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Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

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San Francisco Public Library


Not to be taken from the Library


3 1223 06019 8117

JAN 3 1 2002

3 1223 06019 8117





FEB 8 1978







V Foreman's Letter to the Presiding Judge

116 Adult Probation Department

54 Aging, Commission on the

64 Agriculture and Weights and Measures, Department of

19 Airports Commission

86 Animal Control Center
10 Art Commission

87 Asian Art Museum
100 Assessor

83 California Academy of Sciences

60 Chief Administrative Officer

91 City Attorney

48 City Planning, Department of

57 Civil Service Commission

14 Community College District

5 Controller

60 Coroner

66 County Clerk

89 District Attorney

62 Electricity, Department of

7 Electronic Data Processing


18/02 38

1'AdLK OF CONTENTS (continued)

18 Emergency Services
oA Finance and Records, Department of
85 Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
lo Fire Department
S? Health Service System
108 Juvenile Court - Youth Guidance Center
Law Library
1 Mayor
105 Municipal Court
k^ Parking Authority
24 Permit Appeals, Board of
L23 Personnel and Management
21 Police Department
2y Port Commission

68 Public Administrator - Public Guardian
92 Public Defender
7r Public Health, Department of
2? Public Library
33 Municipal Railway
'6 Public WorkSj Department of
?4 Purchasing Department

R^al Estate Department
67 Recorder
) Recreation and Park Department



69 Registrar of Voters
58 Retirement System
95 Sheriff

5^ Social Services, Department of

103 Superior Court

82 Supervisors, Board of

70 Tax Collector
101 Treasurer

13 Unified School District

28 War Memorial

55 Women, Commission on the Status of






Stelios M. Andrew
Miss Barbara A. Belling
Miss Kathleen M. Calkin
Mrs. Mary B. Donnelly
Lawrence M. DuVall
Earl L. Ellingson
Ms. Leslie Evans
Wolfgang Hellpap

George A. Kardum
Frank L. Markey
Mrs. Aileen McCarty
Mrs. Dagmar G. Meyer
Francis J. Murphy
Seizo F. Oka
Miss Irene G. O'Neill
Mrs. Edith Perlman

Carlos E. Xavier

Miss Suzanne E. Perry, Secretary

Robert E. Graham, Foreman

Impaneled, August 1, 1976

Discharged, July 7, 1977


City and County of San Francisco



Room iss. City Hall
telephone: 558-5010

Honorable Henry R. Rolph
Presiding Judge , Superior Court
City and County of San Francisco
Room 465, City Hall
San Francisco, California 94102

Dear Judge Rolph:

I am honored to transmit herewith the investigatory grand jury
reports prepared by the 1976-77 Grand Jury for the City and County
of San Francisco.

You will, of course, note that despite our intentions one year
ago, not all of the departments of the City and County of San Francisco
have been investigated and reported upon. In part, this is because
of the time required for the preparation of the extensive reports on
other departments and, in part, it is because of the unique character
of a citizens' Grand Jury. I will not apologize for failure of the
group to produce a report on each department. It is not possible to
investigate thoroughly and competently the workings of a government
as complex as that of the City and County of San Francisco in the
short time of one year.

I feel it incumbent upon me to evaluate our term of office and
to assess our successes. This Grand Jury was the first to be chosen
by lot from the voter rolls; its make-up was widely diverse in income,
in ages, in ethnic origin, and in professional or occupational back-
ground. This diversity brought refreshing candor to our discussions
and deliberations and provided divergent viewpoints.

Nearly all of the members of this Grand Jury were employed; this
fact presented our first difficulty. Employers were not uniformly
understanding of the time required to competently and effectively
investigate and report on the functions of the various city depart-
ments. The time spent by some members of the Grand Jury during work-
ing hours caused a certain degree of difficulty in their employment.

Another problem was that the randomly selected Grand Jury was
not uniformly well-received by City department heads. Several man-
agers almost routinely made and cancelled meetings with us or even
failed to appear at those conferences scheduled. Some department
heads made rather blatant attempts to influence the opinions of the
stronger willed members of the committees investigating their depart-
ments. Some department heads clearly expected the Grand Jury to do
nothing more than carry their message of budgetary plight to the pub-
lic, the press, the Board of Supervisors, or whoever else they felt


could assist them. Despite this treatment by a small minority of
the leaders of our government, we have attempted to maintain an
objective attitude in our evaluation.

Those few problems notwithstanding, I do feel a Grand Jury
chosen at random can effectively perform within certain limitations.

First, it has become quite apparent to us that the enormous
commitment of time, energy, and interest on the part of each mem-
ber was not adequately stressed at the time we were chosen at random
to serve on the Grand Jury. I would recommend therefore that each
retiring foreman participate, by invitation of the Presiding Judge,
in a discussion with prospective Grand Jury members concerning the
duties and obligations of the Grand Jury with the view towards obtain-
ing truly dedicated individuals with ample time and a desire to serve
the city.

Secondly, because the investigatory Grand Jury is chosen at
random, there might not be an adequate experience level in business,
management, accounting, or personnel. Lacking this experience level
may result in a Grand Jury merely accepting the statements of those
in City government as gospel. I would recommend, therefore, that
selection areas of the city services or specific topics be investigat-
ed depending on the interests and background of each Grand Jury. The
present system of creating seventeen committees for the investigation
of specific departments becomes extremely repetitive especially where
no changes have occurred in the operations of some City departments.
The resulting reports have sometimes read like an introductory civics
lesson. Larger and more complex problems may be overlooked. A City
department should not expect an annual review by the Grand Jury.
Rather, the watchdog Grand Jury should turn its entire attention and
energy in limited areas where problems have been disclosed in their
investigations. The continued investigations should be thorough and
minutely detailed.

Lastly, I would also recommend further public participation be
actively solicited to assist the Grand Jury. This Grand Jury solic-
ited comments on the performance of City departments by means of a
questionnaire to many community and neighborhood groups. The responses
received from those neighborhood groups were generally derogatory
towards the functioning of the City, but they also lacked the specif-
icity needed to be meaningful in our investigation. Uniform praise
and enthusiasm was given, however, for being included in the process
of evaluating the City. Additionally, one committee had several
afternoon sessions with employees of a specific department on an
open-house basis. There was an unusually high level of participation
in this process. The anonymous comments presented to the department
head and discussed with him resulted in several improvements in the
operation of that department.

In conclusion, I would state that I sincerely appreciate the
guidance and wisdom you have provided me in my duties. I also wish


to express the appreciation of the Grand Jury for the active assis-
tance and dedication of Michael Tamony and his staff.

I would also like to publicly thank the members of the first
randomly selected Grand Jury, individually, for their time, devotion,
sacrifice and dedication during this past year. Each person has
made a unique contribution to the final report.



iobert E. Graham, Foreman
1976-77 Civil Grand Jury



George Moscone has been Mayor of the City and County of
San Francisco now for approximately 1-1/2 years. In that time he has
endeavored to create and endorse policy recommendations which would
help to alleviate some of the confusion established by a City Charter
written many years ago and based on the needs of that time.

In spite of his attempt to manage this City and County , he has
been subject to more verbal abuse and dissension from some members of
the Board of Supervisors than any Mayor of San Francisco in thirty
years. His low profile approach has undoubtedly done Mayor Moscone more
harm than good, and it seems wise that the Mayor present more of his
programs and endorsements to the people of San Francisco.

Tax Relief : The budget submitted to the Board of Supervisors by the
Mayor for the 1976-77 fiscal year, included such property tax relief
proposals as a parking tax increase and extension of the gross receipts/
payroll tax (both originally cut, but returned to the tax rolls on the
third reading), a property transfer tax, and the request that legisla-
tion be instituted to increase the Municipal Railway fare. On the third
reading of the budget, the gross receipts and payroll tax increases were
adopted, as well as the parking tax increase, but the other relief
measures were disregarded, rendering the people of San Francisco the
most staggering property tax rate this City has ever seen. The Muni
fare increase alone would have been helpful, but an Environmental Im-
pact Report (EIR) is now required before such an increase can be
considered, and the Board has advised that a study has not even been
requested, as an increase is not 'timely'.

It is firmly believed, however, that when San Francisco can
have one of the lowest transportation fares throughout the country,
and still have such a poor transit budget and a failing system, then
'timely' or not, an increase should be adopted. We do not necessarily
recommend that fares for senior citizens or students be increased,
however, we do feel that general fares are disporportionate to services
received. It is most commendable that there is a desire to continue
to provide the people so much for so little, but when they must con-
tinue to pay for a falling service, a change is clearly Indicated.

Political timing is not what the citizens of San Francisco
vote for, and this Grand Jury would hope that an environmental impact
report be requested regarding an increase in the Muni fares; and
further, that the gross receipts/payroll tax and parking tax increases
be extended, as partial resolutions to a heavy property tax rate.

CETA : The individuals of San Francisco who have comprised
the 1976-77 Grand Jury have indeed seen what leaves much to be desired
In the Joint effort of managing this City.


TKl MAYOR (continued)

There was a continuous flow of innuendo emmanating from the
Board of Supervisors earlier this year with regard to the CETA Arts
Program. when inadequate supervision was suggested by the 3oard,
rather than requesting a review by the Director of the Budget, coor-
dination with the Department involved could have been more expedient
and inexpensive method of obtaining the same results. In this specific
situation, no consultation with the coordinator of the CETA Arts Pro-
gram was requested or made prior to the evaluation by the Bureau of
the Budget.

It is agreed without reservation that a check on Executive
and Legislative powers is necessary, but definitely not at the expense
of the people before all alternative measures have been exhausted.

Personnel :

Due to number of outdated Charter Laws pertaining to
Civil Service, many City Departments lack effective training; evalua-
tion of performance; standard setting, and priority listing of objec-
tives and goals. It is clearly up to the individual departments to
set the standards of performance, but Department Managers alone have
the sole responsibility of setting priorities and the subsequent
accomplishment of same, as mandated by the City Charter.

As San Francisco is also reputed for its training programs,
once again it should also have the benefit of full evaluation and
selection, and as salaries and full benefits total approximately 80-
90% of the City's budget every year, perhaps a look at ways of saving
in this area should be taken. In many departments, a training period
of 6-12 months is sometimes necessary, as in the Electronic Data
Processing Department or the Assessor's Office, and this obviously
leaves no time to properly evaluate an employees' knowledge and skill
before probation is over.

Further, as San Francisco is required to pay its employees
in certain job classifications on a scale comparable to private in-
dustry, then the City should have the same perogative of selection
on the same basis. Promotion on qualification rather than seniority
is a basic fact in business all over the nation, and San Francisco
should be no exception.

Mayo rial Endorsements and Recommendations ;

Mayor Moscone has reviewed and endorsed many suggestions
presented in various audits performed during this fiscal year. He
has acknowledged the need of providing managers with more flexibility
in recruiting, promoting and terminating, and he has requested the
Civil Service Commission to propose programs to provide incentives
for good performance. Charter Amendment recommendations to support


TH" :-iAYOR (continued)

this need and endorsed by the T^ayor are:

1. To extend the probationary period of all employees to
12 months;

2. To combine the entrance and promotive examinations to
create a list of all qualified personnel available for open positions.

However, during the past year, this Jury has found serious
hardships in many departments resulting from accumulated sick-leave
be ins taken at retirement. This situation is more fully amplified in
other reports of this Jury, (The Controller, Police Department, Adult
Probation). It is strongly recommended by this Jury that a serious
review of this situation be undertaken and Charter revision be proposed
to shorten this accumulation to a more realistic figure for new City
employees .

Program Management :

A major innovation of the Moscone Administration is in the
Mayor's Department of Program Management.

This department, being so aptly named, has the goal of
providing services to the people of San Francisco by way of inter-
departmental coordination.

For example, complaints may be registered on the danger of
embarking on a bus in a heavily trafficked downtown area, due to the
bus stopping In the middle of the street because the bus zone is full
of parked cars. Through the efforts of the Transportation Division
of the Program Management Department, it is determined that the right
lane of a 3-lane, one-way street in the downtown area, should be used
for Muni service, and right-turn only for all vehicular traffic.

The following departments must be consulted and coordinated:

1. City Planning Department - for transit planning and
coordination of all other one-way streets along the chosen route,

2. Parking Authority - to aid in advising and regulating
commercial vehicle parking and use of designated areas,

3. Police Department/Traffic - to regulate and enforce the
rules and flow of traffic,

JJ . Public Works - to paint the streets accordingly, or post
signs for turns.

If the response from these individual City Departments Is
inadequate and does not provide the necessary information sought , then


THE MAYOR (continued)

the staff of Program Management will respond and try to assist. How-
ever, with a small staff of 11, each having responsibility of one of
the divisions listed below, to advise and render individual assistance
to each personal complaint is recognized as a rather monumental and
sometimes non-productive task. It should be remembered that the sole
function of this Department is inter-departmental coordination through-
out the City and County Departments.

The following is a list of the departments and areas of ser-
vice coordinated by the Program Management Department:


Departments Coordinated



Recreation & Park
Public Safety
Housing/Comm. Dev.
Human Care Services

Cultural Activity
Future Planning

S.F. Unified School District & SFCCD

PUC (Muni), DPW (Traffic), Police
(Traffic), Parking Authority, Planning
Dept. (Transp. Planning), All Private
Transit Carriers (Airporter, Taxis,
Jitneys, Etc.)

All Recreation & Park Functions EXCEPT
Prop. J Planning (which is in 'pl ann ing'

Police, Fire, Adult Probation, Juvenile
Court, District Attorney, P/D, MCJC,

OCD, City Planning (Housing Section),
SFRDA, SFHA, DPW (B3I) , Real Estate
Dept. (REHAB) Model Cities

Commission on Aging, Department of
Social Services, All Department of
Health Functions EXCEPT Environmental
Health (this is in City environment

Art Commission, Library, Museums, War
Memorial, Academy of Sciences, Opera,
Symphony & Ballet Association

Energy/Land Use, PUC (Water & Hetch
Hetchy, Planning) Planning Dept. (EIR
Process), Real Estate Department (Zoning),
Board of Permit Appeals (Planning issues),
Environ. Man. Task Force, Prop J - Open
Space Planning.


THE MAYOR (continued)
Jobs & Econ. Dev.

City Environment:

Other City Services:

OED, MOET, City Planning (Commerce &
Industry Element), Tourist & Hotel &
Chamber Groups.

DPW: (Sewer Repair, Street Cleaning,
Tree Planting, Solid Waste
Disposal, Street Repair,
Bureau of Architecture,
Building Repair)

HEALTH: (Rats, Garbage, Environment)

PUC: Hetch Hetchy/Water Department
(day to day maintenance &
repair problems)

OTHER: Noise Abatement, Litter Com-
mittee, Parapet Law, Seismic
Safety, Landmarks, Historic
Preservation, High Rise Safety.

Port, Airport, (Except Transportation
to & from; Human Rights Commission,
Civil Service & Affirmative Action,
Registrar of Voters, Purchaser of


Politics is a way of life, and like taxes, will remain with
us. To be opposed to a policy is accepted as the way of politics.
However, by and large, this has not been the case in San Francisco
since the election of George Moscone. The continuous clash between
the Mayor and some members of the Board of Supervisors has not restricted
itself to policy issues.

We commend Mayor Mo scone for his efforts in endorsing some
necessary changes needed to promote more efficient management of City
Departments, and hope that he will more publicly present future proposals
and endorsements to the people of San Francisco.


The purpose of the Department of the Controller is to
FINANCIALLY plan, control and manage the City and County of San Francisco.

In October, 1976, the Controller's Department employed approxi-
mately 126 persons in the following six divisions:


THb CONTROLLER (continued)

Accounts &. Reports General Audits
Budget Utility Audits

General Office Payroll

By fiscal year end, there will have been several changes in
this department, starting with the General Office Division.

Organization :

The implementation of a new Vendor Payment System is currently
underway. This new system will make each individual desk in the
General Office Division responsible for the transactions of individual
departments. This new system will provide more timely processing and
work flow of documents.

Due to the more efficient work flow of documents from the
General Office Division, the Accounts and Reports Division will be in
a better position to provide more timely reporting schedules.

Also being developed is a separate Grants Division, to be
solely responsible for handling the more than $300 million in grants
procured by the City through various programs.

With the separation of the grants responsibility, this has
opened the door to combining the General Audits and Utility Audits
Divisions, leaving them free to conduct and report on a more timely
basis the annual and monthly audits required by City Charter.

Personnel :

Turnover in personnel in the Controller's Department is quite
high. Out of 47 employees in the General Office Division in 10/76,
only 4 had been there for one year. A number of reasons exist for
this high rate.

Salary levels for most clerical workers in this department
are somewhat below private industry, and this has left this department
open as a training ground only.

In turn, as the process of obtaining replacement personnel
can take as long as 2-4 months, Supervisors must perform the day to
day accounting functions, ■ lowering their morale, as they then are not
effectively evaluating the personnel in their departments, and this
is sorely needed.

The accumulation of sick leave being taken at retirement,
as a virtual additional vacation, and thus carrying a person on the pay-
roll and not having the benefit of work out-put for a period of some-
times up to six months, is also a low moral factor, not to mention
economically unsound.


THE CONTROLLER (continued)

Recommendations :

This Jury would recommend that a Charter change he proposed
and endorsed to extend the probationary period of new employees to
that of 12 months, for two basic reasons:

1. To induce an attitude of more permanence;

2. To allow for a more reasonable period of evaluation,
as many departments require more than 6 months of

This Jury endorses the recommendation of a combined entrance/
promotive examination and subsequent list of all qualified personnel,
as recommended in other reports of this Jury (i.e., The Mayor).

The sick leave accumulation problem can be most detrimental
in this department, when combined with the high turnover problem,
and a serious study and review is suggested at once to bring this
accumulation down to a more realistic figure.

Conclusion :

Mr. John Farrell, Controller, is doing a commendable job in
carrying out those functions directed by the City Charter which he
has been charged with, considering the problem of high turnover, and
lack of proper training that exist.

The yearly audit of his department was thoroughly reviewed
by the Controller and his staff, and some valuable suggestions presented
which might be utilized were adopted.

We laud his management of a department with such critical
problems in personnel, and hope that those suggestions presented by
this Jury will be seriously reviewed in an effort to create more effic-
ciency in this, and other City Departments.


The Electronic Data Processing Department (EDP) has a central
complex at City Hall, currently running at 98-100% use capacity. The
request for budget funds, to be subsidized by a request for federal
funds, in the 1977-78 budget, was denied, and for at least the next
fiscal year, EDP will have to make do.

The invaluable systems being run and designed for the various
City Departments through EDP are most impressive.



The Health Care System, installed approximately 1-1/2 years
ago, at San Francisco General Hospital, has recovered at least
$'"4,000,000 in bill collections so far, and has enabled the hospital
to double its billings.

The purpose of computer aids is to obtain a full, true and
total picture of a situation. When all of the problems have been
acknowledged, a revision of departmental procedures and system design
can then be made. However, there are still many problems existing in
the admission, registration and accounting functions of the hospital,
all of which require EDP assistance, and this assistance cannot be
forthcoming until the current system capacity is enlarged.

This Jury recommends that prompt attention and financial
aid be rendered to EDP to help establish a system to generate more
revenue from our health services departments.

With the data currently in the computers , the EDP Department
would appear to be in a most equitable position to assist in quantita-

Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 1 of 32)