April Advocate – Congratulations to Earth Award winners, Don’t miss salute to Supervisor Sean Elsbernd

By Ken Cleaveland

BOMA Congratulates the 2007 Earth Award Winners!
The first annual BOMA San Francisco Earth Awards luncheon was held April 26th at the Hotel Nikko and recognized nine commercial properties for their exemplary commitment to sustainability. Using criteria that measures energy efficiency, water conservation, garbage recycling, toxics reduction, tenant education, purchasing and transportation policies, the association has launched this program to highlight and reward BOMA members who take the appropriate steps to upgrade and improve their buildings’ performance while reducing their carbon footprint on the environment. First place winners received engraved crystal globes and $4,000 each; 2nd Place winners received a commemorative plates made from recycled glass from vandalized MUNI bus shelters plus $2,000 each, and Third Place winners received framed certificates from the Dept. of the Environment and $1,000.

This year’s winners are:


BOMA Salutes San Francisco Supervisor Sean Elsbernd – May 16th – Don’t miss it!
The BOMA SF Political Action Committee, in conjunction with Committee on Jobs Executive Director Nathan Nayman, and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, is hosting a special reception for San Francisco Supervisor Sean Elsbernd on May 16th from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the E & O Trading Company restaurant, 314 Sutter Street (between Grant and Stockton). Supervisor Elsbernd represents the Westside of San Francisco (along with Supervisor Ed Jew) and has been a strong supporter of property owner rights, and fiscally-responsible city government. He deserves the support of every BOMA Member. For a copy of the invitation, call Wendy De Lara at the BOMA Office (415-362-8567).

BOMA SF PAC Holds Three Successful Events in March/April!
The first event was a reception for Mayor Gavin Newsom’s re-election campaign held on March 29th on the 40th floor of the Transamerica Pyramid, in the offices of Scott Seligman, Seligman Western Enterprises, a BOMA member. The event drew over 50 attendees, and raised more than $9,000 for the Mayor. Attendees enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres provided by Steve Adams President of Sterling Bank & Trust, also a co-host.

The BOMA SF Associates Committee helped raise over $11,000 for the BOMA SF PAC at its annual BBQ before the first regular season night game of the Giants on April 4th. Held behind the China Basin Landing building at 185 Berry Street (which is now having two stories added to it!) the event attracted over 300 BOMA members and guests. Special thanks go to the site hosts: RREEF and McCarthy Cook & Company, for being so generous to BOMA by allowing the association to use its beautiful outdoor area for the fundraiser. Big thanks also to AMPCO System Parking, August Supply, Baskets to Banquets, Giampolini & Company, Marble West, and Perfection Sweeping for their food and beverages for the event.

The third event was a special golf tournament held April 25th at Harding Park in San Francisco. This double scramble event was organized by Bruce Schilling (August Supply), Margot Crosman (Unico Properties), Mike Murphy (Cushman & Wakefield), Howard Fish (Skyline Construction) and Siobhan Vignoles (CAC Real Estate Management) and paired sponsoring associate members with key building owner/management reps. The event raised over $10,000 for the BOMA SF PAC, which will also contribute a portion of the proceeds to our BOMA Cal PAC.

Possible November City Ballot Measure to Preserve Parking in San Francisco
As anyone knows trying to find parking in San Francisco, the supply is shrinking. In fact, Caltrans estimates the city has lost over 10,000 parking spaces in the downtown area alone over the last ten years. Because of the city’s Transit First policy, many new developments are not allowed to put in adequate parking and even residential developments are not allowed to put in one space per unit in some areas of the city. The city’s Off Street Parking Fund has been raided for years of the monies it accumulates from parking meters, city garages, and neighborhood parking permit fees to be used to build more off-street parking garages in the city’s neighborhood commercial districts. Instead, these funds have been diverted to fund un-related social programs. A new movement, spearheaded by the city’s small business community, is underway to stop this loss of parking and to mandate minimum parking requirements in future developments and has filed a city ballot measure to do just that. More details to follow.

San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros to Meet May 21st with BOMA on New Parking Tax Rules
City Treasurer Jose Cisneros and Deputy City Treasurer David Augustine will discuss the new regulations recently issued that affect parking spaces included as part of commercial leases at a meeting with the BOMA SF PAC Board on May 21st at noon. BOMA members who are interested in attending this discussion must contact Ken Cleaveland kenc@boma.com to be put on event guest list. This briefing is limited to only BOMA members. Lunch is being provided courtesy of Township Building Services.

BOMA Briefing on San Francisco’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance May 18th
The city’s voter-approved mandate that employers must provide paid sick leave to all employees, full time, part-time, and temporary, went into effect February 5, 2007, but will not be fully implemented (meaning payable) until June 4th. However, employers must accrue sick leave now on the basis of one hour for every 30 hours worked. To assist BOMA members and their tenants with compliance, a special briefing has been arranged on Friday, May 18th at 9 a.m. with Donna Levitt, who is the Manager of the city’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, and labor attorneys Horace Green (Green & Humbert) and Eli Gould (MBV Law). The briefing will be held at 650 California, in their basement conference center. There is no charge, but you are requested to make a reservation so we can plan appropriately. Contact Wendy De Lara at 415-362-8567.

City Graffiti Advisory Board Gets New BOMA Representative
The city’s Graffiti Advisory Board meets monthly to discuss ways and means of combating an all-too pervasive problem in San Francisco: graffiti vandalism. Tagging, etching, scratching, and painting illegal graffiti on public and private buildings and signs cost the city’s taxpayers and its citizens millions annually. Recently, Mike Cashion, who is the building manager for Shorenstein’s Russ Building, 235 Montgomery Street, was appointed to this Board as a business representative. Mike is also the Vice Chair of the BOMA San Francisco Government and Public Affairs Committee. The city needs new and more effective ways to combat graffiti. BOMA congratulates Mike on his appointment, and looks forward to his service on this important citizen advisory board.

San Francisco Establishes Green Building Task Force
San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom recently appointed a “green” ribbon task force to come up with a plan to promote green building standards in both the public and private sectors of the City. Private sector members of the task force include BOMA Government Affairs Director Ken Cleaveland, Webcor’s Phil Williams (who is the chair), Ken Seibel with Tishman Speyer, Margie O’Driscoll, the Executive Director for the AIA/SF, Kirsten Ritchie of Gensler, Ezra Mersey of Jackson Pacific Ventures, Mike Kerwin of Lorax Development, Peter Liu of New Resource Bank, and Bill Worthen of Simon and Associates. Public sector representatives include Dan Sider of the Mayor’s Office of City Greening, Laura Rodormer of the Dept. of the Environment, Laurence Kornfield of DBI, and Craig Nikitas of City Planning. The recommendations are expected to be completed and forwarded to the Mayor mid-June. The meetings are open to the public and are held every two weeks at the AIA/SF offices, 130 Sutter Street, 6th Floor, at 8:30 a.m. The next meeting will be on May 10th.

CPUC may consider Direct Access!
BOMA California is part of a coalition (Alliance for Collaborative Energy Services) that is seeking to re-open the electricity markets to competition from all energy service providers. On April 24th, CA Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey issued a proposed decision to conduct a proceeding on the issue in three phases. Phase One would discuss the Commissions authority to lift the DA ban. Phase Two would discuss the merits of lifting the DA ban and establish the wholesale market structure and rules. Phase Three would establish the rules governing a reinstituted retail direct access market including cost recovery issues.
BOMA supports re-instituting the ability of customers to have choice, and applauds President Peevey for taking this initial step to get the public discussion going. BOMA San Francisco created one of the first business power pools in the country in 1998 and saved its members millions of dollars on the commodity price of electricity by being able to negotiate on the open market. Creating a power pool can benefit both small businesses (as tenants get the pass-through savings) and the environment with a higher percent required use of “renewables”.

Historic Accord with PG&E on Sub-Metering in Progress
The current prohibition on commercial building owners sub-metering their tenants off a master meter may be soon changed under a proposed negotiated agreement between PG & E and BOMA California. This agreement would modify Rule 18 which currently only allows the utility to sub-meter and bill customers. BOMA has argued that to engage commercial tenants more fully in energy conservation, they must first fully understand their energy consumption. That information can only be provided on a regular basis if tenant spaces are sub-metered and are billed based on consumption, not square footage. The agreement would be limited to commercial office buildings as defined in PG & E Rule 1, on a single premise basis. Sub-metered tenants would continue to pay the rates which are applicable to the building’s master meter. Sub-meters must also be certified by the applicable county sealer of weights and measures. The agreement would be subject to CPUC approval.

San Francisco Ban on Non-Compostable Take-Out Food Containers Begins June 1st
Effective June 1, 2007, the Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance requires that all disposable food service ware used in San Francisco be either compostable or recyclable. All food vendors including restaurants, delis, fast food establishments, fair vendors, food trucks, and all city facilities must follow this new law or face penalties of up to $500. The Department of the Environment estimates that businesses that participate in the city’s food scrap program may be able to get a discount on their garbage service of up to 75%. The Department of the Environment is also available to help businesses and BOMA tenants in finding suitable alternatives to Styrofoam plastic cups, food containers, and the like. Visit their website: www.sfenvironment.org for more information or call 415-355-3745.

Brenna Walraven Talks About Green (and profitable) Buildings
Just in case you were wondering, Kirsten Walraven’s sister, Brenna Walraven, is the incoming BOMA International President. She has just had an article published in the April issue of “Today’s Facility Manager” magazine on how “greening your building” can be profitable, and uses three examples: the EPA building in Sacramento that is managed by Craig Sheehy (a previous speaker at the BOMA SF Commercial Recycler of the Year awards luncheon), the Adobe Systems Headquarters buildings, which are managed by George Denise, our speaker this year at the Earth Awards luncheon April 26th, and the Hearst Tower in NYC. To read the excellent piece, click here.

San Francisco Health Department Hosts Free Workshops for Building Engineers and Commercial Property Managers on Indoor Pollution Prevention
The San Francisco Health Department has scheduled a free workshop on May 15th, from 9 a.m. – Noon at their offices at 25 Van Ness Avenue, 5th Floor, Suite 500, to go over the various things building engineers and commercial property managers can do to reduce/prevent indoor pollution and promote a healthier work environment for all tenants. For more information or to register for this event, go to www.sfdph.org/eh. A follow up workshop on June 12th will focus on the proper handling of hazardous materials. Call 415-252-3900 with any questions. Ask for Elana Goss.

BOMA San Francisco to Offer BEEP Energy Management Classes Statewide
BOMA San Francisco and PG&E are partnering to offer BOMA International’s acclaimed BEEP seminars (BOMA Energy Efficiency Program) to members throughout California. The seminars will be held in San Francisco and broadcast simultaneously as a webinar. The first class will be held Monday, May 21st at 11:00 a.m. PDT. Cost is $99 per attendee for members and $125 for non-members. Watch for a separate announcement in the coming weeks. Go to www.boma.org/beep for an overview of the BEEP program.

“Every wise person started out by asking many question.” (Ancient Chinese saying)

Ken Cleaveland is Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Building and Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of San Francisco.

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