JTF, Inc. Board Meeting

1765 Sutter Street, Conference Room

August 26th, 2002 at 6 –8:30 p.m.



Attendees:     Sheila Chung, Doug Dawkins, Seiko Fujimoto, Judy Hamaguchi, David Ishida, Caryl Ito, Mark Moriguchi, Jeff Mori, Benh Nakajo, Jon Osaki, Bob Otsuka, Mariko Watanabe, Chris Durazo (staff), Linda Jofuku (staff), Yoko Tsukuda (staff), Ernie Yoshikawa (staff)


Guests:     Shirley Wysinger (SFRA), Flo Yamada, Kahn Yamada, Yo Hironaka (advisory), Karen Kai (advisory), Kathy Reyes (advisory), Kenji Taguma (advisory), Sachiko Takita-Ishii.


 Excused: Pat Shiono, Tak Matsuba.


Absent:     Colin Gomez



A.    Recognition of Quorum


B.      Approval of minutes: Minutes of July 22nd, 2002 approved with correction that Mariko Watanabe and Jon Osaki were not absent at that meeting.


C.    Chair’s Report: Jeff

Supervisor Gonzalez and SB307

Sup. Gonzalez has been convening meetings with the JTF, JCCCNC, and community members to facilitate the disbursement of SB307 funds.  The Board of Supervisors will have jurisdiction over one of two optional recommendations.  One option is to set up an advisory board under the city and county of San Francisco, under the jurisdiction of the planning department, and under the jurisdiction of the Landmarks Planning Advisory Board.  The second option is to select a non-profit organization, which the Task Force has declared it’s interest in, to facilitate SB307 funds.  Currently, there is a consensus that there should be a community controlled planning body involved, but how that will occur has not been decided.  Because it is difficult to report back on all actions and discussions that need to take place, the group would like to be able to represent the Task Force and be able to make recommendations on behalf of the Task Force.  Sup. Gonzalez requested a written statement from JCCCNC regarding what they want from the process/Task Force and what the Task Force is willing to provide.  However, at these meetings, the JCCCNC did not state what it wanted either verbally or written.  The Task Force was willing to extend JCCCNC two seats on the board, and the discussions will continue from that point. 


8.1        Action Item: Motion passed that the chair and Linda are named to represent the Task Force and that at the discretion of the chair one or two others will represent the Task Force at discussions with Sup. Gonzalez. (Benh Nakajo did not participate in this vote.)


      Board Retreat

      Jan Masaoka, executive director of Compasspoint has agreed to volunteer as facilitator once again for the Task Force retreat.   The purpose of the retreat will be to go back and finish plans for the development of the organization and to determine how to develop the community specific plan.  A half-day retreat on Saturday, October 19th at the Miyako is currently proposed.  Board members should report back to Linda on whether or not they will be able to attend.


Amendment to Bylaws –Addition of Conflict of Interest Clause & Communication through Committees

An amendment to the bylaws has been suggested in part due to concern by a board member following discussion at the SFRA hearing regarding 1600 Webster St.  The concern surrounded the contradictory viewpoints that were expressed by Task Force board members at the hearing.  In order to deal with representational issues, the board must be clear on several points.  First, what may constitute a conflict of interest.  Secondly, that the board is familiar with it’s responsibilities in regards to conflict of interests to each other and to the body.  Third, that the board is responsible for indicating when they do have a conflict of interest on any particular issue. 


Another matter is the need to clarify the rule of authority and representation on behalf of the Task Force.  Once the board decides on a matter and has extended that to a chair, the chair has the authorization to move on the Task Force’s behalf.  Chairs of committees given authorization by the board to act on their behalf, in addition to the executive director, shall be the point people for that issue whose duties may be representational or following through on a particular task. 


Linda has presented a sample amendment from the National Economic Development and Law Center that can be adapted to the Task Force’s bylaws.  This matter will be sent to executive committee.                    


Reconfiguring the Fundraising Committee

The fundraising committee, which hasn’t been able to meet very often needs to be reconfigured with new members who are interested in helping achieve JTF’s fundraising goals.  Committee members will also include individuals not on the board.  


D.    Staff Report

Invite to Assistant Chief Fagan, SFPD

Assistant Chief Fagan has been invited to give a presentation at a Task Force meeting to inform the public about how to report a crime, where and when crimes have been occurring, etc.  Both Japanese and English notifications should be posted to inform the public.   In addition, Police Community Relations (PCR) meetings are held every month at the district station, and the JTF’s public safety committee can attend to discuss specific crimes.  Karen also adds that many business owners, especially restauranteurs, cannot make evening meetings, and so the meeting should be scheduled accordingly.


Nihonmachi Street Fair

Board and staff members did a great job volunteering at the Japantown Task Force booth on the weekend of August 10th and 11th.




Participation in Japantown Merchants’ Sweep

JTF staff and board members have been helping with the weekly Japantown Merchant’s Sweep for the past few weeks. The community is encouraged to help sweep every Wednesday at 10am.


Steam Cleaner Demonstration on August 29th at 9:30 am in Peace Plaza

A representative will come to Japantown with a demonstration street cleaner to show the capabilities of a cleaner that is being purchased with Neighborhood Beautification Funds.  Tak Matsuba and Rich Hashimoto have coordinated to have a JCGC employee to operate the machine.  However, the specifics of use and renting of the machine have yet to be worked out.


Participation in RDA Discussion re: 1600 Webster Street

Moved to Committee Reports


JTF Newsletter

Linda reports that the staff is currently working on a quarterly newsletter, and invites committee chairs to contribute.  Currently, Linda will be editor, and would like board members to write about themselves and why they joined the Task Force.  Seiko has also offered to translate the newsletter into Japanese. 


International Hotel Event

      Linda Emceed at the resurrection of the I-Hotel ceremony.


Dedication of the Stuart Hall School

The dedication of Stuart Hall School will be taking place on Saturday, September 8th.  The Task Force was very supportive of this project, and Judi Nihei, in addition to other board members testified at the Planning Commission to ensure that the project went through.  There also were oral and written promises made to share the space at the school with the Japantown community, and create scholarship opportunities.   


E.      Committee Reports


      Communications Committee – Seiko


JTF website is now up, with mission, reports, meetings, minutes, history, etc.  Contributors logos will also be added to the website.  New website is at www.jtowntaskforce.org


Still haven’t been able to get into contact with Richard Shintaku, who was supposed to develop, with his students, an outreach and marketing plan for Japantown.


      Finance Committee – Bob


Fiscal Year 2002-03 Budget. The finance committee is putting together a proposed budget.  The Task Force appears fine through January 2003 and is expecting money from JCGC.  The total 2002-2003 budget comes out to $273,805.  One of the key issues brought up to the committee is the funding cycles, since many grant application deadlines have already passed.  The JTF will come up short, or end up thin in the last three months of the year.  As such, an active funding development committee must be created. 




      Business & Economic Development Committee – Caryl


Caryl reports that the SFRA Commission voted 5-2 to approve the project.  Also, some concerns of community and committee members were included in the Owner Participation Agreement by SFRA staff, such as additional landscaping, cooperation during festival times, and oversight in terms of maintenance. 


Doug apologizes to the community, board, and staff for the way in which he made his comments at the SFRA hearing.  Jon expressed concern about how the Task Force was going to proceed, where people did have an opportunity to express their concerns regarding what direction the committee was taking.  He also adds that with few exceptions, board members did not come forward to support the staff, community, and organization’s request that the Task Force had decided upon. 


Doug also adds that there needs to be a process to accommodate dissension, so that individuals who cannot go along with the board have a way to deal with such a dilemma. 


Bob responds that the board represents the community, and that in representing such a diverse body, dissension is natural.   However, all points of view have to be brought to the table for discussion, and once a decision is made, the board must commit to it and support staff. 


Flo remarks that, in her view, it was Japantown Task Force that supported McInerney.  If the Task Force is to represent the community, they should do so in a way that reflects the feelings of the community.  She also adds that the Task Force should have more Town Hall meetings such as the ones held in the past, to see what the community wants.  In addition, holding such meetings could create an atmosphere in which community members would feel more comfortable expressing their views, and could also realize how important their perspectives are.  Jeff replies that the Task Force does intend to have more Town Hall meetings.


Kathy states that she agrees with Bob’s sentiments with regards to representing a group at such a hearing.  Because of the varied groups that represent the Task Force, plenty of time should be given for thorough discussion, and once a decision is made, then that becomes the Task Force’s position. 


Karen asks what the board’s next step will be, in terms of this discussion.  Is the Task Force going to take up it’s policies in terms of getting broader community input, how things are presented, and who is charged with it?  Jeff replies that this process does need to be worked out more, and the board will be pursuing that.


Chris states after the hearing, staff felt very demoralized in many different ways, and the board should be aware of this.  So if there are questions about how a board member should speak, she hopes that they think of how staff will represent the board and reinforce that at all given times.  JTF staff’s efforts to put out information to let the community know about meetings and access information are part of the outreach structure of the Task Force.  This process needs to be reinforced in the entire community so that the work does not become sabotaged. 


Chris adds that the next step is for the committee to reconvene, and the Task Force will have to look at the design aspects and later on, the leasing aspect of the process, and the possibility of getting certificate holders to consider moving there. 


Karen states that there is a concern regarding the dichotomy that develops between Kimochi and the rest of the community.  There is a strong feeling that people don’t want to see the organization hurt because of manipulation.  One of the things the Task Force can do is assure that the community acts together, and create a process that builds trust. 


Shirley adds that it is important to look at the design, and that the Task Force can view the drawings once they are submitted to the SFRA. 


Mark remarks that, in dealing with other organizations, it is important to come up with ground rules to decide how the meeting is to proceed.  If the JTF could come up with such statements, it could help keep them from being blindsided. 


F.      Other Business and Announcements


1.      The Mayor’s Office has invited the Japantown community to sign a book to be given to NY on September 11, 2002.


2.      Tall Ships Festival to be held during Labor Day weekend. The Japanese Consulate will host an origami-making children’s booth.


3.      Pine United Methodist Church 9-11 Remembrance: Soko Bukai is holding a service of remembrance and hope from 7:30-8:00pm, which is open to the community, at Pine United Methodist Church.


4.      Fillmore Bridge Project: Shirley reports that the SFRA is 8-9 months away from getting the artwork into place on the Fillmore Bridge. 


5.      Next meeting is September 23rd, 2002 at 6pm.