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City Commissions: No Time for Minutes?

by Larry Bush on 08/08/2011

in Empty Chairs

San Francisco’s 24 charter commissions are required to post their minutes within 48 hours after they have been approved.

How’s that working out?

Not so well.

In a CitiReport survey, only four charter commissions consistently met the deadline of posting minutes in compliance with the law’s requirements.

Moreover, high-profile city charter commissions that took up controversial and significant issues failed more often than not to post minutes of what transpired at their meetings.

The Recreation and Parks Commission failed to post minutes for seven of the nine meetings it held by the end of July.

The Police Commission failed to post minutes for 15 of the 32 meetings it held so far this year.

The Building Inspection Commission failed to post minutes for any of the eight meetings it has held this year.

The Human Rights Commission failed to post minutes for 7 of the 13 meetings it has held this year.

The Commission on Aging held 10 meetings this year and posted minutes on none of them.

Even the Ethics Commission has failed to post minutes for one of its meetings, although it was a significant discussion of amending the city’s campaign finance law.

Others who failed to comply with the requirements include the Port Commission, the Arts Commission, the Entertainment Commission, the War Memorial Board, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Asian Art Museum.

Only four commissions had perfect records for posting all minutes – the Planning Commission, the Human Services Commission, the Youth Commission and the Elections Commission.

The failure of city commissions to meet the law’s requirements appears not to have prompted any requests from the mayor’s office or resulted in any action whatsoever.

This follows the same pattern of the mayor’s office failing to act on attendance at commission meetings by the mayor’s appointees. The mayor’s office indicates it will provide attendance records, however, sometime this fall in October. It has not stated whether it will require any standard of commissioners the mayor appoints.

city commission minutes



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