Ken Cleaveland
Director
Government & Public Affairs
kenc@boma.com

 
IN THIS ISSUE

BOMA San Francisco Endorsements for Ballot Measures, Candidates

Report on 2006 Gas and Electric Rates for Commercial Users

California's Flex Your Power 2005 Award Winners Include BOMA Members

SF Business Energy Coalition

BOMA Office Tenant Improvement Permit Seminar a Success!  Copies of Handout Workbook Available

BOMA Window Cleaning Seminar Full of Valuable Information

Final Report on World Trade Center Disaster Now Available

San Francisco Supervisor Sean Elsbernd Meets with BOMA Leadership

Workers' Comp for Undocumented Workers

Governor Schwarzenegger's District Director Barbara Kaufman Speaks to BOMA

High Rise Sprinkler Ordinanace Compliance Requirements

CPSC, Kidde Announce Recall of Industrial 10 Pound Fire Extinguishers

IRS Updates Rules on Per Dien Rates For Business Travel

BOMA Hosting Luncheon for Leland Yee December 16th - Don't Miss it!


Direct all inquiries regarding
The BOMA San Francisco ADVOCATE to

Government and Public Affairs
Director
Ken Cleaveland, CAE
415/362-2662 x11
kenc@boma.com


November 4, 2005, Volume 11, Number 9

This Issue of the BOMA-San Francisco Advocate Is Brought To You By
The Sutton Law Firm, PC

Special Pre-Election Issue! Be sure and Vote Before or On November 8th!

BOMA San Francisco Endorsements for Ballot Measures, Candidates
Here is the BOMA Slate:
Elective Offices:
City Attorney - Dennis Herrera
City Treasurer - Jose Cisneros
County Assessor/Recorder - NO ENDORSEMENT

It was the consensus of the BOMA PAC directors that this office deserves to be filled by an experienced manager with fiscal and appraisal skills, not a politician, and that the office systems need to be upgraded, the staff better trained, and a more efficient process for billing re-assessments be put into place. However, the Association will not make an endorsement in this race.

City Ballot Measures:
Prop B - Steets and Sidewalks Bond - NO
.  Funding the improvements and maintenance of our city's streets and sidewalks should not be financed through bonds. Period.   
Prop C - Ethics Commission Funding - NO. Don't expand the City Hall bureaucracy!  
Prop D - MUNI Reform - NO. NO. NO. This measure is a power grab by the Board of Supervisors at the expense of the Mayor and the fiscally-prudent operation of the city's transportation system. This measure would eviscerate the positive reforms inaugurated under Proposition E, crafted by Rescue MUNI and SPUR several years ago, and is totally unnecessary. 
Prop F - Neighborhood Firehouse Protection - NO. This measure is another great example of special interests seeking favors (in this case, job protection) through voter mandates. It would lock the city into keeping the 42 existing firehouses open and staffed forever, regardless of changing firefighter technology, building codes, or the changing needs of the city's residents.  It is neither wise planning, nor prudent use of our city's resources.

The PAC Board took a NO POSITION on the other city propositions. (A, E, G, H, I)

California Ballot Measures:
Proposition 75: YES
. BOMA California believes all employees, including public employees, should have the right to choose if their dues for union membership are used for political purposes.
Proposition 76: YES. BOMA California believes the Governor should have the power to re-align budgets related to state spending and school funding, as it is his duty to submit a balanced budget each year to the Legislature.
Proposition 77: YES. BOMA California believes the Legislature should NOT draw its own district boundaries, as this allows them to gerrymander the lines to protect the incumbent politicians. Retired judges will do a much better and more impartial job in establishing these political districts for the state Assembly, state Senate, and Congress.
Proposition 80:  NO. This proposition would end the future ability of commercial energy customers, including BOMA members, to purchase power from the most competitive sources, and would lock consumers back into only doing business with their local investor-owned utility. Prop 80 is a blast to the past.  

Report on 2006 Gas/Electric Rates for Commercial Users
Juan Miller, PG & E's representative to downtown San Francisco, recently met with BOMA to outline the increases expected for gas and electricity in the coming year. He reported that PG & E expects an average overall annual increase of about 35 to 40% for gas, when compared to the 2005 average annual costs. As for commercial electric rates, Miller stated there had been an average of a 1% reduction in rates effective January 1, 2005, and another reduction of 3% last June 1st, but due to higher petroleum and gas costs, electricity rates will increase an average of 3.5% increase effective 1/1/06. Thus, factoring the rate reductions received in 2005, the net increase will be approximately 2.5%. For further information, contact Mr. Miller at Office: (415) 973-7090 or Cell: (415) 407-0892

California's Flex Your Power 2005 Award Winners Include BOMA Members
A number of BOMA San Francisco members were recently recognized for their leadership in energy efficiency. These companies will be featured in future advertising by the CA Energy Commission in their ongoing "Flex Your Power" campaign. Congratulations are extended t

Swinerton, Inc. Swinerton Builders's renovated headquarters in San Francisco has reduced their energy consumption by 50% and saved the company more than $150,000 a year. They are also the recipients of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold rating, which is based upon not only their energy efficiency, but also their installation of a "cool roof", greater use of daylighting, and the automation of their HVAC and lighting controls.

Thomas Properties Group
. This commercial property group undertook a major energy efficiency renovation of a 2.6 million square foot Los Angeles property (City National Plaza) and saved the owners almost 1.8 million kWh, 1,300 kW and $1.5 million this year, compared to 2004.

Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc
. JLL was recognized for its leadership in demand response reductions at a major San Francisco property and was able to save nearly $250,000 over 12 months by reducing its peak period consumption by 13%.

San Francisco Hilton
. The largest hotel in San Francisco far surpassed its goal of trimming its peak load energy consumption by 275 kW in 2005, and ended up shaving almost 2,000 kW of peak power in just the first five months of 2005.

Shorenstein Company
. The Shorenstein Company was able to cut 4.6 million kWh of energy usage in 2005, saving the company $500,000 in energy costs. These reductions were accomplished by installing more efficient lighting, motors, and energy management controls.

SF Business Energy Coalition
PG & E recently announced the list of major SF businesses that have signed on to its successful SF Business Energy Coalition (Group Demand Reduction Program). These firms have delivered over 10 MW of demand reduction when the ISO (Independent System Operator) calls for program activation. To date, it has activated the demand reduction 7 times, for a total 31 hours, since 7/1/05. This program officially runs to the end of the year. In exchange for their participation, customers will rewarded with between $50 - $75/kW for their pledged reduction, in addition to other benefits, according to Juan Miller of PG & E.  The initial distribution of approximately $250,000 to the members was just made last month, with more to come at the end of the program. Mr. Miller stated that many of the customers below had dropped an average of @ 8 to 15 % in their peak loads, with little or no tenant disruption, and he considered that a win-win situation.  Miller expressed the hope to expand the program by 50% in San Francisco in 2006.

The list of participants:
Argent Hotel
Bank of America
CAC Real Estate Management Company
CNET Networks
California Public Utilities Commission
Cushman and Wakefield Property Management (4 Facilities)
Deka Immobilien Investment, Terwilliger Management Company
Four Seasons Hotel
Hilton Hotel, San Francisco
Hines Corporation (3 PG&E Facilities)
Jones Lang LaSalle (4 Facilities)
KQED
Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group, Transamerica Center
SF Marriott Hotel
Seagate Properties
Shorenstein Properties (Multiple Facilities)
State Compensation Insurance Fund
The Fairmont Hotel
The Palace Hotel
Triple Net Properties, LLC
Union Bank of California
United States Post Office (2 Facilities)

BOMA Office Tenant Improvement Permit Seminar a Success!  Copies of Handout Workbook Available
The October 18th seminar on office tenant improvement permit processes was a great success, and had over 75 in attendance, and a cast of excellent speakers. Most importantly, the seminar handout workbook created for the seminar is a "soup to nuts" guide for anyone pulling permits for office tenant renovations. It includes all forms necessary as well as check lists that detail what is required on the plans prior to submittal to the Dept. of Building Inspection. The book can be purchased for $35 (plus tax and mailing costs) from the BOMA SF office. BOMA wishes to again give a BIG THANK YOU to the excellent panel of presenters that Chairman Brad Tardy (Metro Construction, Inc.) pulled together including Neil Friedman and Laurence Kornfield (DBI), Greg Johnson (CAC Real Estate Management), Skip Soskin (Huntsman Architectural Group), Bill Mitchell (San Francisco Fire Department), Jeffrey Feldman (IA Interior Architects), Ken Cochrane (BCCI Construction) and Jim Bruntz (Commercial Interior Builders). To purchase the OTI workbook, contact Leah Eisbart or Mary Anne Bogue at the BOMA Office. Special thanks are also extended to the San Francisco Electrical Contractors Association, CAC Real Estate Management Company, Gallagher Construction Services, Pankow Special Projects, and Peacock Construction for their financial sponsorship of this event.

BOMA Window Cleaning Seminar Full of Valuable Information
The November 2 window cleaning and exterior maintenance seminar sponsored by BOMA San Francisco was a valuable event for the nearly 40 attendees. Featuring presentations by Larry McCune, the principal safety engineer for Cal-OSHA, Danny Murtagh, the director of engineering for Boston Properties, Steve Lynn, CEO of Lynn Safety consultants, Mike Dahlquist, West Region Sales Manager with Spider/California Safeworks, Gregg Tinker, President of Tower Safety Services, and Jim Sherry, Owner of Caledonian Building Services, the half-day seminar gave BOMA members information on what state law requires of both the cleaning contractors and the ownership of the property. A list of qualified companies that can provide window cleaning services and/or the required Operating Procedures Outline Sheet was also distributed in the handout materials. Excellent power point presentations walked the participants through all the legal and practical considerations they need to address before going out to bid for window cleaning services.  These included obtaining written assurances for owners as required by law: See Subchapter 7, General Industry Safety Orders, Group 1, Article 6, Section 3292. It reads "The building owner of new installations shall inform the employer before each use in writing that the installation meets the requirements of Section 3294 and 3295 relating to required load sustaining capabilities of platforms, stability factors for carriages, platforms and supporting equipment, maximum horizontal force for movement of carriages and davits, design of carriages, hoisting machines, wire rope and stabilization systems, and the design criteria for electrical wiring and equipment."  Without written assurances, building owners may be held both liable and accountable for exposing contractors and employees to hazardous conditions. If you missed this seminar, and want to obtain a copy of the handout materials, and the power point presentations, contact Tory Brubaker at the BOMA office. Cost: $35. (plus tax and mailing charges)

Final Report on World Trade Center Disaster Now Available
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released its final report on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, that was conducted under the National Construction Safety Team Act. This report describes how the aircraft impacts and subsequent fires led to collapse of the towers after terrorists flew commercial jets into the buildings. The report discusses whether the fatalities were low or high, including an evaluation of the building evacuation and emergency response procedures and what procedures were used in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the towers. There were 30 recommendations to come out of this tragedy that cover future design and construction considerations including increased structural integrity, enhanced active fire protection, and improved building evacuation and emergency response systems. To obtain a complete copy of the report, go to www.wtc.nist.gov/reports_october05.

San Francisco Supervisor Sean Elsbernd Meets with BOMA Leadership
San Francisco's District 7 (Westside, West Portal, St. Francis Woods, etc.) Supervisor, Sean Elsbernd, met with BOMA President-elect Kathy Mattes, Former BOMA President Todd Robinette, and Ken Cleaveland October 12th to discuss current and future issues facing the Board of Supervisors and possibly city voters. He lamented the fact that district concerns often trump the interests of the city as a whole on many different issues the Board votes on, and that the business community's need for a city-wide approach to problems is rarely supported. He cited the need for some change in our districts-only election system that would restore some balance to that equation, and said he would support some hybrid that included at-large districts representing the entire city.  He did say he was optimistic that the Board would approve a future payroll tax credit for so-called "green tech" companies, legislation introduced by Supervisor Jake McGoldrick to encourage the growth of that industry in the City. As for more taxes, Elsbernd stated that he believed the city should improve its processes for assessing, and collecting the taxes owed the City first before considering additional taxes on its citizens, businesses, or property owners. He noted the high cost of doing business recently just got more expensive with the newly raised fees and fines for everything imaginable in town as proof that taxpayers are being hit up enough at this time. Elsbernd is very concerned about the bonds that were voted for the re-building of Laguna Honda hospital, and wonders if this project will ever get built now that costs for construction have sky-rocketed. He is also concerned about the rebuilding of the San Francisco General Hospital, which needs hundreds of millions of dollars worth of seismic upgrading, and is the city's chief charity medical facility. Lastly, Supervisor Elsbernd suggested that he would be happy to support a charter reform measure to set aside all previously voter-approved budget set-asides, as these well-meaning special interest carve-outs have increasingly tied local government's hands in making decisions on how to allocate its financial resources.

Workers' Comp for Undocumented Workers
A California appeals court has granted workers' compensation benefits to an injured undocumented worker. Rafael Ruiz obtained employment with Farmers Brothers Coffee using fraudulent documents and used a fraudulent Social Security number when filing out his workers' compensation claim form for a work-related injury. Farmers argued that workers' compensation benefits should be denied because Ruiz was in violation of federal immigration law and not legally qualified to work. In addition, the company argued that the employment benefits Ruiz sought were obtained illegally, in violation of the state Insurance Code. The court rejected both arguments. It ruled that Labor Code section 3351, which defines "employee" to include unlawfully employed aliens, and Labor Code section 1171.5, which extends protection of state law to all individuals regardless of immigration status (except reinstatement to a job as prohibited by federal law), do not conflict with federal immigration law or policy. Further, the court ruled that it was Ruiz' employment, and not the compensable injury, that was obtained through use of fraudulent documents. Farmers Brothers Coffee v. WCAB 205 Cal. App. Lexis 1618 (Ca. App. 2nd Dist.,2005). BOMA members are advised to examine documents presented by employees carefully when reviewing I-9 forms, perform background checks on all applicants, and apply the benefits and protections of employment and discrimination law without regard to immigration status.

Governor Schwarzenegger's District Director Barbara Kaufman Speaks to BOMA
Barbara Kaufman, former two-term San Francisco Supervisor and President of the Board of Supervisors, and currently the District Director for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration in the Bay Area, met with BOMA's Government and Public Affairs Committee members to update them on the "state of the state".  In her remarks on October 19th, Ms. Kaufman noted that she is a Democrat, and that nearly half of all of the new Republican Governor's appointments were Democrats. She said the Governor is really a "centrist" kind of guy, and a "practical politician who exudes confidence and a zest for life." She reminded BOMA members that Schwarzenegger had inherited a $22 billion deficit when he took office and has worked diligently to wipe out that deficit ever since. He has also brought down worker's compensation insurance rates by 30% - 50% from an increase in the competition among carriers, and from the worker's comp reform legislation he and the state Legislature passed last year. Kaufman said the special election is only being held because the Democrats in the Legislature refused to compromise with the Governor on important reforms, particularly in the area of education. She said that less than 70% of the state's high school students actually graduate now. (50% in Oakland)  She said it's absolutely critical that the Governor rein in the forced indexed increases in spending on education (as required by Prop 98) without getting better results in the classroom, or other state priorities. She stated the Governor is particularly interested in boosting vocational training in the state, as he saw how beneficial it was in his native Austria. The Governor also wants to spend more money for math and science teachers, and to promote healthier food in school cafeteria lunches. Kaufman refuted the teachers' union statement that California is 49th in per pupil spending on education and stated it was more like 20th or 21st, which is still not good enough for him, she added. Kaufman also stated the Governor has fully-restored the Prop 42 gas tax refunds to localities which will amount to $1.3 billion more for transportation projects. She stated the Governor has also made sure the counties were given back the $1.2 billion in VLF funds they lost when he repealed the vehicle licensing fee upon winning office. Most importantly, he was supportive of Proposition 1A, which passed last year, which will ensure that localities get to keep their local property taxes. Kaufman said this new Governor is very much an environmentalist, and is setting aside more land for parks and open space than any other Governor in the state's history. Finally, Kaufman expressed optimism about the future, and that the reforms the Governor is supporting on November 8th , if passed, will reverse a current critical fact of California's budget: the state spends from $1.03 to $1.09 for every $1.00 of tax dollars the state collects.

High Rise Sprinkler Ordinanace Compliance Requirements
As most BOMA members know, all existing high-rise San Francisco buildings, unless exempted for historical purposes, must be fully-sprinkled by February 15, 2006. Former DBI Director Frank Chiu issued an advisory to all property owners of high rise buildings in 2004 that laid out what was an approved sprinkler system, how you get the system certified as compliant for the purpose of this ordinance, and what the enforcement procedures for non-compliance would be. It is a must-read document. (download here) In it you will find the list of conditions that a building owner must follow to be in compliance. There are five of them:

1. Have all the work completed with proper permits and sign offs from both building and fire departments.
2. Request in writing and be provided a letter from the Dept. of Building Inspection indicating that the work was done under previous permits and meets all requirements of the ordinance.
3. Request and be granted an exception.
4. Request and be granted an extension of time for compliance.
5. Request and be granted approval to install an alternative system for providing equivalent fire safety and have work completed in accordance with the city's ordinance by February 15, 2006.

CPSC, Kidde Announce Recall of Industrial 10 Pound Fire Extinguishers
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced in July that customers should stop using the 10lb. industrial fire extinguisher with black plastic ZytelŪ nylon valves in steel cylinders manufactured between 1991 and 2000. Their instructions included:
Name of Product: Kidde 10 lb. industrial dry chemical fire extinguishers

Units:
About 470,000 sold nationwide 1991 - 2000.

Manufacturer:
Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Inc., of Mebane, N.C.

Hazard:
The nylon valves on these extinguishers can separate from the steel cylinder during the 6-year recharge service or shortly afterwards creating a safety hazard to fire extinguisher service personnel and consumers.

Incidents/Injuries:
Kidde has received five reports of valve separation during either technical service of the units or shortly afterwards, resulting in three reports of injuries.

Description:
This Alert involves all Kidde 10 lb. dry chemical fire extinguishers manufactured with a black plastic ZytelŪ nylon valve assembly and a steel cylinder between 1991 and 2000. These units were the subject of Kidde Service Bulletin 007 issued on July 21, 2004. These units were designed for commercial and industrial applications, and the majority of these units were placed into service in factories, plants, businesses and other commercial locations as they require service by a qualified Fire Extinguisher Distributor or Service Organization every 6 years. Some of these units are in use in residential settings. The affected extinguishers have a steel cylinder with a welded neck ring and are between 19 to 21 inches tall as depicted in the image below. This Alert does not apply to Kidde's smaller 2 1/2 and 5 lb. residential fire extinguishers.

Remedy:
Fire Extinguisher Distributors and Service Organizations must immediately stop servicing all units covered under this Alert. Kidde has instituted a Fire Extinguisher Replacement Program ("Replacement Program") for all units covered by this Alert. If you are a Fire Extinguisher Distributor or Service Organization and you have not already received a copy of the Replacement Program, as outlined in Service Bulletin 007, please contact the number below. Only professional Fire Extinguisher Distributors and Service Organizations should remove the affected units and the steps as outlined in the Replacement Program must be followed.

Consumer Contact:
Fire Extinguisher Distributors and Service Organizations should contact Kidde at 1-877-777-8170 between 8 AM and 5 PM ET Monday through Friday to participate in Kidde's Replacement Program. Only professional Fire Extinguisher Distributors and Service Organizations should call this number. Consumers who suspect that they may possess one of the industrial units covered by this Alert should not remove the unit and should contact Kidde at (800) 631-7377 between 8 AM and 5 PM ET Monday through Friday. Units should not be returned to place of purchase. More information can also be obtained by visiting Kidde's Web site at www.kiddeus.com and referencing Kidde Service Bulletin 007 and Recall Alert.

IRS Updates Rules on Per Diem Rates For Business Travel
The IRS issued a revenue procedure last month that updates rules for determining per diem rates that businesses can use to reimburse employee expenses from business travel. The new per diem rate for travel to any "high-cost locality" is $226 per day, up from $204. The per diem rate for any other locality in the continental U.S. is $141, up from $129. The federal meal and incidental expense rates have increased to $58 for a high-cost locality and $45 for any other locality in the continental U.S.
Several cities have been added to the list of high-cost localities, including Steamboat Springs, CO, Bar Harbor, ME, and Saratoga Springs, NY. Some of the localities removed from the high-cost list include Palm Springs, CA, Atlantic City, NJ, and Hilton Head, SC.
Revenue Procedure 2005-67 is published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2005-42.

BOMA Hosting Luncheon for Leland Yee December 16th - Don't Miss It!
The BOMA San Francisco Political Action Committee is holding a special luncheon to honor Assembly Member Leland Yee at the Embarcadero Center's Conference Facilities (EC 4) on Friday, December 16th at noon. A contribution of at least $100 is requested. Contributions of up to $3200 are acceptable. Checks should be made out to Leland Yee for Senate (FPPC # 1268049), and are not tax deductible. This is our opportunity to recognize the Assembly Member for all the fine work he has done and to help him reach the state Senate next year. Please send your contributions to the BOMA office, c/o Ken Cleaveland, for presentation to Yee on Dec. 16th.
Come and have lunch with Leland!