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Historical Records Commission Minutes April 8, 2021

Members present:
Steven Lovejoy (Chair)
Eric Stanley (Vice-Chair)
Gretchen Emmert
John Murphey
Margaret Purser

Members excused:
None

Associate Members present:
Amanda King, Secretary
Ann Hammond, Director, Sonoma County Library
Deva Marie Proto, County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters
Deborah Doyle, Library Commissioner (LC) Liaison to the HRC

Guests present:
Karen Schneider, Library Commissioner (LC)

  1. Call to order 4:01 pm
  2. Welcoming New Commissioner, Margaret Purser
  3. Introduction of Guests
  4. Presentation on Brown Act by Deputy County Counsel, Linda Schiltgen
    1. Steve: Question on the Ethics training for non-compensated Commissioners
    2. Steve: Would you be able to come back in May for training in Social Media and the Public Records Act or is that enough?
      1. Linda: Will leave up to Deva to decide due to budget coming from Recorder.
    3. John: Not related to our meeting but when a commissioner is using a phone during the Applicant presentation, person leading the meeting says put their phone away or they have to enter the information into the record from their phone.
      1. Linda: If it's an informational meeting, I don't see a lot of harm to bring up for everyone to know.
    1. March 11, 2021 Minutes approved
      1. Motion by Eric Stanley
      2. Second by John Murphey
      3. Approved
      1. Budget Discussion
        1. $4,396 and does not include the cost of the business cards yet
        2. Obtained Business Cards for Margaret Purser - waiting on cards for Gretchen Emmert
      2. Continuing Business
        1. HRC Commissioners Report
          1. Steven's report:
            • Been working with Amanda on getting the New HRC Member Packets prepared
            • Joyce Sayed had sent out the HRC Retention Schedule, I was curious about where are these records?
          2. John's report:
            • Reached out to the Sonoma Valley Historical Society again to tell them we are here if they have anything that is a concern or interest.  Their primary concern is the Archives and they want to write a letter to us to introduce into the record.
            • Reached out to Healdsburg Historical Society and Museum and they did not respond.
          3. Eric's report:
            • Carol Eber reached out to me with the Advocates for the Archives about contact with organizations like the local chapter of the JACL and Redwood Empire Chinese Association and followed up with her providing those contacts.  Some outreach to specific City officials.
          4. Gretchen's report:
            • Letting everyone at City of Santa Rosa know that I am on the HRC now.
            • Response to Disaster timeline for the City
            • Doing research on City seal on the flag during dedication of City Hall
          5. Margaret's report:
            • Invited by the Santa Rosa Historical Society to give a presentation about some research that I did a few years ago about Highway 101 coming through Santa Rosa in the 1940s and then the 1960s.
            • Got in touch with Lynn Prime, Special Collections Archivist, Sonoma State University Library
            • Research was made possible due to the discovery of some big boxes that were located in Oakland, that are original records for the survey of Highway 101.  All of the records are now in the Sonoma State special collections
            • Giving a Presentation will be focused on You don’t know what you don’t know – Webinar – Thursday, April 15
        2. Library Commissioner Report
          1. Update from Ann Hammond:
            • Library staff is ½ way through an inventory of materials at the Archives.  We have ordered some materials to repackage some of the most vulnerable things we encounter.  Should be completed by end of April.
            • Met with Supervisor Gorin about the importance of the Archives and desire to relocate them as soon as possible.  Also had a follow up conversation on a site that would be possible for the next 5 years.
            • Supervisor Gorin encouraged us to submit a budget application for support for this project and we have done that.
              • Steve: the $140,000 to relocate a small portion to the Annex
          2. Update from Karen Schneider:
            • Board is moving at pace and we all agree the materials need to be relocated by September.
            • Believe we are looking at arranging another meeting of the Ad Hoc Archives Task Force. 
            • Review of documents that address the materials
            • Discussion about providence with legal counsel
            • We cannot speed up any faster than we were going and it is going pretty fast already. 
            • We could not bring consultants across country during the pandemic. 
            • Looking at all options including storage in other states with companies like Iron Mountain.
            • There has been a lot made about putting the materials in the basement of the Library, you don’t move materials from a fire zone to a flood zone.  The report addresses the problems of the basement site. 
              • Steve: The materials were in the basement and then moved to Los Guilicos
          3. Update from Deborah Doyle:
            • This all started when the Library was part of Sonoma County.  We have to be mindful that the role of the library is independent and has changed and Sonoma County has changed as well.  There are Archives and Public Library records.  I think that many of those records don’t belong in the Public Library.  Part of our conversation has to be, where does the rest of it live?  It’s important to think about.
            • Build America’s Library Act that is circulating in House and Senate.  It would be wonderful if people who are committed to saving information to write to Senators Feinstein and Senator Padilla.  Neither Senator has signed.  If we can talk Congress into including this in the Infrastructure bill this would be better. 
            • Deborah to send Secretary the contact information.
          4. Comments from Steve:
            • Commend the Library and the Commission for sharing information that we haven’t received in the past.  Lack of clarity has brought on some confusion and concern that was probably not necessary.  With more information, people are becoming more confident that this is going to be looked at seriously.  Thank you for that.
            • When you talked with Supervisor Gorin, did you bring up that the lawyers determined the Library does not own the materials?
              • Ann: Yes, she understood that and realizes they are County materials.
              • Steve: We have been advocating to identify the roles and responsibilities of the ownership.
            • Have we been using the County Administrator or any County agency to find a county building that is available?
              • Ann: We did ask about that and were told there is no current County-owned facility that is available.
              • Deva: The County has been leasing facilities for a large number of its employees for a long time. These buildings are not in great shape.  The County is considering a new County Campus plan at this time.  They own properties but nothing will be added to those properties.
              • Steve: I was wondering where the Records Center is located, is there other buildings over there?
              • Deva: I couldn’t speak to that, I know there are buildings but I can’t speak to occupancy or budget or cost.
            • How can the HRC help the Library and the Library Commission move this forward?
              • Deborah: The Ad Hoc Committee has to meet certainly.  Once we get the inventory done some decisions have to be made after that.
              • Ann: Your support is invaluable.  We have the same goals in mind.
              • Steve: Let us know if we can jump in there and anything we can do.
              • Karen: Collective problem and will take collective effort to solve
        3. Archives Activity Report
          1. See above
          2. Archives Task Force Report
            1. Have not met but will be meeting soon
          3. Strategic Planning
            1. Will get back to this once the new commissioners are up to speed in a couple months.
            2. We have a presentation by Deborah Lindley on the process of How Retention Schedules are approved in the County.
          4. Collections & Archives Recognition Awards
            1. Update from Eric Stanley:
              • Pulled down the Historical Societies nomination form and forwarded that out.
              • Modified the guidelines that we worked on in the past. 
              • If we want to put that as a broad nomination form it’s ready or we can have discussion and make modifications.
              • Tried to build this so we are not reliant on submissions
              • After approval, maybe we can have a meeting where we bring some Nominees.
            2. Secretary to put on the agenda for next month.
            3. Eric and John to form a Subcommittee to discuss
          5. Outreach
            1. Update by John Murphey on the 2004 HRC/Landmarks Commission Pamphlet, “ Researching the History of Your Sonoma County Building”:
              1. Need to send updated pamphlet to Margaret
              2. Need to update links 
            2. Secretary updated the HRC Historical Societies, Sites and Resources website to include the Advocates for the Sonoma County Archives website
          6. Bylaws amendment
            1. Motion to approve by Margaret Purser
            2. Second by Eric Stanley
            3. Approved
            4. Secretary to see if bylaws need to go on the website
        4. New Business
          1. None
        5. Public Comment
          1. Sonoma County Heritage Network Meeting, April 10, 2021, 10am to 12pm, on ZOOM. 
          2. Library Commission meeting, May 3, 2021, 6pm, on ZOOM
            1. Library will be opening soon
            2. Roseland Library new home will be opening in June, 470 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa
          3. Advocates of the Sonoma County Archives, holding Facebook events online as an introduction to the Archives. 
          4. Museum of Sonoma County Exhibits:
            1. 35: Thirty-Five Artists for Thirty-Five Years, beginning December 22, 2020: https://museumsc.org/35-exhibition/
            2. Re-opening to the public in May 2021
            3. Thursday, April 15, Discussion with the Curator of the Postal Museum at the Smithsonian
              1. Jeremy Nichols has been hunting for maps and renamed streets and postal codes
        6. Meeting adjourned at 5:13PM

        Next Meeting - May 13, 2021 - WebEx, 4:00PM

        Contact Information

        Secretary of the Commission
        Historical Records Commission
        County of Sonoma
        Business Hours
        Monday – Friday
        8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
        Contact us by Phone

        Mailing Address

        Sonoma County Historical Records Commission

        585 Fiscal Drive, Rm 103

        Santa Rosa, CA 95403

        Meeting Location:

        Currently Virtual, link posted with Agenda

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