April 10, 2008 Volume 14, Number 2
This Issue of the BOMA San Francisco Advocate Is Brought To You By:
Shorenstein Realty Services
BOMA San Francisco Political Action Committee Makes Endorsements in June 3rd Election
San Francisco has eight ballot measures to be voted on June 3rd. After careful review of the proposals, our PAC Board of Directors has recommended the following:
– This is a new property tax addition of $198 per parcel per year for 20 years (adjusted for inflation) which will go to fund the city's schools including teachers' salaries – BOMA is taking NO POSITION on this measure.
– This measure will reform the city's very expensive health care plan to require employees to work at least 10 years to receive 50% coverage, and 20 years to receive 100% coverage upon retirement. Current policy requires only 5 years of city employment for complete coverage.
BOMA strongly SUPPORTS this responsible policy change.
– This measure would require city employees convicted of "crimes of moral turpitude" to forfeit their health and retirement benefits. BOMA takes NO POSITION on this measure.
– This measure would require city Boards and Commissions to be ethnically diverse in their composition of members. BOMA takes NO POSITION on this measure.
– While this measure adds specific experience requirements to serve on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which may be a good thing, it would also dilute the Mayor's appointment powers to place persons on this commission by reducing the minimum number of votes of the Board of Supervisors needed to reject his appointees from eight to six. Consequently,
BOMA strongly OPPOSES this measure.
– This measure is an attempt to trump Proposition G, the Lennar Corporation's plan to rebuild the Bayview/Hunter's Point shipyard area with new housing and commercial and retail spaces by requiring that 50% of all housing built in this re-development be "affordable" for low and very low income people. It would effectively kill the project according to the project sponsor.
BOMA OPPOSES this measure as an unrealistic and last minute attempt to kill a great development opportunity to re-build a long-neglected part of San Francisco.
– This is the proposal submitted by the Lennar Corporation which would development new housing and jobs in the Bayview/Hunter's Point area. It was crafted with a great deal of public input and has the support of the Mayor.
BOMA SUPPORTS this real opportunity to improve this part of the City.
– This measure would prohibit local elected officials, candidates, and committees from soliciting or accepting contributions from individuals having pending contracts before the City. BOMA had made no recommendation on this measure.
BOMA did not take any position on any candidates running in the primary for any office including the locally-elected political party governing councils (SF DCCC, SF RCCC, etc), the Superior Court races and CA General Assembly, with the exception of Fiona Ma (SF) and Jerry Hill (San Mateo), both of whom BOMA SUPPORTS.
BOMA Looks Ahead to November Local Elections with Concern
BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee is anticipating a very full ballot for November which will most likely have a number of tax increases and new taxes on it. Seven of the eleven San Francisco Supervisor districts will also be in play, with four of those districts having no incumbent. Electing more moderate candidates who appreciate the contributions of the business community to San Francisco's economy and tax base is a priority for BOMA and its members. Possible issues that will be placed
on the ballot include:
* Changing the payroll tax to include partnership distributions
* Charging buildings a "carbon tax" by doubling or tripling the city's 7.5% commercial utility tax
* Adding a new gross receipts tax, possibly as high as 4.5%, on commercial real estate
* Doubling the property transfer tax on sales exceeding $2 million
* Increasing the already sky-high parking tax beyond its current 25%
To combat these and other bad tax ideas, BOMA urges every member to make a contribution to the BOMA SF PAC!
San Francisco Considers Several "Green" Ordinances
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will soon consider several different ordinances that are aimed at "greening" the city and reducing carbon emissions and energy waste. The first to be considered will be the Green Building Ordinance, a product of the Mayor's Green Building Task Force, which has been amended to include several parts of another similar ordinance introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin. The GBO will require that building standards for new construction be increased along the lines
of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria, beginning with the "certified" level, and ending at the Gold level by 2012. New construction over 5,000 square feet and renovations/interior tenant build-outs exceeding 25,000 square feet in existing buildings will be covered by this legislation. BOMA's Government and Public Affairs Committee reviewed the legislation in detail and supported it in concept. Details on how the new building requirements will be enforced are still to
be worked out in Administrative Bulletins which will be created by the Dept. of Building Inspection. Click here for a copy of the latest version, as approved by the Building Inspection Commission.
The second of these is entitled "Commercial Lighting Efficiency Ordinance."
Developed by the Department of the Environment in conjunction with the Mayor's office, this legislation will require all private commercial buildings to have retrofitted their properties for energy efficient lighting by 2011. By December 31, 2010, each building will be required to have had an inspection of the entire building made by a knowledgeable professional, and if the building did not meet the new lighting standards, shall have had them installed. It will also instruct the Dept. of the Environment
to assist businesses and property owners with rebates/incentives funded through the California Public Utility Commission's utility ratepayer funded programs. Click here for a copy of the latest version, as approved by the city's Code Advisory Committee.
The third was recently introduced by San Francisco Board of Supervisor President Aaron Peskin. Entitled "Office Building After-Hours Lighting Ordinance,"
it would prohibit commercial buildings from lighting unoccupied interior spaces after business hours, except those lights required for public safety, and would fine owners for infractions on a floor by floor basis. Further discussions are scheduled with the Supervisor on this ordinance. Click here to download a copy.
BOMA San Francisco Adopts 2008 Public Policy Priorities
BOMA's Government and Public Affairs Committee has approved a new set of updated public policy priorities that covers a wide range of issues confronting the commercial real estate industry in San Francisco and the Bay Area. BOMA now represents nearly 72 million square feet of office space in four counties, which collectively contribute over $200 million a year in property taxes. BOMA's 2008 public policy priorities start with Good Government recommendations, objections to new taxes and fee increases,
and reform of local laws dealing with land use, building codes, transportation, parking and quality of life. Click here for the complete set of policy statements.
Formula Retail – Is It Really Bad For Small Businesses?
San Francisco has a proud tradition of protecting its small independent businesses, and has thwarted many of the national chains from coming to the City. There are currently several neighborhoods with outright bans on "chain stores", defined as any business with more than 11 outlets worldwide. These include North Beach, parts of the Haight and Cole Valley, and West Portal. Now, parts of the Mission and Bernal Heights want in on the action. But wait! A recent article by Taylor Clark posted on Slate
http://www.slate.com/toolbar.aspx?action=print&id=2180301 tells the story of how Starbucks, a national coffee franchise actually helped other local coffee houses to prosper by bringing in more customers to the area. Check it out!
Senator Leland Yee Introduces Legislation to Require Licensing of Interior Designers (SB 1312)
San Francisco State Senator Leland Yee has recently introduced legislation that would require interior designers to be registered as certified to practice by January 1, 2011. It would rename the CA Architects Board Fund as the CA Architects and Registered Interior Designers Fund and would authorize the board to impose various fees on registered interior designers as needed to fund the registration and licensing of the industry. For a copy of the legislation, go to www.leginfo.ca.gov.
Misleading Corporate Compliance Solicitations
Former BOMA SF Government and Public Affairs Committee Chair Elaine Andersson, an attorney, recently alerted BOMA to a memo released by the State Bar warning businesses that there are many fraudulent firms sending out solicitations stating that the company's corporate status needs to be preserved by paying a fee, usually from $95 to $175 to "renew" their status and remain in compliance with the law. The State Bar recommends you carefully scrutinize such solicitations. The CA Attorney General's office
has filed several lawsuits against such companies and principals who have engaged in this misleading practice. For more information, go to http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php.
Jackie Speier Newly-Elected Member of Congress Speaks to BOMA
Jackie Speier, elected Tuesday, April 8th, to fill the unexpired term of Tom Lantos, who recently died, spoke at BOMA's March 27th luncheon meeting held at the City Club. A veteran of the San Mateo Board of Supervisors and the State Legislature, Speier laid out her priorities if she were to be elected to Washington, DC. They were:
* Get Out of Iraq!
* Fight Global Warming and work on other environmental issues
* Improve Education
* Improve Healthcare coverage (She cited that 50% of the nation's bankruptcies last year were as a result of catastrophic health emergencies even though 70% of those who filed had health insurance!) Speier supports a single payer system and cited the administrative costs of Medicare/Medicaid as running 3% while private insurance companies were reporting 25-30%.
* The Economy – she wants to address the problems that have precipitated the current recession
* Earmarks – She wants to stop them without first going through a peer review
Give'm hell in DC, Jackie, and congratulations on being elected to the U.S. Congress!
State Senator Leland Yee Addresses BOMA
CA State Senator Leland Yee visited attended a BOMA luncheon held in his honor and gave members an inside view of what is happening in Sacramento. He said his biggest priorities for this year were:
* Healthcare coverage for all – but how? Although legislation recently died that would have extended it to all uninsured in the state, he was hopeful that at least something to cover all children in the state would be passed.
* Budget Deficit – Approaching $14 billion. Yee said he believed this would be the biggest issue facing the Legislature, and that there weren't any easy fixes this time around. He said the slowing economy has reduced state sales tax income which is making the situation worse.
* Vehicle Licensing Fee Increase – Although Senator Yee supported returning the VLF to what it was before Governor Schwarzenegger took office, he did not think the Governor would reverse himself and support it, even though it could mean several billions of dollars in additional income to the state.
* Energy/Environment – He stated he would have to support anything that was "pro-environment".
* High Speed Rail – He supports it but thought it was going to be very difficult to get the funding for it.
* Infrastructure – The bonds are being sold to get the work started on highways, transit improvements, and other much-needed projects.
* Split Roll Taxes – He thought there might be an attempt to push this, but did not think it would succeed.
Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Addresses BOMA Public Policy Committee
Leah Shahum, the Executive Director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, addressed BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee at its April 2 meeting. She said that approximately 8,800 people now belong to her organization, and that 4% of all local residents (30,000) bike to work every day. 12% (90,000) of the local population bikes at least once a week. Consequently, her group is very active in supporting the adoption of a citywide Bike Plan which will add more dedicated bike
lanes to the current city bike map, and more bicycle parking facilities. Her organization did a poll which found that 75% of San Franciscans think the city government should do more to encourage bike riding. She was optimistic that once the City settled the lawsuit against its earlier adoption of the Bike Plan, that the 56 current bike upgrade projects currently being studied would be approved. Shahum was also appreciative of BOMA's interest in working together with the Bike Coalition, and praised
our public policy on bicycling to work. She ended by saying that her group is willing to work with building owners who wish to provide more accessible and secure bike parking for tenants and guests by acting as an informal consulting service to them if they had questions about installing bike parking or lockers in their facilities. Contact the SF Bike Coalition at 415-431-BIKE www.sfbike.org or Leah Shahum at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Biggest All-Time Political Contributors – Who Are They?
Is your company or organization on this list? If so, according to OpenSecrets.org, you were among the most generous contributors to Members of the U.S. Congress between 1989 and 2006. How their contributions fell out between Democrats and Republicans is also listed. Here are the top 15:
1. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - $37.7 million – 98% to Democrats
2. AT & T - $36.5 million – 44% to Democrats, 55% to Republicans
3. National Association of Realtors - $29.5 million – 46% to Democrats, 53% to Republicans
4. American Trial Lawyers Association - $26.6 million – 89% to Democrats, 10% to Republicans
5. National Education Association - $26.5 million – 93% to Democrats, 6% to Republicans
6. IBEW (Intl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) - $25.2 million – 97% to Democrats, 2% to Republicans
7. Laborers Union - $24.1 million – 92% to Democrats, 7% to Republicans
8. SEIU (Service Employees International Union) - $24 million – 95% to Democrats, 3% to Republicans
9. Goldman Sachs - $24 million – 61% Democrats, 38% to Republicans
10. Communication Workers of America - $23.8 million – 99% to Democrats, 0% to Republicans
11. Teamsters Union - $23.8 million – 92% to Democrats, 7% to Republicans
12. Carpenters and Joiners Union - $23.7 million – 90% to Democrats, 9% to Republicans
13. American Medical Association - $23.3 million – 38% to Democrats, 61% to Republicans
14. American Federation of Teachers - $22.6 million – 98% to Democrats, 1% to Republicans
15. FedEx Corporation - $22.4 million – 42% to Democrats, 56% to Republicans
Given how the Congress has gone from Republican to Democrat, these contribution figures will very likely be even more skewed in favor of the Democrats this election cycle.
Upcoming Events of Interest
– Noon – SF Dept. of Building Inspection Brown Bag – Speaker:
Chief Building Inspector Topic: Earthquake Impacts and Challenges for San Francisco – 1660 Mission Street, Room 2001 (second floor) – Free.
– BOMA's Second
Annual Earth Awards Luncheon
– 11:30 a.m. – Hotel Nikko – Reservations required. Go to www.bomasf.org. Everyone welcome!
– Noon – San Francisco Planning Director
to Speak at BOMA Codes Committee – BOMA SF Office – Free, but RSVP requested. (Members only)
– Noon – San Francisco Public Works Director
to Speak at BOMA Government and Public Affairs Committee – BOMA SF Office – Free, but RSVP requested. (Members only)
(all day) IFMA Seminar on Sustainability for Facility Managers – Sacramento Details: www.californiamayday.com.
THIS ISSUE OF THE BOMA SAN FRANCISCO ADVOCATE WAS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY Shorenstein Realty Services
More Than Leasing — Value-Added Services
Shorenstein operates on the principle that its tenants are not only leasing space in Shorenstein buildings, but are also seeking a broad range of occupancy services to support and enhance their core business operations. Delivery of a physical product that is maintained and operated to the highest industry standard is only the beginning. Shorenstein strives to remain abreast of its tenants' businesses in order to meet their current needs, anticipate their future requirements and be in a position to
work cooperatively with them to respond to unanticipated developments.
Best Environments, Highest Quality Service
The experienced asset management, leasing, property management and construction professionals who work for Shorenstein think and act as first-tier service providers. All of Shorenstein's employees understand that it is their job to ensure that all Shorenstein properties offer the highest quality business environments and occupancy services in their respective marketplaces.
Shorenstein believes that the consistently high occupancy levels in the Shorenstein portfolio is the strongest testament to the validity of the Shorenstein operating philosophy and the best evidence of the successful implementation of that philosophy.