The return of Willie Brownism to the sunshine task force

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As an advocate for the passage of the  San Francisco sunshine ordinance and task force in the early 1990s, I felt obligated to take my first and only City Hall position and serve as a founding member of the task force. I served for l0 years and helped with many other good members to build the task force into a strong and respected agency  for helping citizens get access to records and meetings and hold city officials accountable for suppressing access.

The task force is the only place where citizens can file an access complaint without an attorney or a fee and force a city official, including the mayor, to come before the task force for questioning and a ruling on whether they had violated  sunshine laws, The task force lacked enforcement power, but it still annoyed of city officials, including Mayor Willie Brown.

In fact, Willie spent a good deal of time trying to kick me off the task force. He used one jolly  maneuver after another, even getting an agent to make a phony complaint against me for violating the ordinance with an email. (The complaint went nowhere.) I refused to budge and decided to stay on the task force until Willie left office—on the principle that that neither the mayor nor anybody else from City Hall could arbitrarily kick members off the task force. When Willie left office after two terms, I resigned with the hope that the Willie principle had been established.

The principle held, until last Thursday (May 17) when the board’s rules committee (Sup. Mark Farrell, Chair Jane Kim, and Sup. David Campos) brought Willie Brownism back to the task force with a vengeance. The committee moved to sabotage the task force by sacking or refusing to appoint four qualified candidates from three organizations who are mandated by the ordinance to choose representatives for the task force because of the organizations' special open government  credentials. Their representatives served as experienced, knowledgeable members who were independent counters to nominees of supervisors who were often  promoting an anti-sunshine agenda. The committee asked the organizations to come up with more names. There was no explanation nor apology to the candidates nor to their organizations. It was a nasty slap at members and organizations that have served the task force well for years. And this arbitrary demand  will make  it virtually impossible for these organizations to come up with a "list of candidates" to run the supervisorial gauntlet.  Who wants to go before the supervisors on a list for a bout of public character assassination?

 Specifically, the committee:

+unanimously moved to sack the two incumbents (Allyson Washburn from the League of Women Voters) and Suzanne Manneh (California New Media.)  The League was mandated to name a representative because of its tradition and experience with good government and public access issues.  California New Media was mandated to name a member to insure there would always be a journalist of color on the task force.

+unanimously refused to seat two representatives from the Northern
California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the sponsor of the ordinance with a long tradition in open government and First Amendment issues.  One SPJ  mandated  representative was for a journalist (Doug Comstock, editor of the West of Twin Peaks Observer, one of the best neighborhood papers in town and a former chair of the task force.) The second mandated seat was for an attorney (Ben Rosenfeld.)

+tried to knock out incumbent Bruce Wolfe on motion of Farrell, but Wolfe survived on a 2-l vote.   

+voted unanimously to approve David Pilpel, a former task force member who is known by observers for delaying meetings with is  bursts of lengthy nitpicking on almost every item.   He then usually votes against citizen complaints and for protecting  city officials on the basis of spotting   “onerous” burdens caused by the complaint

+voted unanimously for four new persons to the task force while sacking  and refusing to appoint able members with experience and expertise without a word of thanks. The four new members are "a "a bunch of neophytes," according Rick Knee, outgoing SPJ member for 10 years.

Knee, a former task force chair surveying the carnage,  said that the committee’s actions stemmed “partly from a desire  by some supervisors to sabotage the task force and the ordinance itself, and partly from a vendetta by certain supervisors after the task force found several months ago that the board violated local and state open meeting laws when it railroaded some last minute changes to a contract on the Park Merced development project without allowing sufficient time for public service review and comment.” He noted that the developer "had slipped in a 14-page package of amendments at the llth hour"  to get board approval.

Knee said  that the rules committee is recommending sacking two incumbents and apparently hopes to sack two more. Farrell wanted to push out a fifth but was outvoted by Kim and Campos.  All five candidates, he said,  “have done excellent work, each brought a unique perspective and, while we had our share of disagreements among ourselves, all shared a passion for open government and for making sure that everyone who came before us got a fair hearing.”

Hanley Chan, an outgoing task force member,  backed up Knee's point in an email. He  wrote that "I spoke with Sup. David Chiu and he told me that the rest of the supervisors will not appoint any incumbent, because we defied the city attorney's opinion (the Park Merced  case). ""You should have made a right decision. I was told by the city attorney that it was legal, my aides explained it to the task force and you should have made a better judgment.'"  Chan said that the rules committee ouster move  was "retribution on how we voted that day."  Chan said that "Bruce Wolfe and all the task force members made a wonderful argument and stuck to their guns." The task force vote was a  unanimous 8-0 vote.The point: defy the supervisors and city attorney and the boys and girls in the back room and  get blasted off   the task force, bang, bang, bang, bang. 

The committee choreographed the move smoothly.  Farrell as the heavy  would make the move. Kim would agree and facilitate as chair. Campos would go along reluctantly. The deputy city attorney would be supine through the process  even though the supervisors were breaking precedent and misinterpreting the ordinance.  Sunshine candidates and advocates in the audience were furious and emails have been crackling back and forth ever since.

Campos later told me that he went along because he could see he didn’t have the votes. He said the organization’s candidates “were eminently qualified,” that they should have been appointed, and that he would fight for them. He said he would ask Kim’s office to set the issue for hearing at the next rules meeting or call for a special meeting. Kim did not return calls for comment.

I asked Campos what the organizations should do. “They should stand by their candidates,” he said.

I concur. The Society of Professional Journalists,  the League of Women Voters, and California New Media and their open government allies should stand by their candidates, lobby for them with the rules committee and the full board, and get out the word about this attempted coup in the most important court of all, the court of public opinion. Make this an election issue with all incumbents and candidates.  Let public officials know there are serious consequences to supporting Willie Brownism on the sunshine task force, the first and best local task force of its kind in the country if not the world.

The good news is that the rules committee has demonstrated, with its sneak attack,  the value of the task force for citizens and open government and why it is a San Francisco institution that needs to be saved and strengthened.  All of this  illustrates once again my  favorite axiom of mine. In San Francisco, the public is generally safe, except when the mayor is in his office and the supervisors are in session. b3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

immediately.

I feel sure Bruce would be arguing for that if he were still on the committee.

That said, I think this is a background noise issue. Hearings are public and anyone who wants to can attend or read the minutes. Non-issue.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2012 @ 11:23 am

Some supplementary information and comment:

-- New California Media is now New America Media.

-- The Rules Committee's choices and their designated seat numbers are Kitt Grant (3), David Pilpel (6), David Sims (7), Bruce Wolfe (8), Chris Hyland (9) and Louise Fischer (10).

-- Wolfe, the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force's current vice-chair, did indeed survive Sup. Farrell's ouster attempt, but considering what Sup. Chiu told Hanley Chan, I think it is reasonable to wonder whether the full board will accept the committee's recommendation that Wolfe be reappointed.

-- The purported reason that some supervisors have given for ousting the incumbent applicants is that the task force exercised poor judgment by acting counter to the city attorney's opinion in voting to find that the board's Land Use & Economic Development Committee and then the full board violated state and city open-meeting laws when they approved a Parkmerced redevelopment contract that included a 14-page package of amendments slipped in at the 11th hour.

It's fair to ask those supervisors:

> Should the U.S. military and intelligence personnel continue using waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other forms of "enhanced interrogation" on detainees? After all, White House counsel John Yoo said those types of treatment don't constitute illegal torture.

> Should the supervisors who opposed acting on the redevelopment contract without allowing additional time for public review and comment resign or be removed from office. After all, their dissent ran counter to the city attorney's opinion.

I will add that all eight of the members present for the task force's vote to find the committee and the board in violation of the open-meeting laws supported the motion, and one of them (who has not applied for reappointment) is an attorney specializing in sunshine law; so the task force's action did, in fact, have sound legal backing.

-- The board should carefully review the recommendation to appoint Pilpel to Seat #6. Pilpel has twice sat on the task force. And at a hearing on a complaint several years ago, he flouted the city attorney's advice by refusing to recuse himself after admitting that he was friends with the respondent and had had a private conversation with the respondent on the matter at hand.

Posted by Richard Knee on May. 21, 2012 @ 11:40 am

Jason Grant Garza here .... My, dear Mr. Knee ... I have been before your failing MINISTRY of SUNSHINE for over ten years now and HAVE HEARD all the FALSEHOODS, MISREPRESENTATIONS, EXCUSES for FAILURE, NON-PERFORMANCE, FINGER POINTING, NO RESPONSE to BAD PROCEDURE and INEPT results. What do I mean ... type my name into a google search engine and read ... the city broke the law, signed a confession and left its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD. I came before the MINISTRY and ask specifically for what was required by LAW to be in my file (A MEDICAL SCREENING EXAMINATION) and the TASK FORCE stated that they could not make DPH produce something it didn’t have and skated past the legal requirement to be there ... NO ONE was SENT TO ETHICS over this. When I asked for my medical records ... I got a NURSE RATCHED LETTER from the SHERIFF’S office as a response that written about in an article in SFBG ... the link is ( http://www.sfbayguardian.com/36/49/news_sunshine.html ) If you go to the bottom and look you will see who? Could it be Mr. Knee ... when was this article written .... could it have been 2002? After TEN YEARS ... it is hard for me to BELIEVE anything said by the MINISTRY.

As a matter of fact the same principle is happening again ... in my case # 11081 .... I asked DPH for a signed HIPAA form that DPH had been found guilty of by Licensing and Certification (see IDR # 11081) and if they could not provide it ... then an ADMISSION of the lawbreaking activity. Instead (if you listen to the tape NOV 2011 case # 11081) DPH submitted (bait and switch ) an incorrect form (not even the right authorization form ... it was an incorrect form from 2006) which is on tape and when I pointed out the bait and switch ... the CHAIR GLOSSED over it and told me that they had given me what they had and that they could not give me something they did not have. Again, I asked for the second part ... an ADMISSION and this too was left aside. This form is required by LAW to be there and in SUNSHINE this fact and its consequences are skated over and ONLY half truth is cleverly dispensed. I did NOTIFY the MINISTRY of its INCORRECT ORDER of DETERMINATION only to be told that it is final and NO APPEAL. Why not look at the failure, correct and insure correct process ... oh, that is right ... here at the MINISTRY it is the ILLUSION of SUNSHINE and HALF TRUTHS.

SHOULD WE ALL WAIT ANOTHER TEN YEARS of CONTINUING FAILURE and HARM to the COMPLAINANT. More false hope, false process and false ILLUSION is MORE HARMFUL an INJURIOUS than NO HELP. It is also GREAT “RISK MANAGEMENT” shill action for the city ... HOW MANY GIVE UP after seeing the GAME PLAYING?

My the same principle is alive and well again ... in case # 11099 ... I asked DPH who “ACCREDITS” them for patient/medical services ... they sent me the INCORRECT INFORMATION and again the MINISTRY has let it wash ... IT IS ALL THEY HAVE ... YOU MEAN DPH doesn’t know who accredits them? Could this be like the DNA accreditation process FIASCO ... since NOT all the paperwork was in for the ACCREDITATION ... see DNA Lab Cover-Up: SFPD to Investigate Claims in Secret Court Records http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-12-07/news/rockne-harmon-sfpd-dna-lab-charl... . Yet listen to the tape of the HEARING for case # 11099 or call and ask the MINISTRY 554-7724. So I still have NOT gotten the CORRECT INFORMATION but have gotten INCORRECT INFORMATION and PROCESS from DPH. As a matter of fact the DIRECTOR of PUBLIC HEALTH - BARBARA GARCIA was guilty of 67.21e in case # 11099 and I still await the “OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT” charge to be sent to ETHICS as was Eileen Shields in case # 10038 and the NOTHING, NADA, ZIP that came from it. When I wrote and ask dear Mr. Knee ... I still await JUSTICE. Does that mean if I am correct (which I am) that case # 10038 will have to be re-opened even thou according to the MINISTRY it is final and NO APPEALS? Yes, Virginia ... RIGGED PROCESS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE ...

Oh and with all the paperwork I have ... when I tried to send to Weiner ... I got shut out ... IMAGINE that ... doesn’t anyone want the TRUTH ... geez, what is SUNSHINE?

Oh, and far as the HELPFUL (not) Mr. Wolfe ... I sent in an IDR to him in DECEMBER 2011 ... when will it get scheduled and what about the 45 day rule ... again FOLKS ... ask questions. Could you also ask him HOW LONG it takes to get a HIPAA expert in my case # 11081 and why the CONTINUING FAILURE ? Could it be that Mr. Wolfe and the MINISTRY don’t want to HOLD DPH or their ERRONEOUS HARMFUL city attorney advise accountable .... listen to the tape for case # 11081 (Nov 2011 - Task Force) and 5/15/2012 (Compliance and Amendment Committee) hearing tapes to see the GAME. DELAY, FURTHER HARM, WHITEWASH, etc.

If any of the SUPERVISORS want my paperwork ... I will gladly supply it.

If the PUBLIC wants the TRUTH research case # 06034, 10038. 11081, and 11099 ... here at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE. Oh and ask about the still as of yet UNSCHEDULED Sunshine Task Force IDR that I submitted to them.

“Telling the TRUTH during times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT can be a REVOLUTIONARY ACT.” George Orwell.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 22, 2012 @ 7:45 am

because you fail to mention that I sent notice to you two days ago that your issue was not dead in the water, and that I was prepared to continue the efforts to find the answers to this HIPAA question directly from the Office of Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, I did not get reappointed today so I urge you to continue your struggle with the SOTF to get this answer.

Also, it is a little insulting that you fail to mention my brink with death fighting pulmonary arrest due to some powerful medicine as I was in the hospital and took a leave of absence from February to April. As a person with a physical disability and now COPD, I was the only one knowledgeable on the SOTF to actually understand your issues.

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on May. 22, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ...

My, dear Mr. Wolfe:

Meaningless words = Priceless ...

RESULTS = SWAT ... NADA, ZIP, NOTHING.

Advocacy = NIL

Mendacity = Left for others to Decide.

I went to the PROFESSIONALS (MINISTRY of SUNSHINE) ... how long does it TAKE to FIND a HIPAA EXPERT ??? Did you find one after you split it off case # 11091 in November 2011. What about December?

I apologize about your illness; however, did you know that I received a letter from the chair stating to the effect that NO ONE WANTED TO LOOK INTO THIS? " No other member of the Task Force or Compliance & Amendments Committee has chosen to take up the subject of a HIPAA expert. As previously stated to Mr. Garza via email, the HIPAA expert presentation is continued until Vice Chair Wolfe, the sole sponsor of the presentation, confirms a date. The Order of Determination specifically states the Committee may schedule such a presentation but it was not a requirement associated with the complaint. The Task Force understands Mr. Garza does not like or agree with this response but at this time no other member has sponsored such a presentation. " I mean NONE of your CREW at the MINISTRY wanted to take up this GRAVE MATTER?

What about your return and today's date? Wasn't this for an IDR? Wasn't this over MY OWN MEDICAL RECORDS? Didn't you also state on 5/15/2012 at the Compliance and Amendment Committee ... that upon my continuation they (DPH and the City Attorney) has agreed to release without my signature and THAT JUSTICE HAD SOMEHOW BEEN SERVED ??? .... isn't that against the TESTIMONY in the NOV 2011 hearing in this case # 11081 ... where you elequently speak of a medical ethicist ... I wonder what he would THINK here ... especially since as you put it ... YOU WERE the ONLY ONE KNOWLEDGEABLE on the SOTF to actually understand my issues ...

So again I HUMBLY REGRET MY PRIOR TRANSGRESSION ... "GUILE" takes many forms and I should HAVE BEEN MORE PROFESSIONAL and CONSIDERATE.

When will we HAVE the HIPAA EXPERT and resolve this matter?

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 22, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

are not easy to come by. I challenge you to seek one yourself in this city, Sunshine complaint or not. Then there's the matter of them agreeing to appear.

Your insistence that these folk are easy to find and that they would feel obligated to appear as their civic obligation is overly simplistic.

But, again, as I mentioned in my recent email to you which you continue to fail to mention, I would continue to seek out one who would be willing to appear because I believe the issue is important and I was the only one on task force that supported you on this issue.

But you still fail to accept that.

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on May. 24, 2012 @ 8:55 am

Jason Grant Garza here ....

My, dear Mr. Wolfe:

A little MISPLACED ANGER ?????

Again, FALSE ...

Please listen to the NOV 2011 hearing tape (MINISTRY of SUNSHINE) where the city (Ms. Gleghorn testified as a HIPAA expert (DPH) and you received yours (Threat) city attorney's ( INCORRECT advise) to which I informed you of the precedence ( the MINISTRY'S prior decisions in my prior cases that ONE'S OWN MEDICAL RECORDS do fall under SUNSHINE and what is required (Legally) to get them and HOW I had complied. YOU deflected by stating that the LAW could have been changed and since this was soo IMPORTANT ... it's on the tape.) Then during the Compliance and Amendment Committee Hearing on 5/15/2012 you state on tape ... something to the extent ... that due to my persistence the other side (DPH and City Attorney) have changed and that NOW I can get my records ... then go on to STATE that JUSTICE has somehow been served? WHAT? Where is the JUSTICE if they NOW concede? If they have CONCEDED ... was I NOT right all ALONG and what does that say about finding the HIPAA expert? What does it say about holding DPH and the City Attorney's feet to the fire? However, if you continue to listen to the tape ... you assure EVERYONE in GOD'S CREATION not only that you care and that this is IMPORTANT but that you will continue to DO THE RIGHT THING (question is for WHO?) and will look very hard for an EXPERT. Why NOT followup with DPH'S EXPERT for the incorrect,fraudulent and misleading TESTIMONY ... didn't they have the PRIOR MINISTRY'S DETERMINATIONS in my favor? So how long does it take to find a HIPAA expert ... how long does it take to receive JUSTICE here at the MINISTRY and when will you or the MINISTRY hold DPH or the City Attorney accountable? Shall we speak of the email that I sent you that I had received from the other side that gave you LEAVE to state on 5/15 what you did regarding the change ...

As far as a HIPPA expert you had me in case # 11081 ... don't you remember item # 2 in the # 11081 IDR " (2) A copy of my signed HIPPA release for my Tom Waddell healthcare information to have been released thru SF General (under DPH) to HAFCI for which SF General (DPH) was found in violation by California Department of Public Health - Licensing and Certification Complaint # CA00265297 or an ADMISSION of the lawbreaking activity;" We can speak to the FACT that I did not receive the document (required by law to be there) nor the ADMISSION ... listen to the tape and the CHAIR glossing over this. I turned DPH into Licensing and Certification ... it would seem that I know about HIPAA ...

I have INSISTENTLY requested CORRECT PROCESS, told the TRUTH, pointed out the MINISTRY'S FAILURES ... as in this. How long does it take to find a HIPAA expert especially when the other side concedes? Yes, MOST REASONABLE MEN would consider this mendacity BUT NEVER advocacy.

As far as emailing me ... SHALL we speak to the emails that I sent you ... most especially the IDR that still has NOT been scheduled nor RESPONDED to? What is an IDR, when will you schedule a HIPAA expert, and WHAT do your WORDS mean? Remember we have the TAPE for NOV 2011 and the 5/15/2012 tape and your WORDS. Again, meaningless words = PRICELESS. Results = Swat, NADA, ZIP, NOTHING.

You are CORRECT ... I fail to ACCEPT ... IT"S my FAULT for BELIEVING in YOU, SUNSHINE and the TRUTH.

I believe your anger is MISPLACED ... why not at the GUILTY who provided the false incorrect information (DPH and City Attorney) ... or is that JUST suppose to DIE in false PROCESS? What about the "KNOWLEDGEABLE REPRESENTATIVE" .... provision in SUNSHINE?

So again ... when will you get the HIPAA expert ... or is the CONCESSION NOT enough ... or is the PROCESS false and rigged not to HOLD the city accountable? By way what happened to the referral to ETHICS for Barbara Garcia - Director of Public Health in case # 11099 ... listen to the tape on 4/4/2012 for violation of 6721e that Shields was sent to ETHICS for in case # 10038? However I do thank you for the OPPORTUNITY to DOCUMENT for REASONABLE men as I will continue ...

and IMAGINE you were the ONLY one who UNDERSTOOD my issues ...

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 25, 2012 @ 8:07 am

in April and just Tuesday this week was not reconsidered for reappointment to the SOTF. I serve until the new Seat 8 is sworn in most likely June 65h.

Posted by Bruce Wolfe on May. 24, 2012 @ 9:01 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... well, TODAY is June 5st 2012 .... Mr. Wolfe where is my HIPAA expert? Will you still continue after you have been replaced? Is my JUSTICE and DUE PROCESS on hold? If no one was willing to "DO THE RIGHT THING - "take the matter up" when you were gone ... will anyone NOW? Don't worry I will continue to DOCUMENT the ABUSE, THE HARM, the FRAUD and the MENDACITY. So how long does it take to get a HIPAA expert or hold DPH or the City Attorney's INCORRECT expert TESTIMONY (Nov 2011 case # 11081) to the "FIRE?" Till I die or go away ... wasn't that the city's "take no prisoner, scorched earth tactics" it used when it had my case dismissed in 2003 with TESTYLING (C02-3485PJH) that it (the city) signed a confession (Settlement Agreement dated 4/19/2007 with the Office of Inspector General admitting fault and guilt for the FEDERAL law breaking. They paid a small "slap on the hand" fine - 5K to the OIG) and then left its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD !!! This was over MEDICAL CARE (Denial) and MEDICAL RECORDS (Denial) just as is THIS case # 10081. Oh and DON"T believe that the "CONFESSION" came because of the city attorney's GOOD HEART ... it was upon my continuation ... oh, and my dear Mr. Wolfe ... I will CONTINUE here to at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE ... I will continue to point out the harm. lies, deception and lastly INHUMANITY referred to by the MINISTRY as HELP.

Again, MEANINGLESS WORDS = PRICELESS.

RESULTS = NADA, ZIP, NOTHING, SWAT !!!

Oh and when I called to ask the administrator for the ETA on the HIPAA expert ... I was told that it was the call of the CHAIR .... remember what that means from the above comments (prior) ... NO ONE CARES ENOUGH and it is NOT a REQUIREMENT. Or I could send you another email that I had sent the CHAIR regarding getting a HIPAA expert on videoconferencing (to speed up the failing process) and was told that the MINISTRY doesn't do that either ... again providing no solution, no remedy, no recourse, no HOPE, no humanity just more false fake rigged process that results in the MINISTRY being the city's perfect shill.

"What a wicked web we weave when we intend to DECEIVE."

"Telling the TRUTH during times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT becomes a REVOLUTIONARY ACT." George Orwell

Oh and I still await Barbara Garcia to be sent to ETHICS for Official Misconduct as I stated in case # 11099 for her 6721e violation as you had sent Eileen Shields in case # 10038 to ETHICS for. Oh, by the way what was the RESULTS of that? Also when will you schedule the IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUEST I sent you in DEC 2011?

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jun. 05, 2012 @ 4:53 am

I remember the conversation when a group of citizens, known as San Franciscans for Sunshine, were writing the Ordinance. I'm sure Bruce will correct me if my memory is incorrect, but appointing authority was left until the last because it was the most pivotal of the decisions we had to make. We knew we couldn't allow members to be appointed by the Mayor (Willie Brown), but felt that joint appointments by various Dept heads and unelected officials left us with no recourse if a problem like this occurred. The Board of Supes seemed to be the best choice, not a good choice, but at least (with the hope of new district elections, which came in 1994) one that could be addressed on a smaller scale. Even though we only had Supes Ammiano and Yee in support of Sunshine, it was our hope that the BOS would be the least likely to intrude on what we intended to be an entirely independent body.

Every time there is a case brought against a Supervisor, or as in the Parkmerced case, a group of Supervisors, that independence is critically tested. This is the most serious intrusion mounted by the BOS to date. It is probably not the end of the story but we must refuse to allow a "hands-off" policy on the BOS to win the day. They must be held to a strong standard.

One of the measures instituted to help keep the Task Force independent was the selection, by four institutions of four of the members. This was meant to check the selection by the BOS. These seats are, and have been for the 13 -year existence of the Task Force, the "seats" of these organizations. The BOS should not be allowed to interfere in these independent bodie's selections. Thank you for standing up against this new precedent, one that further weakens the independence of the Task Force and its purposes. -d

Posted by Doug Comstock on May. 21, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

Isn't this the same SOTF that has no enforcement powers of their own and has to refer all negative findings to Ethics? And Ethics has never done anything but ignore them? That SOTF?

Posted by Troll on May. 21, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... for a more precise note on the NON-WORKINGS at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE ( the city's RISK MANAGEMENT shill) please read, call the MINISTRY (554-7724) and ask. Ask about the ETHICS referrals in my cases and the OUTCOME. Here's is the link on an article by SFBG entitled "Saving money on Sunshine" ( http://www.sfbg.com/2012/02/14/saving-money-sunshine ) and my comments laying out ALL for ALL to see. Any questions as to FALSE HOPE, FALSE RESULTS and CONTINUING INJURY ??? Oh, and ask the MINISTRY while you're at it ... HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FIND A HIPAA EXPERT ... see case # 11081. Remember this was for an IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUEST .... ha, ha, ha.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 22, 2012 @ 8:03 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... my, it is July 8th 2012 and still NO HIPAA EXPERT, No Due Process at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE (see cases# 10038,11081,11099, etc), and NO IDR scheduling for the IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUEST made to SOTF in 2011.

Yes, Virginia ... MEANINGLESS WORDS, FALSE HOPE, NO RESULTS and when confronted ... I'm still here.

So the MINISTRY can not find a HIPAA EXPERT (case # 10038 and 11081), can not get DPH to send CORRECT INFORMATION as to who "ACCREDITS" them for their patient/medical care (case # 11099), can NOT send Garcia to ETHICS (case # 11099) can not find the missing tape for verification (case # 11099), can not schedule an IDR for SOTF (sent in 2011), can not investigate nor hold accountable INCORRECT legal advise (city attorney and DPH regarding HIPAA and case # 10038 and 11081 - yet they have conceded?), Mr. Wolfe can not find a HIPAA expert ... why? They conceded ... would it expose the false methodology and HARM and DAMAGES provided by the city's shill - the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE?

Go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see HOW the city PLAYS the GAME.

Yes, Virginia ... it's the 8th of July 2012 and HOW DOES this hold to the comments above by Mr. Wolfe and myself ... yes, let the GAMES continue as I will continue to point out the TRUTH in SUNSHINE.

Still awaiting any SUPERVISOR who would like to see my paperwork ... oh, that would involve what I sent to Wiener and the "TREATMENT" I received back. It would also include the paperwork I sent to their CLERK (Angela - 554-5184) that I still await to file a complaint and start an investigation with ... that is if there is to be CORRECT PROCEDURE.

Please go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com

Yes, Virginia ... "The Bigger the LIE, the more people will believe it." Himmler - Germany Nazi

Would you believe the city cares, will do the RIGHT THING, has INTEGRITY ... again go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see the BIGGER the LIE the MORE people will believe it.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 09, 2012 @ 7:39 am

On 9/27/11 the SOTF determinined that Supervisors Wiener, Chiu and Cohen violated the Sunshine Ordinance in handling the Parkmerced contract.

On 12/13/11 Supervisor Wiener ordered a slanted "Survey of Costs of Compliance with the Sunshine Ordinance", aimed to show how expensive the Ordinance and the SOTF had become. Sunshine Advocates pointed out the flaws in the survey before it was released by the Budget Analyst.

It would have provided "Pretext A" for dismantling the SOTF - as too costly.

Now, Supervisor Farrell and the Rules Committee went to "Pretext B";
arguing that inexperienced or eager-to-please volunteers should replace knowledgeable SOTF incumbents...because the SOTF changed their quorum requirement without the City Attorney's approval.

There's also a mismatch between the alleged infraction by SOTF and the over-reaching rejection of nominees from the Society of Professional Journalists, New America Media and the League of Women Voters. It looks like "Pretext B" to disenfranchise the SOTF - and the public.

Is this just political retaliation, or is there something else to hide about the Parkmerced deal?

Posted by Guest Derek Kerr on May. 21, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

Courtesy of wikipedia...

"The Guardian put down an attempt by its employees to unionize in the 1970s. In 1975, Guardian staffers, with the aid of Newspaper Guild Local 52 and International Typographical Union Local 21, signed union cards to seek higher wages and benefits. The paper had previously won a legal settlement and moved to a new building. Nevertheless, publisher Bruce Brugmann claimed there were not enough funds to increase pay or benefits. The day after Thanksgiving, he fired five senior staffers who had helped organize the union effort. Newspaper staffers voted to join the Newspaper Guild and, on June 15, 1976, they called a strike to force Brugmann to offer a labor contract. Brugmann retained a few management staff and hired scab replacements. In August, César Chávez offered to mediate the strike, but Brugmann refused. Finally, in 1977, another election was called, but this time votes by replacement workers carried the day and the new staff voted not to join a union"

Posted by Mr Sunshine on May. 21, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

As a member of the Guild's Freelance Unit and a long-time union activist, I am well aware of the strained relations between the Guild and the Brugmanns. But I think it is reasonable to ask that we stick to the original subject of this discussion string: retaliation by some city supervisors against members of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force who found that the board and its Land Use & Economic Development Committee violated city and state open-meeting laws.

The fact is that Bruce Brugmann has been the driving force behind the city's enactment of the 1993 Sunshine Ordinance and the voters' enactment of the 1999 Sunshine Ordinance (Prop. G), which is arguably the strongest open-government statute in the country.

Posted by Richard Knee on May. 22, 2012 @ 12:54 am

Seen for the pattern of inconsequential nonsense it represents... not worthy of our consideration, Richard.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 22, 2012 @ 3:03 am

Sunshine has to do with full disclosure, so bite me....lillidick

Posted by Mr Sunshine on May. 22, 2012 @ 11:31 am

You are a disgrace to the name. It's about government public disclosure not full disclosure which we have a number of items on you. So be careful.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

This is completely and totally speculation, but, I would guess you are either Matt Dorsey or Jack Song from City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office. Mr. Herrera is the NUMBER ONE opponent of open government and the primary "enabler" for City Hall "family" members who want their work to be completly out of site of the public. And, excuse me for saying so, but, that sound very much like a threat!

Posted by Ray W. Hartz, Jr., Director, San Francisco Open Government on May. 23, 2012 @ 8:33 am

As Voltaire said:

"I may not agree with what a man has to say, but, I will defend to the death his right to say it!"

I always wonder about comments to which a person will not put a name. There are times, especially with open government matters, that I find it easy to believe that a City Hall "mouthpiece" is making the comment to muddy the waters.

I'm much more likely to give respectful consideration to comments with a name, than to those from a person without the conviction to accept responsibility for the comment. Also, I have to wonder if that "credibility" might be questionable if the person were to divulge their identity?

Posted by Ray W. Hartz, Jr., Director, San Francisco Open Government on May. 22, 2012 @ 11:17 am

There are a variety of reasons why people here are reluctant to use their own names. One is the obvious one - the internet is already invading our privacy in many ways, and use of your real name simply makes that and identity theft more likely.

Second, this site does not require any registration, so anyone can sign their message as "Ray W. Hartz Jr.," - imping is rampant here.

But thirdly and most importantly, if you post with your real name, you will be stalked here. It's safer to use "Guest" or "Anonymous"

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2012 @ 11:57 am

While I understand your meaning, it seems that most of the comments without an actual name seem to be personal attacks and/or just plain mean-spirited.

All the reasons for not posting a name are valid. I read the full text of each comment and do respond to the substance. I'm just saying that when I reach a comment with basically no substance, just plain nasty comments, I combine that with the absence of someone willing to attach their name and consider that in my "credibility index."

Posted by Ray W. Hartz, Jr., Director, San Francisco Open Government on May. 23, 2012 @ 8:38 am

Changing the subject to attack the messenger, a messenger who is advocating for more sunshine so citizens know what "their" representatives are doing, who their meeting with, what actions they are taking and what parties benefit from those actions.

Sounds like that's a good democratic message. So by diverting the subject to attack the messenger, you are thus disagreeing with what the messenger is advocating for. Thus you a force of darkness, of secrecy, of fascism, something Vladimir Putin of Russia would be for, of unaccountability, of corruption.

I almost pity your pathetic existence. I definitely pity everyone who encounters you.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

sunshine as they have zero interest in reading the ponderous details of city meetings.

Sunshine is mostly promoted by activists and trouble-makers, looking for an angle.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2012 @ 9:39 am

I agree, 99% don't care, because they take little or no interest in how City Hall is run and how it treats citizens who want to "look into" what's being done. Then, when they have City Hall elected officials, employees, board members, etc. withholding records and generally trying to keep things "under wraps," they realize that the "activists and trouble-makers" are trying to use applicable law to get government to conduct it's business in full view of the public.

It's easy to dismiss those folks as "activists and trouble-makers" when you don't have any knowledge of what they're doing: sometimes just making sure that citizens who want to make public comments and/or access public records are free to do so! Someone has to do it, or, eventually government will do what it did to the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force: retaliate when the body makes a decision in favor of a citizen and against a body like the Board of Supervisors!

Posted by Ray W. Hartz, Jr., Director, San Francisco Open Government on May. 26, 2012 @ 7:52 am

I've said it to the members of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force: better to serve one term, making forward movement protecting the rights of the citizens of San Francisco, than five terms trying to strike some unobtainable "bargain" with City Hall.

The SOTF now being "replaced" (read that as "retaliated against") by certain members of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) for daring to make a number of decisions standing up to the BOS and the City Attorney. This is a clear, resounding message to those who dare to dissent and anyone who tries to defend their right to do so. And what exactly are the Brown Act and the Sunshine Ordinance designed to do, if not protect the right of San Franciscans to "dissent!" AND WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BOS MAKE OF THEIR OATH OF OFFICE? In that oath, they swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of California.

I'm certain that whoever gets appointed to the newly constituted SOTF will "get the message." "Don't cross us!" -signed Board of Supervisors and Dennis Herrera, City Attorney.

I think it's a real crime that members of the SOTF received absolutely no acknowledgement of their service, except from the pesky Sunshine "gadflys." As much as anyone might disagree with their actions and/or opinions, at least they don't base their thanks for someone's service only on whether they "did what they were told!" THAT'S ALL THAT THE CITY HALL "FAMILY" FINDS DESERVING OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT!

Posted by Ray W. Hartz, Jr., Director, San Francisco Open Government on May. 22, 2012 @ 11:11 am

Having observed and worked with many of the current members, for over five years now, as an ex officio legal advisor (because for the past three years, the DCA assigned to the SOTF has been limited to less than 20% of a full-time lawyer), as a complainant and as a helper to other complainants when the legal issues are beyond their understanding, plus having sat through innumerable SOTF meetings, let me offer my perspective on the effort by some supervisors -- apparently led by Mark Farrell – to cripple the SOT. The fact that this effort became overt just last week (when it must have been put together over months) demonstrates the need for transparency in the most critical way. That back room effort is not only cynical, but an attack on the public's constitutionally guaranteed right of access to records and meetings.

Some specifics:

First, David Pilpel is not a sunshine supporter and that is well-known. When he was on the SOTF, he was a disruptive member, who frequently worked against complainants. He would be the last person I would want hearing my complaint. There are other good candidates for the seat.

Second, Bruce Wolfe has to be reappointed. He will be one of the few who will have the necessary institutional knowledge and the public's interest at heart.

Third, Mark Farrell's comments on the quorum issue and the primacy of the City Attorney are not only inappropriate, but he is wrong -- more on that to come, when and if the reconstituted SOTF tries to repeal the current by-law “majority” voting provision.

The SOTF is not required to give deference to the City Attorney's "opinion" under the Sunshine Ordinance; in fact, the role of the City Attorney is specifically limited by the Sunshine Ordinance §67.21(i) and the DCA assigned to it has to be an independent advisor per §67.30(a). See below.

All in all, the City will lose one of its most important "checks" on the machinations of those who have forgotten their oaths of office.

§67.21(i): The San Francisco City Attorney’s office shall act to protect and secure the rights of the people of San Francisco to access public information and public meetings and shall not act as legal counsel for any city employee or any person having custody of any public record for purposes of denying access to the public. The City Attorney may publish legal opinions in response to a request from any person as to whether a record or information is public. All communications with the City Attorney’s Office with regard to this ordinance, including petitions, requests for opinion, and opinions shall be public records.

§67.30(a) ...The City Attorney shall serve as legal advisor to the task force. The Sunshine Ordinance Task Force shall, at its request, have assigned to in an attorney from within the City Attorney’s Office or other appropriate City Office, who is experienced in public-access law matters. This attorney shall serve solely as a legal advisor and advocate to the Task Force and an ethical wall will be maintained between the work of this attorney on behalf of the Task Force and any person or Office that the Task Force determines may have a conflict of interest with regard to the matters being handled by the attorney.

Posted by Guest Allen Grossman on May. 22, 2012 @ 11:16 am

You should not have printed the ad hominem attack on David Pilpel. Policy disputes are one thing; personal attacks are something else.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

Will there be some insignificant consequence for that?

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

I delete all personal attacks as a matter of course. Stick to the issues, please.

Posted by tim on May. 23, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... wow, if this is TIM from SFBG ... and you delete all personal attacks as a matter of course and want people to stick to the "issues" - then why have all the attacks and distractions (to me - pink elephant, etc) from the TRUTH that I have posted in followup to the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE inclusive with EVIDENCE and FACTS and SFBG articles - NOT BEEN DELETED?

There are those trying to shift the topic by calling me a pink elephant, a raving and ranting individual, etc. Why don't you ask me with all the paperwork I have why Scott Wiener's Office won't speak to me? Why don't you ask me about the "CERTIFICATION" information failure that I am having with DPH (case# 11099) or the HARM and INJURY in case # 11081 or # 10038 for the DENIAL of MY OWN MEDICAL RECORDS (illegally)?

Either you are NOT that TIM or I don't matter as doesn't the INCONVENIENT TRUTH ... which is it? So my issue would be that if you are with SFBG and with all the paperwork, facts, confession, etc ... why have NOT been spoken to for the "INSIDE" track?

Posted by Jason Grant Garzat on May. 25, 2012 @ 6:32 am

Any member of any city run task force found to be engaging in a back and forth on a public message board while divulging city information should be dismissed.

This isnt high school

Posted by Greg2 on May. 23, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... it is September 5, 2012 and the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE can come out where ever you are. Please look above at this article ( http://www.sfbg.com/bruce/2012/05/21/return-willie-brownism-sunshine-tas... ) to see its date my comments as of 5/22/2012 ( the day after it was written .)

The MINISTRY is DEAD ... where has it been for JUNE, JULY and AUGUST ? My for all the CONCERN and COMMOTION ... JUSTICE DELAYED is STILL JUSTICE DENIED ... no matter the SPIN or false concern.

Please go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see the TRUTH and HOW much the city cares ... there you will see a signed settlement agreement / confession which the city admits fault and guilt for breaking FEDERAL LAW against me and THEN I WAS LEFT for DEAD !!! Any more questions ??? Too bad SUNSHINE isn't / doesn't work and too bad EVERYONE continues to drink the "KOOL AIDE" over the FALSE CONCERN and FALSE UTTERANCES of FAKE COMPASSION from OFFICIALS.

A Nation of FOOLS deserves what it receives ....

P.S. I am still awaiting Bruce (SFBG) help, followup, concern, requests for documentation, or ANYTHING ... shall we see ????

Good print, more sales, no fix, "room to be concerned later" when the subject comes up again, and naturally I'll again write and point out the falsehood and hypocrisy.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Sep. 05, 2012 @ 5:47 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... 9/7/2012 regarding Bruce Wolfe and the NON FOLLOWUP to my HIPPA and Medical Record request thru the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE (See above comments) ... this is from the SF Examiner Sept 7, 2012 article entitled "Sunshine Task Force is in the dark due to vacancy." ( http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/09/sunshine-task-force-dark-due-vac... ) where the article states "So Wolfe reapplied for membership, and Rules Committee members supervisors Jane Kim and David Campos voted 2-1 on Thursday to send his reappointment to the full board for a decision Sept. 18."

First this is NOT an "OFFICIAL DISABILITY REPRESENTATIVE" position ... rather a TOKEN position claiming to be for the disabled. So my dear Mr. Wolfe who could reapply ... HAVE you found a HIPPA expert yet? Was Garcia sent to ETHICS in case # 11099 and why not ... list to the tapes on the SUNSHINE website. Also Mr. Wolfe when will my IDR requesting the "Official Disability Representative" that was sent to you, Chair Johnson and the Administrator in December 2011 be scheduled for a HEARING?

Also, Mr. Wolfe and ALL OTHERS please listen to the NOV 2011 hearing tape (MINISTRY of SUNSHINE) where the city (Ms. Gleghorn testified as a HIPAA expert (DPH) and you received yours (Threat) city attorney's ( INCORRECT advise) to which I informed you of the precedence ( the MINISTRY'S prior decisions in my prior cases that ONE'S OWN MEDICAL RECORDS do fall under SUNSHINE and what is required (Legally) to get them and HOW I had complied. YOU deflected by stating that the LAW could have been changed and since this was soo IMPORTANT ... it's on the tape.) Then during the Compliance and Amendment Committee Hearing on 5/15/2012 you state on tape ... something to the extent ... that due to my persistence the other side (DPH and City Attorney) have changed and that NOW I can get my records ... then go on to STATE that JUSTICE has somehow been served? WHAT? Where is the JUSTICE if they NOW concede? If they have CONCEDED ... was I NOT right all ALONG and what does that say about finding the HIPAA expert? What does it say about holding DPH and the City Attorney's feet to the fire? However, if you continue to listen to the tape ... you assure EVERYONE in GOD'S CREATION not only that you care and that this is IMPORTANT but that you will continue to DO THE RIGHT THING (question is for WHO?) and will look very hard for an EXPERT. Why NOT followup with DPH'S EXPERT for the incorrect,fraudulent and misleading TESTIMONY ... didn't they have the PRIOR MINISTRY'S DETERMINATIONS in my favor? So how long does it take to find a HIPAA expert ... how long does it take to receive JUSTICE here at the MINISTRY and when will you or the MINISTRY hold DPH or the City Attorney accountable? Shall we speak of the email that I sent you that I had received from the other side that gave you LEAVE to state on 5/15 what you did regarding the change ...

Go to http://wwww.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see HOW the GAME is PLAYED ...

So I will continue to speak the TRUTH, point out the DECEIT and "RISK MANAGEMENT."

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Sep. 07, 2012 @ 6:00 am