Board of Directors Meeting

1800 Buchanan Street, 2nd Floor

January 7, 2002



Attendees:    Doug Dawkins, Chris Durazo (staff), Seiko Fujimoto, Colin Gomez, David Ishida, Caryl Ito, Tak Matsuba, Jeff Mori, Mark Moriguchi, Benh Nakajo, Judi Nihei (staff), Bob Otsuka, Rosalyn Tonai and Mariko Watanabe


Ex. Absences:           Sheila Chung, Jon Osaki and Pat Shiono.


Guests:           Takeno Chiyo, Geri Handa, Ben Kobashigawa, Sandy Mori, Helen Sause (SFRA) and Rich Wada


A quorum was established and the meeting was called to order at 6 p.m.


Jeff announced that Jan Masaoka, who facilitated the board retreat, was very supportive of JTF, Inc., and volunteered her services to help with board development at any time in the future. Minutes of the December 5, 2001, meeting were unanimously approved with one correction (motion: David Ishida, second: Caryl Ito).


Jeff introduced Benh Nakajo and welcomed both him and Colin Gomez to the board.


A.        Japan Center Garage Corporation (JCGC)


Jeff gave a history of activity on the JCGC lease renewal process, which included possible funding for community planning.  He reported on the December 13th Board of Supervisors Finance Committee and a January 4th meeting with Supervisor Leno.  Gary Kitahata and Paul Osaki had written letters of protest to the Finance Committee; copies of these letters were distributed with a cover memo to the JTF, Inc., Board and the Japantown Planning, Preservation and Development Task Force.  Jeff reported that Gary’s response to his proposal to open the funds distribution to public process, was agreement on that issue through a disavowal of both a potential dual planning process and any attempt to control JCGC community funds.  He also stated that he was not representing any organization in this matter.  Jeff asked for a vote as to whether the board would support the JCGC lease going forward as currently written.


Discussion: It was agreed that a meeting should be called to settle any conflict within the community.  Jeff announced that the JCGC board also supported the lease as written.  On the matter of potential conflict of interest, Jeff stated that the JCGC board was committed to resolve any duplication of membership.  Caryl stated that JTF, Inc. was misrepresented to the Board of Supervisors, and that correct information should be conveyed to them.  She also suggested that JCGC community funds could be dedicated to strengthening the Japantown Merchants Association.  Doug asked what Gary and Paul want.  Jeff reported that during a meeting with Ron Szeto of the Department of Parking and Traffic and representatives of the JCGC board, Gary proposed that they would withdraw their opposition to the lease as written, if JTF, Inc. agreed not to contest SB 307 funds distribution.  Colin suggested that expediency be taken into account.  Mark questioned whether or not the Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) would become the default community recipient of SB 307 funds in the event that JTF, Inc., were not to receive them.  Judi offered her opinion that there was no guarantee where the funds would go, except that they would be under the control of the Board of Supervisors, with deference given to District 5’s supervisor.  Caryl stated that the larger policy issue was which City Department should manage those monies; Jeff felt that the larger policy issue was district elections.


Doug expressed his concern over Gary’s proposal and the lack of any guarantees for the future.  Caryl agreed.  Jeff called for a vote.  The board voted unanimously to support no change in the lease (motion: David Ishida, second: Bob Otsuka).  He could not get a motion to accept Gary’s proposal.


Helen Sause, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (SFRA), suggested that SB 307 funds would demand a process that included collaboration and community-wide representation.  Sandy Mori, Advisory Board member, reminded the board that SB 307 affects two other cities besides San Francisco.  Jeff stated that support was needed at the upcoming Finance Committee meeting, January 9th, to get the matter of the lease moved to the full board for a vote.  Colin added that the JCGC worked hard for Japantown in creating the lease, which would be the only City garage lease to include revenues for the maintenance of the garage.  Caryl suggested that issues between the Board of Supervisors and some City Departments might have an affect on its decision.


At 7 p.m., all other items on the agenda were deferred by consensus to the Executive Committee so that the public presentation by Naomi Porat, Porat Consulting, on the economic impact study of the AMC Kabuki 8, the cultural festivals and the Kintetsu and Kinokuniya Malls could begin.  Gene Bregman, of Bregman and Associates, who handled the surveys and compiled the data also, presented.  41 people attended.  After her presentation, Naomi entertained questions from the audience.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.