Building Inspection Commission - January 29, 2020 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
January 29, 2020 - 10:00am

PDF icon BIC Special Minutes 01-29-20.pdf

Department of Building Inspection (DBI)
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 416
Aired Live on SFGTV Channel 78
ADOPTED June 17, 2020
The regular meeting of the Building Inspection Commission was called to order at 10:07 a.m.
1. Call to Order and Roll Call - Roll call was taken and a quorum was certified.
Angus McCarthy, President
Kevin Clinch, Commissioner
Sam Moss, Commissioner
Alysabeth Alexander-Tut, Commissioner
Sonya Harris, Secretary
Tom Hui, Director
Taras Madison, Chief Financial Officer
Robb Kapla, Deputy City Attorney
Jon Jacobo, Commissioner
Frank Lee, Commissioner
Jason Tam, Commissioner
2. Discussion and possible action on the proposed budget of the Department of Building Inspection for fiscal years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.
Deputy Director of Finance Services, Taras Madison, gave a presentation on the proposed budget of the Department of Building Inspection for fiscal years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 and discussed the following points:
FY 2020-21 and FY 2021-22 Proposed Budget Instructions
• The Mayor's Office is projecting a $400M general fund deficit over the next two years.
Therefore, the Mayor's Office instructed general fund departments to reduce 3.5% ongoing general fund support in both FY 2020-21 and FY 2021-22.
• As special fund department, fully funded by department fees, these reduction requirements do not apply to DBI.
• The Mayor's budget priorities are: Housing, shelter and services for those in need; Clean and safe streets for everyone and Healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.
• The Mayor has instructed all departments to focus on accountability and equitable outcomes.
Department of Building Inspection Organizational Chart
• Building Inspection Commission
• Director Tom C. Hui, S.E., C.B.O.
• Assistant Director
• Permit Services
• Inspection Services
• Administrative Services
Strategic Plan Goals/Funding Priorities
The proposed budget funds expenses to assist the department to meet the following Strategic Plan Goals:
• Review plans and issue permits safeguarding life and property in compliance with City and State regulations.
• Perform inspections to enforce codes and standards to protect occupant's rights ensuring safety and quality of life.
• Deliver the highest level of customer service.
• Implement efficient and effective administrative practices.
• Proactively engage and educate media, contractors, stakeholders and customers.
While the overall budget is based on department Strategic Plan Goals, the budget includes funding priorities to address:
• Mayor's Housing Directive
• Emergency Preparedness
• Code Enforcement
• Equity
Revenue Summary
Revenues FY 2019-20 FY 2020-21 Year-to- FY 2021-22 Year-to-Adopted Dept. Year Dept. Year
Budget Request Change Request Change
Apartment 6,519,756 6,519,756 - 6,519,756 -
License Fee
Interest 985,000 985,000 - 985,000 -
Pooled Cash
Charges for 61,761,649 62,146,648 384,999 62,146,648 -
Expenditure 174,905 159,308 (15,597) 159,308 -
Fund 21,710,909 17,767,159 (3,943,750) 14,317,408 (3,449,751)
Balance 91,1s2,219 1 s1,s11,s11 1 369,402 1 s4,12s,120 1 - I
Revenue Detail
• Plan Checking was highlighted at $27M
• Building Permits was highlighted at $13. 7M
Budget - Revenues
• Other revenues $29M ( 41 % )
• Plan check $27M (39%)
• Building Permits $13. 7M (20%)
Revenue Discussion
• Proposed Budget currently maintains revenue at base level with adjustments for smaller revenues including Vacant Building, Plumbing and other fees.
• Currently, $1 7M in fund balance is needed to cover proposed expenditures.
• Based on prior years, we anticipate a large increase in interest.
• Over the next two-months, the department will revise revenue estimates based on current year collection and anticipated impact of ADU/100% Affordable Housing fee waiver. Both
Plan Check and Building Permit revenues will be adjusted.
Budget - Expenditure Summary
• Salaries/Fringes
• Overhead
• Non Personnel
• Community Based Organizations
• Materials and Supplies
• Equipment
• Services of Other Departments
• Total
Budget - DBI Major Expenses
Expenditure Detail
Expenditure Changes
Expenditures by Division
Services of Other Departments
Budget Schedule (FY 2020-21 and FY 2021-22)
Date Activity
January 29, 2020 First BIC proposed Special Budget Meeting
February 13, 2020 BIC proposed Special Budget Meeting for final approval
February 21, 2020 Final budget due to Controller and Mayor's Office
February-May 2020 DBI works with Mayor's Office to finalize budget
May 1, 2020 Mayor's Office submits budgets to the Board of Supervisors
May 2020 DBI presents budget to Board of Supervisors
July 31, 2020 Last day for Board of Supervisors to adopt final budget
August 31, 2020 Department budget certification letter due
Commissioner's & Staff Question & Answer Discussion:
(There was extensive discussion regarding the budget, and following are some of the questions that were addressed)
• Commissioner Moss asked if it was possible to par out fees that come from the affordable housing industry. ·
• Deputy Director Madison said that would be broad, because DBI does not currently have affordable housing fee information, but due to fee waivers, she can come back to the BIC and present an example ofwhatfees an affordable housing project would have had to pay, such as plan review and the building inspection fees.
• Commissioner Alexander-Tut said looking at the Expenditure summary for Community Based Organizations (CBOs) she asked about Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA's or CODA's), and was there a policy on when they are applied to contractors?
• Ms. Madison said that there was 5 .3 % budgeted, but there was a savings because Community Based Organizations usually do not spend the full amount. She mentioned the CODA or cost of doing business, and said if there was an increase it would be added at the Mayor's Office. She also referenced a minimum compensation ordinance and reiterated that there is usually savings from the non-profit groups.
• Commissioner Clinch asked about services to other departments and the rent increase for 49 SVN, which is understandable since it is a new building but he inquired about the savings or deduction from the rent that would be saved from the old building?
• Ms. Madison directed Commissioner Clinch to the page that referenced "Leases paid to Real Estate - $4M" and this was down by $2.3M so everything was "lumped in" there. A new account was created for 49 SVN to distinguish between the two buildings.
• President McCarthy asked about the information for the City Attorney's Office Litigation Committee and how did they come up with that number.
• Ms. Madison said that the number was not based on previous years, and last year DBI actually collected a lot of money due to a couple of big cases. She referenced another big case comingin, so this may need to be adjusted. Ms. Madison said that she would update the Commission Secretary if any new cases were coming in in 2021, and pass this information to the BIC.
• President McCarthy asked if the Accela payments had stopped.
• Ms. Madison said that the current year budget had fees set aside, and she has not talked to the Mayor's Office about where things are with Accela in general. It is not affected in the budget right now.
• President McCarthy asked if the Permit Tracking project re-starts where would the funds come from?
• Ms. Madison stated that DBI has an IT project fund, and $2M to $3M in reserves was set aside. Also, the Department of Technology holds the contract.
• President McCarthy asked where the money for litigation fees would come from?
• Deputy City Attorney Robb Kapla said that he was not sure, and would have to look into the contract.
• Commissioner Clinch asked about legal expenditures, and Ms; Madison stated that the $3 .SM was for all-legal expenses and services the City Attorney provides.
• Commissioner Alexander-Tut asked about staffing and attrition. She was told that staffing for Permit Technicians was higher ten years ago, and there were 8 or 10 clerks in Housing Inspection Services (HIS). She was concerned about the effect that lo~ staffing would have on the public. There are 400K tenants in San Francisco, and clerks help with the lien cycle process (If there is a lien against the landlord, then the Permit Technicians assess liens and remove them once the issue is resolved). Mentioned she was glad that DBI was moving forward with hiring, but 3 positions for HIS seemed a low number.
• Ms. Madison said in 2008 DBI lost 30% of its staff during the recession. There was discussion regarding the FTE's, but DBI was not keeping Permit Technician positions open to fill attrition. Each year the Department fills · about 3 0 positions, but are always playing "catch up" due to promotions, retirements, etc .. Lastly, DBI will make sure that there is sufficient support staff in HIS and CES, but unfortunately a number of staff left the department at once.
• President McCarthy stated that the hiring process takes time, up to several months.
• Ms. Madison said that promotive opportunities are usually done internally, so once staff are promoted then it leaves other vacancies.
3. Adjournment.
Commissioner Moss made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Clinch, to adjourn the meeting.
The motion carried unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:42 a.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Sonya Harris, BIC Secretary