JTF, Inc. Board Meeting

1765 Sutter Street, Conference Room

April 28, 2003 at 6:00-8:30 p.m.


Attendees:     Sheila Chung, Rosalyn Tonai, David Ishida, Caryl Ito, Tak Matsuba, Jeff Mori, Benh Nakajo.

Guests:     Karen Kai (advisory), Sandy Mori (advisory), JK Yamamoto (advisory), Kathy Reyes (advisory), Makie Suzuki (SFNPC), Shirley Wysinger (SFRA), Betty Traynor (SFNPC), Chris Esparza (Fillmore Jazz Promotions Office).

Excused:  Scott Belser, Colin Gomez, Doug Dawkins, Jon Osaki, Pat Shiono

Absent:     Bob Otsuka, Seiko Fujimoto


A.    Presentation from Neighborhood Parks Council: Betty Traynor and Makie Suzuki


NPC is a nonprofit coalition of neighborhood park groups across the city.  In addition to advocacy work, NPC supports “Friends of” groups who adopt (maintain, clean, beautify) parks and has formed planning groups.  Currently, the council is trying to form groups to monitor park conditions using digital cameras to ensure that parks are well maintained.  In addition, NPC is also engaging in a campaign to renovate playground with community input with the help of volunteers and Parks and Recreation.  Finally, Betty reports that the Council is currently in the process of forming a Friends of Hamilton Park group.  As of yet, the attendance at Hamilton Park meetings has been sparse, and members are needed. 


B.      Presentation by Chris Esparza, Fillmore Jazz Promotions Office


The Jazz Promotions office, chosen by a neighborhood steering committee and funded by the Mayor’s Office and the Redevelopment Agency, is marketing the community and businesses of the Fillmore through pamphlets, CD-ROM materials, and a website.  The office will also be hosting a farmers market, an art market, outdoor cinema and at the end of the year, a multicultural storytelling event.   Their equipment, as well as advice on programming, are also available for the community.


C.    Recognition of Quorum


D.     Approval of Minutes: Meeting of February 25th, 2003


Unanimously approved.


E.      Chair’s Report


1.                  Japantown Tribute to Mayor Brown


Held March 21, the event went well and included the re-dedication of the Peace Plaza and drew approximately 75 attendees. 


2.                  Fundraising letter


Mark reports that it appears the Task Force will be able to last through June 30th.  By July 1, the Japan Center Garage Funds will be arriving although these monies are only available on a reimbursement basis.  While JCYC has been fronting the money to pay our bills, we are tied to them as fiscal agents.  Linda has suggested creating a general fund of our own in order to eventually sever from JCYC.  The suggested amount to raise is a total of $30,000 which means that it is up to the Task Force to raise another $20,000 on its own.  The most effective way to raise money for the Task Force will be through a letter-writing campaign among the Board and Advisory Board.  David requests to see monthly reports so that board members can get a clearer picture of Task Force finances.


3.                  Nominations Committee


The nominations committee for new officers will hopefully be meeting within the next week.


4.                  Meeting with Matt Gonzalez


Many community members and city departments were invited by the Supervisors to attend the meeting in Sup. Matt Gonzalez’s office to discuss the use of Prop. 40 funds.  Jeff states that a committee should prioritize what actions should be taken from this point. 


As of yet, Karen Kai has not received an official opinion as far as their eligibility for funds despite statements by the specialist from Parks and Recreation, Diane Chun, and Georgette Imura.  Karen states however, that NLF does not want San Francisco to be left out of the process because of their needs.  Los Angeles and San Jose have already applied for and received their funds.


Sandy reports that the Nihonmachi Parking Corporation (NPC) board has not met in over 5 months, despite continued requests by Kimochi.  As such, none of the items put forth at the meeting have been seen or approved by NPC.  In addition, Linda adds, there were no figures to back up the costs attached the items set forth by Allan Okamoto.


Jeff states that he was informed that the funding for Prop. 40 is restricted based on two points.  One, that it had to be part of a historic landmark project, and second, that the project had to be completed with these funds.    Karen responds that there is nothing in the text of Proposition 40 that reaches the level of specificity that would exclude NLF.  Sandy asserts that at the 3 J-Towns meeting, the entire group followed what was being suggested by Georgette Imura.  The politics of the committee was to move as a group despite Linda’s questions, which were not addressed.  Thus, Sandy suggests that it is best to go above those at the meeting to the state department.  Linda, in response, adds that Diane Chun, informed her that the projects do not have to all be the same. 


Karen expressed her concern that it is not NLF’s intention to be the source of conflict, and that what needs to be done is create more of an open process with more of a community consensus.  Karen states that she only asks that the Task Force communicate with Cathy Inamasu so that NLF can officially discuss these matters in light of the other proposal that has been put forward.


Jeff states that we would like to have Linda work on setting up a committee with at least one or two people from each of the affected committees who are most familiar what’s happening to meet with Allan, as well as Cathy and Rich.  Ros suggests that the Cultural and Historical Preservation Committee convene a meeting with key chairs of other committees to take a look at the proposal and make priorities and recommendations to the Executive Committee.


F.      Presentation by Shirley Wysinger – SFRA Re: Amendment to SFRA Plan – Tax Increment.   (SB211 & SB2113) Extending Debt Issuance Timeline to 1/1/2009


On behalf of SFRA staff, Shirley thanks the Task Force for their letter of support.  SB 211 allows redevelopment agencies to extend their time for issuing debt until the end of the redevelopment project.  In the case of Japantown, it will be extended from 2004 until 2009.  Shirley will further discuss SB 211 and 2113 at the next board meeting. 


G.    Personnel Committee: Policies and Procedures Review (Caryl)


At the last personnel committee meeting, they established their policy, and roles as detailed in the committee minutes.  The committee is also distributing the Executive Director survey to be filled out by board and staff members by May 9th, 2003.


Action Item: Approval of Personnel Committee policy unanimously approved.


H.     Committee Reports


1.                  Communications Committee


David reports that communications regarding the Japan Center Garage map of Japantown and the Fillmore in terms of future joint efforts between the garage and the Task Force and marketing Japantown. 


2.                  Health and Safety Committee


At the last meeting of the Health and Safety committee, SAFE came to present on their activities and programs.  Caryl has also suggested that the committee pass a resolution to recommend bike lanes on Golden Gate and Turk, or as a second option, Geary.


3.                  Economic and Business Development Committee


Tak is still waiting to hear from the insurance company for liability on the Koban as an information booth.  Linda reports that in her conversation with Heather Fong, there are no records documenting a transfer to the Police Dept.  It was suggested by Heather that the Task Force find a news clipping or other alternate forms of documentation (including individuals’ recollections) regarding the Koban.  David suggests that if the merchants find that they own it, that they lease it to the City at $1/year.


In addition to having ongoing discussions with Naomi Porat, Tak reports finding that Mark Okuda of Union Bank  and Tsumeko Graves are interested in financing some of those interested in purchasing sites at 1600 Webster.  Tak will be scheduling a meeting with McInerney and Union Bank to facilitate this.


I.        Other Business and Announcements


    1. Friends of City Planning Dinner


J.      Next Meeting: Need to Reschedule