Board of Directors Meeting

1765 Sutter Street

May 30th, 2002


Attendees: Takeno Chiyo (staff), Sheila Chung, Chris Durazo (staff), Seiko Fujimoto, David Ishida, Caryl Ito, Linda Jofuku (new Executive Director), Jeff Mori, Benh Nakajo, Jon Osaki, Bob Otsuka, Pat Shiono, Rosalyn Tonai, Yoko Tsukuda (volunteer), Ernie Yoshikawa (staff).


Excused Absences: Colin Gomez, Tak Matsuba, Mariko Watanabe.


Unexcused Absences: Doug Dawkins, Mark Moriguchi.


Guests: Cheryl Brinkman (SF Bicycle Coalition), Mary Brown (SF Bicycle Coalition), Annie Jong (resident), Karen Kai (advisory), Ed Lee (DPW), Frank Lee (DPW, Public Affairs), Kathy Reyes (advisory), Ron Vinson (Mayorís Office of Neighborhood Services), Richard Wada, Alan & Miyako Woolman (residents), Andy Yan.


1.      Recognition of Quorum- Jeff Mori called the meeting to order at 6:15.

2.      Approval of March 4th Board minutes (April minutes missing, yet to be approved).

3.      Chairís Report: Jeff


          JCGC lease: JTF is designated in JCGC lease for 5 years to help coordinate marketing and planning strategy on behalf of Japantown.Part of agreement with DPT (Dept. of Parking and Traffic) is to give part of receipts to Japantown community.Initially had concerns with Sup. Gonzalez who stopped lease first time around.At May 29th finance committee meeting, Rob Eshelman supported lease on behalf of Sup. Gonzalez.Chris Daly delayed lease for a week, thinking that money should be available at lower percentile (15%-20%) than originally asked for (15%-25%).The committee was prepared to move forward with lease, however.Expect passage next week, then lease will go to full Board of Supervisors.Contracted amount is $100,000 a year for next 5 years in addition to SFRA funds.Once a year the JTF has to submit a plan to DPT to discuss how the JTF will supplement their activities.DPT controls money, so it is asking for courtesy review.


          SB 307/Prop. 40: SB 307 has set aside $150,000 for 3 J-Towns.Through more recent efforts, money increased to total of $1.5 million dollars [pending legislative approval].Complication is that in SF local body decided to put this funding in Planning Dept. through the Landmarks Advisory Board, which has to designate a community organization it is working with to apply for the funding.The legislation called for participation of a community organization.Need to take action to subcontract with the city.Task Force comes closest to fitting role as planning body.JTF needs a recommendation to indicate interest to be planning group to work with Landmarks Advisory Board and Planning Dept. for the SB 307 funding.Confusion as to whether it is Prop. 40 or SB 307 money.Still unclear whether SB 307 can be controlled by local government or if it can be spent in coordination with the JTF.SF is last of 3 J-towns to engage in contract with the state.JTF has until June 30th to submit application for funding.Some administrative expenses may be incurred by Landmarks Advisory Board because it has a small budget.Still considering working with SFRA, since it hasnít charged administrative overhead.The following motion was introduced by Jeff Mori:


Motion passed unanimously to accept resolution to indicate interest and work with Landmarks and Planning Boards.


Notify Tim Kelly that the programming committee needs to talk with him regarding the application and how funding can be used.Japantown has no designated historical landmarks, so JTF cannot apply under that category for Prop. 40 funds.Requesting resolution to plan community hearing with Landmarks.Caryl recommends that initial meeting be with Gerald Green and Planning since they have authority over Landmarks.


4.      Staff Report:


          CAPACD: Chris, Linda, and Jeff attended CAPACD (Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Developers) Conference in Washington DC.Attended workshops on organizing with city groups, transit-based workshops (presented by CCDC). Caryl Ito suggests informing press about JTFís participation in the conference.Many organizations there are involved with housing and development, but there were also many human service agencies present interested in capital and housing development.Representatives from HUD, DPT, and Fannie Mae were also present.


          1600 Webster: Minutes are incomplete, tape 2 is missing.50-80 people present, minutes will be used to gauge community concerns.Will notify people when 1600 Webster comes up at SFRA commission.Caryl pointed out that McInerneyís group is looking at defining and coming up with community benefits and trying to define what they can offer.One of the biggest concerns is with maintenance and how guidelines are written.Also of issue is the definition of CC & R that will govern facilities, the need for adequate maintenance programs, and provisions for festivals since Webster and Post will be closed.Need to have oversight of process.Jon also commented that he was uncomfortable with how the JTF was portrayed, and that it had to be acknowledged that the representation of the developerís interaction with the JTF was inaccurate.The idea of affordable units is an opportunity for Task Force to participate.Next public meeting is the SFRA Commission Hearing, which community members are requesting be held in Japantown.Caryl recommends that the Task Force review the latest communication and send a written response for the record to SFRA and the developer.If the developer wants to meet, some JTF members would be willing to sit with them.


Motion passed unanimously to pursue above action.


          SFRA Affordable Housing Requirement: Coming up on June 11th, similar to Lenoís initiative that ensures that new developments have an affordability requirement. Executive committee has authority to represent the Task Force after reviewing the text.Motion passed unanimously to have issue to go executive committee and then have the executive committee represent the Task Forceís view at the hearing.


          Website: Task Force needs a credit card to get a contract and set up the website.Cost is $6.95 per month.Additional issue is choosing domain name, (,, offers promotion where the domain name registration is free.Only takes a couple days to set up an account once credit card is obtained.Caryl suggested using JCYC credit card since they are the Task Forceís fiscal sponsor.Final issue is design, which Doug has already preliminarily complete and given permission to use.Specific design issues can be done later in consultation with Doug.


5.      Executive Committee:


          Post St. Repavement: Project initially scheduled during middle of Cherry Blossom Festival.Tak heard of this and contacted DPW to stop project.Apparently, there was a breakdown in the notification process, many Japantown businesses on Post didnít receive notice.Caryl also called the DPT and found out that there would be a bicycle lane on Post on a trial basis despite the fact that there was no discussion with the community.Dave Snyder of the DPT stated that Kabuki people had given permission to re-stripe between Fillmore and Webster.Issue had been discussed before in 1999 with the Task Force and merchants had expressed their concerns.Frank Lee from DPW reports that most of the work is complete, and apparently, the Task Force is on the mailing list, but is listed incorrectly.Also submitted by the DPW was a list of Japantown streets and dates for planned work on these streets.The Task Force will work with the DPW to refine and update their notification list.


          Buchanan Mall leaks: (Not on agenda) Ed Lee reports that the investigation into the leaks in the fountain is ongoing, and it is worse than they thought it would be.The DPW is primarily working with the Merchantís Association and NPC to address the problem of leaks.

          Introduction of Linda Jofuku: Linda will be leaving Yu Ai Kai in San Jose, an organization similar to Kimochi, and will be joining the JTF as Executive Director within the next few weeks.


          JCCCNC/JTF Meeting: The JCCCNC would like to meet before one of their board meetings, which do not occur on a regular or frequent basis.Proposed date is Tuesday, June 18th.


          Supervisor Gonzalez: Talked about the Supervisor with issues of representation.Although Gonzalez supported the idea of a single planning body, he feels that JTF needs broader representation in terms of categories.On that note, JTF and other community members had 3 previous meetings at Gonzalezí office and another meeting with the JTF Board.Jeff agrees the Task Force should be more vigilant about keeping a broader vision of the community and ensure that JTF incorporates the broadest participation possible.In addition, Jeff would like to have a resolution to request 1-2 more meetings with Gonzalez and make a commitment to have internal dialogue on the issue of representation.


Motion passed unanimously to have continuing discussions with Gonzalez on the issue of representation.


6.      Search Committee:


          Caryl would like an action to change the search committee to a standing personnel committee with the function of helping with the evaluation of the new Executive Director and other employees as well.Seiko and Sheila have agreed to continue to serve with Caryl.


Motion passed unanimously.


          Caryl also added that Linda was hired with a six-month probationary period, however, JCYC benefits do not become activate until the probationary period is over and so Lindaís probation was modified to three months with review and another review after the next three months.


7.      Fundraising Committee:


          Mayorís Neighborhood Beautification Fund (NBF): Pat reports that in conjunction with the Merchantís Association, the fundraising committee submitted a joint proposal to NBF and received a $20,000 grant to purchase a steam-cleaning machine and possibly hire a staff person to do the cleaning.


8.      Other Business and Announcements: Bicycle Coalition Presentation


          Bicycle Coalition Presentation: Mary Brown is a Community Organizer from the Bicycle Coalition and Cheryl Brinkman is a Coalition member who rides down Post St. to work.The goal of the Coalition is to create a network of streets in SF that connect all the neighborhoods that allows a way in and out safely on a single street.Mary states that she was disappointed that there was not time for a trial period, and hopes that in the future there could be a six to twelve month trial period with evaluation on Post.Post was chosen because it is the flattest street to Downtown, and already has a bike lane.A single, continuous bike lane would provide more safety and opportunities for people to bike to work.Geary is incredibly busy and unsafe to bike on as an alternative.Sutter also has three buses running on it, and Pine and Bush are one-way, with signals that are timed fast causing fast traffic.Valencia St., which lost two car lanes and got a bike lane, saw a decrease in crashes, pedestrian crashes, and an increase in the number of bicyclists.


          Caryl states that the JTF already had discussions with the DPT several years ago on obstacles on Post for bicycle lanes.In addition, Caryl didnít think there had been many car crashes on Post, but there is a great deal of foot traffic (mainly senior citizens) and many bicyclists often do not obey traffic laws.Dave Snyder, director of the Coalition mentioned that there are mandates that the city reduce traffic congestion and that the Coalitionís plan is seriously looked at by the DPT Commission.The JTF would like to see what kind of study has been done on Geary, since it is wide enough MUNI lane, there may be fewer cars.However Mary states that many bicyclists do not feel safe riding on Geary because of the high-speed traffic and so many 38-line buses.


          Rosalyn suggests that the Coalition look at the pedestrian traffic across Post, and observe the senior population that comes and goes from Kimochi to the shopping area since there are many accidents involving elderly being hit by cars on Post.There are also many delivery trucks, and it is a safety issue that the bicyclists have to go around the trucks.Golden Gate Ave. is also a possibility in terms of being flat, with little car traffic and accessing downtown, although Post is more direct.However, Mary responds, Golden Gate is six blocks out of the way of Downtown and there is already a bike lane on Fulton.


          Cheryl, who lives on Pine, rides down to Post all the way downtown and states that Post is a vital part of the bike network because Geary, Bush, and Pine are all high-speed traffic streets.On Post, when the bike lane is gone, riding becomes quite dangerous with passing cars.Whatís safer for bikes is also safer for pedestrians, and bike lanes also quiet streets and make streets more pleasant places to walk and shop.Currently, many people used Post as a through street, which decreases the quality of life for those who use Post.


          Chris, however, asked if a bike lane does the same thing, by creating a thoroughfare through Japantown.Although the traffic is in the form of bikes and not cars, it is nevertheless thoroughfare, which is contrary to plans to revitalize Post St. as a commercial district.


9.      Other Business and Announcements: Ron Vinson, Mayorís Office of Neighborhood Services


          Ron Vinson came to introduce himself as the new Executive Director of the Mayorís Office of Neighborhood Services. Ron was formerly the Deputy Press Secretary for the Mayor, and offers his officeís services to the Japantown community.


10.  Other Business and Announcements: Welcome Party for Linda


          Caryl is asking for $20 per board member for the welcome party, which will be taking place at the Hukilau on Tuesday, June 25th.