the Manager looked through (Ms. Heshimu's) budget and had a couple of recommendations, the first one being the City staff support -the bulk of the money -$141,058. Although the Manager has not talked to the individual departments, what we are recommending is that we do not budget for that in the Redistricting budget. Those monies in a sense are already budgeted in the department's budget. If we budget it in the Redistricting budget, you are double budgeting it for reimbursement. What we are proposing is that we fund this out of the existing departments' budgets, and there is no reimbursement back to the departments. However, I would recommend that each department tracks their time and costs spent on the redistricting, so that when we get asked later, "How much did we spend on redistricting?" I can track my costs, (Ms. Foster) could track hers, and so forth. Therefore, we will have an accurate figure when this comes around in ten years.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: As I said earlier, this is just a shadow budget. It gives us some idea of what kind of funds we might potentially spend. Whether it comes out of our budget or someone else's budget, it would be nice to know that the total cost of the 2000 Redistricting Commission added up to this amount, and this is generally what the breakdown is. It is true we don't want to take in $141,058 because as you have already said, that is budgeted. But, in our shadow budget you might say we need to know that is what we are looking at.
COMMISSIONER ULLOA: The concern I would have is that if I was in the shoes of a department director - if Ms. Foster is able to spend a bunch of time with us, and then the department is shown to still be able to do the rest of her work, the Manager might say next year, "Well, Ms. Foster was able to do so much over here, and the City Clerk so much over there, so that really means that you were being allocated too much money last year -we can now reduce you once this (Commission) is dissolved." You are showing that you can do a lot more with less. I'm wondering if that would create an environment where the directors are going to be less willing to be so free with their folks they are lending out to us. I am concerned about that. Ralph, you we're talking about time lines and keeping everything tight. Well, if the directors begin to feel uncomfortable with that, they could make it very difficult for us to meet things on time lines. They may want to show politically that it is a burden on them -on what we are asking them to do as opposed to being very free and punctual with all the requests we make of them.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: Thank you for bringing that up, it concerns me as well. Lisa, I know that the Charter does not say that whatever funds that the Redistricting Commission wants will be available to them. But, the way I see the Charter, the City Council is obligated to fund us. What protection do we have to not being picked to death because we just don't have the funds to do anything? Where are we in line?
MS. FOSTER: You do have some leverage with the Charter language itself. It says, "The City Council shall appropriate funds to the Commission and to the City Clerk adequate to carry out their duties." If we are not adequately funded, I believe this language would give us a reason to go back and make requests for additional funding adequate to carry out the Commission's duties. Therefore, I do think there is some fairly strong language in the Charter for making requests for what you need.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: That is the way I read it. However, in talking to (Ms. Mayou) it concerns me, and that we could always be with hat in hand every place we go. I can appreciate we will get in-kind, it will come out of existing budgets. However, (Commissioner Ulloa) brings up a very good point. E.g., when it comes to printing time, could the Council say that's too much? I didn't get the impression when I read that, that it was in the prerogative of the City Council to just say, "We don't like what you've got, we need to do it cheaper." (Ms. Mayou) has done a very good job in trying to show us what other departments need to spend money on in order to operate. That tells me we have not gone out there to ask for gold-plated anything. We just want the bare bones, but we need to be assured we are going to get that.
COMMISSIONER ULLOA: To make us feel comfortable with the whole process, I think we need to have those funds encumbered to us. I think the Manager's idea that the departments already have that money is sort of creative financing, and they put themselves in that situation by not recognizing that this has to be done. This was foreseeable that they would have to fund redistricting. To use the excuse they are strapped -well, they are strapped every year. There were some pretty harsh words the other day on T.V. when I was watching the Council session. I don't think this Commission should fall victim to that, and I think we should make it clear to the City Council or the Manager that this is a very important job we are doing here. I don't feel comfortable being at the discretion of a director to determine whether or not those funds will be available or not, or when, or how, or by whom. I think (Ms. Heshimu) needs to have the funds there, and to use them when and how we direct her to do that. But, if we are to rely on directors - on perceptions on how things should go -- we may be delayed in terms of things we want to do and ultimately have lawsuits placed on us. Then the City will really have to pay out due to being too conservative on the front end. That is a major concern I have, and how to articulate that to the City Manager or the City Council.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON: I too have the same concern. My concern is if we don't budget this money and something happens, and the staff we have been working with us now is called away for some other emergency -if the funding is not there, that means to me we may not be able to replace these folks. I too am quite concerned about this budget, and it is what? The third or fourth draft since we came in? Each time it has been reduced. I agree, I don't want to be a victim of saying you didn't do the job, and the reason for that is funding. We should go back to the City Manager and say, "This is it; we need this money."
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: Doesn't the City Charter say we have nine months from the date that we receive the census in order to have this finished? (Ms. Stone) says yes.
MS. FOSTER: Yes, I know there is a deadline in there, but I do not have it in front of me. I do agree that is a point that can be used, that not only do we have a certain amount of tasks, but we have a tight timeline as well. I think there is a lot of good groundwork laid in presenting this as absolute necessities. What it comes down too, is defining "adequate" in the Charter. We are talking about finding some old cast-off furniture so we don't have to buy new furniture for these folks. We have benchmarked and looked at what other departments and other agencies' costs have been for similar activities. I don't know what we can do to show that it is not only adequate, but it is a necessity. It is bare bones. Barely adequate to get this done. We have a lot of good information to present. Nothing is padded.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON: I think we need to be very careful, and we have to stand fast to make sure we don't fall victim, and not have the funding to do our job.
MS. MAYOU: You are no way bound by the Manager's recommendation. You go forward with the budget you want to go forward with. It is Council that approves it. There is potential that the Manager will come to that Council meeting and provide his recommendations, so you will hear that.
MS. FOSTER: Has there been any thought to having individual appointments with the Council and Mayor to discuss this outside the Council hearing?
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: So far I have spoken to the Mayor's Office, and to be frank, the person I spoke with found no problems with our budget. In fact, he said, "I really saw no problem with your first budget." Possibly, he may champion the budget to the City Council. As long as we are under the guidelines of prudence, what else is there? I feel so bad and apologize that I am going to be gone. I am going to depend a lot on (Ms. Heshimu) and resources she can draw on. Your office too will remind the Council we cannot become beholden to the Manager's Office or any office, and therefore, not be able to perform our duty.
MS. FOSTER: When we do put the paperwork together to go to Council, we can emphasize the language in the Charter that really supports the idea you are talking about.
COMMISSIONER ULLOA: In my experience in District 8 - when we have opposed the City Manager's recommendation, we have almost always lost. The City Manager's recommendation carries a lot of weight with the City Council folks, especially if we as individuals are not known with the individual City Council members. As a group, they depend on the City Manager to give them what they believe to be the best information. The presumption is that is the best information. That is something critical to understand. I'm hoping the City Manager understands, and Kathy, I'm hoping you can discuss this with him; the political implications. If the perception is that the City Manager or the City Council is limiting our funding to the extent that we may not be able to do our job effectively; I think repercussions could be pretty strong with the City Council, Mayor and the City Manager. If in fact that is what his evaluation is, and it ends up creating a problem for us to be able to effectively meet our charge.
MS. MAYOU: If it is determined this budget is not adequate, I agree with (Ms. Foster), to go back to Council and justify more need. I know that is difficult.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: I am going to ask (Ms. Heshimu) to work closely with (Ms. Mayou) and (Ms. Foster) to insure that we will present the best possible budget that will pass, and that every single item will be as justifiable and defendable as we can make it. We'll be willing to take the first hand, second hand, third hand, fourth hand, you name it type of situation. We are not in any way trying to create a situation where we are trying to live off the fat of the land. (Commissioner Ulloa) makes a very strong point. Unless funding has been definitely earmarked and at least set aside -I know that money is not going to be there in dollars and cents, but at least the understanding that there is going to be a certain amount of in-kind funding, but we need to have a dollar value attached to it so that we understand what that is. Whether or not it is a part of our budget. We would like the protection of the City Attorney's Office, you might say, so that we can at least count on the funding necessary to do the job, and to do it adequately.
COMMISSIONER ULLOA: Perhaps it would be a good idea for (Ms. Heshimu) to meet with the City Council, the Mayor, or their Chiefs of Staff to discuss and make them aware of some of our concerns in order to have that connection early on. If we do not have that connection earlier on, and they get hit with it in Council, they may feel a little traumatized and defensive.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: I have talked to District 2 and he was supportive; I have talked to District 7 and he was supportive. I have talked to George Stevens. If you know somebody on the Council you would be willing to talk to, and let them know if they have any real concerns with helping us out, or ensuring that we get our funding - maybe if there is a face in their office reminding them what the Charter says -"they shall fund us." Adequate is an interesting word.
MS. MAYOU: You will support your cause to get the budget in as soon as possible.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: Let's have a budget by the 21st if we can.
COMMISSIONER ULLOA: Do we make a motion to accept (Ms. Heshimu's) proposed budget? Or are we not supporting it as she presented it?
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: No, I am supporting the budget as presented with the comments that (Ms. Mayou) has given us, and I am asking them to work it out. (Ms. Mayou) is going to need to explain where these ideas or these figures came from, and how she arrived at the original budget, and how we pared that down.
COMMISSIONER ULLOA: I think we should take the stand that the budget as (Ms. Heshimu) has presented should be supported by the Commission. I think the Manager needs to revise their perspective, and go to City Council under that concept.
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: Without strong support, the language giving us that support -that is really all we have to stand on - the language in the Charter. Unless the City Attorney's Office is going to support us on that language, then this is not something that the Council or the Manager can just sit and pick apart. That we have done due diligence and we have submitted a very good budget -I'm saying the one before us. My annotation is that (Ms. Heshimu) and (Ms. Mayou) really work out where the in-kind is going to show up, so that the dollar figure that is not on anybody's budget today will be significantly lower than this. In other words, (Commissioner Ulloa's) comment that he would like to see the encumbrance, which I can understand -I don't think that is a reality. Yet, to go in there and say we want this amount of money that is listed here -we know that is not going to be in dollars and cents. So, that some point in time (Ms. Heshimu) is going to have to be able to say, with your support, that the dollars and cents are going to be significantly less than this, and completely dependant upon the departments supporting the in-kind.
MS. MAYOU: It's not what I support. It's what I talked about to the City Manager's Office, and he supports. So, yes, he has made that commitment this morning that he would talk to the individual departments and work with them. Some of them are managerial departments and some are not. So, there does have to be a negotiation with the Manager. This recommendation was not based on those discussions.
MS. HESHIMU: I think you all have analyzed this correctly and have asked the right questions. The Manager's issue with this really is a kind of a paperwork thing. All of these monies are General Fund monies. So, from his perspective, we are budgeting the same dollars in two places. Yet, you are correct. How cooperative the departments are is depending a lot on our ability, my ability to convince the department heads and supervisors to act sometimes against their own self-interests. The Manager has committed to run ahead of us and make that happen. One of the things we need is a way that if the departments are not giving us the services that we need, on the timeline that we need, we need a really effective hammer -somewhere to go to say, hey, this is not happening right now. Then some compromise will work.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON: I'm totally confused. I agree with (Commissioner Ulloa). I think we should submit this piece of paper. Are you saying that the $141,000 is going to be deducted from the bottom line? Is that what I hear being said?
CHAIRMAN PESQUEIRA: We are using this as an example -not the dollar amount here. But if (Ms. Mayou) for example says that $141,000 is "in-kind contributions," the value of "in-kind contributions" -it's already on the books. In other words, the various departments we would draw upon, the services that would expend this money, has already been budgeted by the City Council. There is a duplication right here and we have to at least recognize that the City Council has already budgeted this, and as (Ms. Heshimu) just said, they are not going to double budget. For example, if (Ms. Perry's) got to use not 50 percent of her time, she's got to use 63 percent of her time. That 13 percent is already on the budget, because she is being paid for the 13 percent already out of her office -or any services we might turn to (Ms. Stone) for. That's either not going to be budgeted already, or it is in the City Clerk's Office already. We have to recognize there are two figures here. One is a dollar and cent figure, and the other is an "in-kind contribution," and the "in-kind contribution" has already been budgeted. We can't ask for that to be re-budgeted.
MS. HESHIMU: Mr. Chair, that is a very good analysis because we are asking for 50 percent of (Ms. Perry's) time; in reality we may need 75 percent of (Ms. Perry's) time. A lot of (Ms. Perry's) time we will need at night, at community meetings, which would put her on overtime. Having the dollars allows the department heads to backfill, so (Ms. Perry's) boss could backfill behind her and get at least some of her work done. Sometimes that will make them feel better. The Manager can overcome that, and I think that is what (Ms. Mayou) and I -we got the message -and that is what we will be talking to him about.
- Discussion regarding negotiation of staff compensation.
MOTION BY ULLOA TO APPROVE THE PROCEDURES THAT CHAIR RALPH PESQUEIRA AND COMMISSIONER CHARLES JOHNSON WILL MEET WITH STAAJABU HESHIMU IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE MEETING TO DETERMINE WHAT HER SALARY AND HER EXECUTIVE SECRETARY'S SALARY WILL BE. Second by Johnson. Passed by the following vote: Chair Pesqueira-yea, Saito-yea, Camarillo-not present, Johnson-yea, Magaña-not present, ODell-not present, Ulloa-yea.
MOTION BY JOHNSON TO ADJOURN. Second by Magaña. Passed by the following vote: Chair Pesqueira-yea, Saito-yea, Camarillo-not present, Johnson-yea, Magaña-yea, ODell-yea, Ulloa-yea.
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ACTION: (Tape location: C336.)
Chairman Pesqueira adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m.
Ralph Pesqueira, Chairman
2000 Redistricting Commission
Legislative Recorder II