California. Grand Jury (San Francisco).

Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

. (page 13 of 32)
Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 13 of 32)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

percent of its clientele. For both attorneys and non-attorneys, it
provides an invaluable source of legal materials including volumes
of case law and statutory law as well as copies of all briefs submitted
to the Supreme Court. Despite its general population use, there is
very little problem with book loss. In fact, less than ten volumes
per year require replacement due to their non-return.

Presently, the Law Library is operating efficiently at its
present level of funding. If, however, additional funds become
necessary, we concur with the Librarian's suggestion that a minimal
Law Library fee should be added to the San Francisco Bar Association
dues. We feel that this would provide an equitable source of funds
since the general public already pays $6.50 through court filing fees.

Leslie Evans
Aileen McCarty
Carlos Xavier

Suzanne Perry , Chairman



One overriding difficulty which concerned this Grand Jury
was the civil service personnel system as presently constituted.
V.'hile the Jury feels that the Civil Service Commission is dclng a
creditable job within the confines of the Charter imposed restric-
tions, we would recommend a thorough study of the Civil Service
system as it presently functions in the City and County of San

The Civil Service Commission reported receiving few
complaints from the City departments and accordingly the Commission
feels the City departments are satisfied with the oresent system.
In contrast, City department heads have experienced great difficulty
in Civil Service and yet have failed to report those shortcomings
to the Commission. That breakdown in communication is striking.

Even more alarming is the breadth of the Civil Service
problem. One City department is almost completely staffed with
temporary personnel. In the event permanent personnel are ever
designated for that department it is apparent that the present
supervisor-worker hierarchy may not exist, but rather workers may
become supervisors and vice-versa. Thus there is and can be no
innovation; the lack of stability is unnerving to the employees.

Another department underwent a wholesale reorganization
with a new department head and new or transferred employees. The
final result was that not one person in the department had prior
experience or training in the proper operation of the r'enartment ' s
functions .

Accumulated sick leave remains a major obstacle for
effective management. A retiring individual can apparently take
sick leave with pay immediately prior to retirement based on a
formula which can produce up to 6 months time off. During this
period this position Is deemed filled until retirement Dut the desk
is empty. In one case an heir was paid for accumulated benefits
and the position had to remain vacant for nearly 8 months.
Frequently the position itself is eliminated in the next budget thus
leaving a department with a heavy lower echelon of clerks and a
rapidly diminishing upper end of the pyramid of experienced and
presumably higher paid individuals.

Another problem frequently experienced is the 6 month
probationary period. This is felt to be much too short for any but
the most rudimentary positions. Many City Jobs require more than
6 months experience and training Just to learn the basics. It is
unfair to both the employee and employer to expect an accurate
performance evaluation before being fully trained.



There is no uniform system in the City for department heads
to reward outstanding performance, to provide more rapid increases
in salary progression or to have any genuine degree of flexibility
in hiring, firing or promoting. From a management point of view
it is frustrating. From the viewpoint of the typical City employee
there is no incentive to perform their tasks in other than a cursory
manner. That some City employees do make outstanding contributions
to their departments and to the public is a product of their
individual nature; it is not something the City fosters.

These same comments apply to the middle management deficit.
There is currently no uniform mechanism to routinely measure the
nerformance of the managers. Department heads are chagrined at the
experience level of middle management; middle managers honestly
evaluate their recent promotion as an overwhelming challenge because
of their necessary training; Civil Service stands ready to prepare
a training and education program for departments which request such
programs; department heads are reluctant to seek Civil Service
assistance in establishing such programs. Again, department heads
request added flexibility in hiring, firing and promotion of
management .

In sum, a thorough study is recommended of the personnel
and management systems including the underlying Charter provisions
with a view towards simplification, management flexibility and the
rewarding of a job well done.

For and on Behalf of the 1976-77 San Francisco County Civil Grand Jury











V Foreman's Letter to the Presiding Judge

VI Introduction

102 Adult Probation Department

45 Aging, Commission on the

55 Agriculture and Weights and Measures, Department of

31 Airport

86 Animal Control Center

25 Art Commission

84 Asian Art Museum

100 Assessor

81 California Academy of Sciences

48 Chief Administrative Officer

88 City Attorney

42 City Planning, Department of

1 Civil Service Commission

28 Community College District

17 Controller

51 Coroner

63 County Clerk

90 District Attorney

53 Electricity, Department of

21 Electronic Data Processing



32 Emergency Services
83 Fine Arts Museums

33 Fire Department
2 Health Service System

39 Hetch Hetchy Water and Power Department

45 Human Rights Commission

109 Law Library

10 Mayor

12 Mayor's Office of Employment Training

105 Municipal Court

37 Municipal Railway

43 Parking Authority

6 Permit Appeals, Board of

35 Police Department

6 Port Commission

56 Public Administrator - Public Guardian
92 Public Defender
64 Public Health, Department of

7 Public Library

76 Public Works, Department of
78 Purchasing Department

77 Real Estate Department

57 Recorder
42 Recreation and Park Department

58 Registrar of Voters



3 Retirement System

93 Sheriff

M Social Services, Department of

103 Superior Court

80 Supervisors, Board of

59 Tax Collector

101 Treasurer

27 Unified School District

8 War Memorial

38 Water Department

1*6 Women, Commission on the Status of

107 Youth Guidance Center and Juvenile Court



Mrs. Helen I. Abbett
Robert D. Au
James K. Broderick
Thomas J. Cook
Willie J. Crosby
Joseph McKinley
Michael J. O'Brien
Miss Jane P. Reeve

Reynold T. Rey

Mrs. Lucinda M. Romaneck

Steven H. Rosen

Howard L. Ross

Ronald P. Rubia

Robert G. Smith

Edward J. Sosa

Miss Margarita V. Tallerico

Mrs. Naomi Hansen, Secretary

Gordon A. Caswell, Foreman

Impaneled, July 27, 1977

Discharged, June 30, 1978


City and County of San Francisco


Room 163 City Hall
telephone: 558-5010

Honorable Lawrence S. Mana
Presiding Judge, Superior Court
City and County of San Francisco
Room 1*35, City Hall
San Francisco, California 9*1102

Dear Judge Mana:

On behalf of the members of the 1977-78 Civil Grand Jury,
the reports of Grand Jury are enclosed.

I would like to thank you for your counsel and guidance
throughout the Year, and the assurance that you were available
if needed.

The Jury's particular thanks are due Mr. Michael Tamony ,
Grand Jury Consultant, for his constant support and encourage-
ment. We would like to thank also members of his staff for their
willing clerical assistance.

My special commendation and thanks goes to all the members
of the Grand Jury who worked so well and so faithfully during
the past twelve months. Our Jury was a cross section of the
City comprising many ethnic backgrounds and age groups, from
students to retired persons. Most of the Jurors had full time
Jobs, and it was not easy for them to put in the countless hours
necessary to perform these investigative duties. I am most grate-
ful to them for their devotion to duty, their cooperative spirit,
and the support given to me .

We have tried to take a positive approach in our reports,
and hope that our findings and recommendations will be of benefit.

Sincerely ,

Gordon A. Caswell, Foreman
1977-78 Civil Grand Jury



The Investigative phase of the Grand Jury was nearly
complete prior to the passage of Proposition 13 on June 6, 1978.
Most of our reports were written and many were approved while
revisions to the 1978-79 Budget were being made. During that
period it was not possible to determine from one day to the
next what cuts were coming. We regret that some of the reports
will not reflect the latest situation with regard to funding.

During the past year, the Grand Jury met almost
weekly to discuss the findings of various sub-committees. On
these occasions certain problems that are common to many
departments repeatedly came to our attention. We would like
to include here our conclusions and recommendations in these

Supervision and Personnel

The largest item in all budgets is for salaries.
In Public Works it is 85* , in the Fire Department it is about
9755. Any reduction in the cost of running the City can only be
made by reducing salary costs. The Mayor and the Board of
Supervisors should show the strongest possible leadership in
developing an efficient and productive work force. They should
ascertain that every employee is necessary and productive. All
employees should have in their possession a description of
their Job and of the performances required. They should be
evaluated on a regular basis and counselled as to their
performance .

There is laxity in basic supervision. Members of the
Grand Jury were told by the Chief Administrative Officer sub-
sequent to the parking meter scandal that time keeping was
known to be lax in many areas , and it was not unusual for
employees to leave their Jobs early. This situation is
intolerable. The least to be expected of a supervisor is that
he knows where his employees are. Supervisors at all levels
from top to bottom should check to see that their employees
work a full day. Graveyard and week-end shifts should not be
overlooked. The practice of submitting "anticipated" time
rolls should be ended.

Civil Service

The Civil Service Regulations should be reviewed and
revised. The problems created by these antiquated rules are
well known to all. The Mayor should lean on the Civil Service


INTRODUCTION (continued)

Commission to get prompt action for a complete overhaul.

Although mentioned elsewhere, the City and County
is out of line in the number of disability retirements. All
possible measures should be taken to reduce this abuse. City
officials should encourage the passage of the Lanterman Bill.

Charter Revision

Everyone knows that the City Charter needs revision.
It fragments the responsibility and authority of the Mayor and
the Board of Supervisors, and grants powers to boards and
commissions that are not responsible to the voters. This
results in inefficient and expensive government. Responsi-
bilities should be clearly defined, with sufficient authority
given to the responsible elected official.

Everywhere the Grand Jury went complaints were heard
of the problems caused by the Charter. We recommend that the
Mayor and Board of Supervisors actively support the efforts
which will soon be started to rewrite the Charter.


Serious consideration should be given to consolida-
tions of departments, thereby increasing efficiency and
eliminating duplication of effort. For example, the tax
collecting function could be combined with the Treasurer with
many obvious advantages. The Grand Jury Report of 1975-76
stated that $500,000 yearly was lost in interest at tax
collection time because it took three weeks to get the tax
receipts from the Tax Collector to the Treasurer. Fifty-two
counties in California have already combined these functions.

Another example would be placing the County Clerk
under the Superior Court for which most of his work is performed.
The Court' 8 interest in the efficient operation of the County
Clerk's office would be much greater than that of the Director
of Finance and Records, and it would have the authority to
make changes .

It appears quite feasible to eliminate the Job of
Director of Finance and Records. With the position vacant,
this is a painless time to do it.

The 1975-76 Grand Jury recommended a consolidation
of fiscal officers: the Controller, the Budget Analyst to the
Mayor and the Budget Director of the Board of Supervisors. We
believe the central fiscal office would be most effective


INTRODUCTION (continued)

reporting both to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor. In
the light of the emergency created by Proposition 13 » and the
unfounded predictions of disaster, we recommend careful con-
sideration of the creation of a Central Fiscal Office.

Implementation of Reports

Each year the City and County spends hundreds of
thousands for audits by private experts, surveys by Mr. Harvey
Rose, audits by the Controller, and audits by the Civil Grand
Jury. In all too many cases, the advice is challenged, refuted
or ignored. There is little or no follow-up to insure imple-
mentation of that part of the advice that was accepted. The
Bcandal in the Tax Collector's office could have been prevented
with better folow-up of an audit report, and there are many
other examples. We recommend that procedures be established
for better follow-up. A lot of money is being wasted if
we buy advice and don't use it.

Budget - Proposition 13

Long before Mayor Moscone declared the emergency, the
Grand Jury was concerned about the annual increases in the
Budget. As a result of the passage of Proposition 13, next
year's Budget has been reduced $M.5 million, from $868.9
million to $824.4 million. This is about $6 million less than
for the current year. During this difficult revision period,
considering all the pressures, the Mayor and the Board have
worked well together, and did a commendable Job.

As mentioned elsewhere in this Report, we would have
favored an increase in the MUNI fares to assure that the City
will be eligible for State aid. However, if MUNI can qualify
without a fare increase, and still give acceptable service,
so much the better.

With the expectation of less money to work with in
the future, the Mayor and the Board will now need to establish
priorities and eliminate waste and duplication at all levels.
We hope that some of the recommendations contained in the
following Report will be helpful.



By far the largest single Item In the City and
County Budget is the cost of salaries. Overall, it is about
70J over $600,000,000. For such a major expense, the most up
to date personnel management methods should be sought out and
practiced. According to Mr. John Walsh, General Manager of
Personnel, he is trying hard to bring the procedures of the
Civil Service Commission into the twentieth century.

The following are some of his goals:

1. Changes in the Charter that will give him flexibility to
meet current situations.

2. Updating of Civil Service rules.

3. Extend the probationary period for new employees.
5. Speed up the process of filling vacant positions.

5. Fuller Implementation of the performance evaluation system.

6. A reward system for outstanding Job performance.

7. Conversion of time roll audit and certification to electronic
data processing.

8. A training unit which can provide training to all depart-
ments of the City.

9. End the practice of "anticipated" time rolls.

10. Pre-employment physicals for all new employees, including
temporary and CETA employees .

Several of these goals are within sight. There is
a good chance that several Charter revisions will be on the
November ballot. The Health Department is slated to take over
pre-employment physicals. A training program across depart-
mental lines is being worked out with the Community College.

The Jury feels that the practice of "anticipated"
time rolls should be stopped. Most departments are paid so
shortly after their payroll cycle that it is the common
practice to anticipate the hours worked In the last few days
of the cycle. If an employee does not work as "anticipated",
then corrections are sent in to adjust the time roll. This
situation could be solved simply by moving pay day back a
few days. This one-time inconvenience to the employee is
minor as compared to all the problems created, as well as the
possibilities of overpayment, under the present system.
Certainly no official should be expected to certify that an
employee will work at some future date. Particularly in the
aftermath of the recent time roll problems in the Tax
Collector's office, the need to end this practice should
escape no one.


There should be a centrally located personnel file
containing all the essential records of an employee. If
records are Incomplete or missing, it can be very expensive
for the City in certain situations of legal action by an

Although this is not directly a responsibility of
the Civil Service Commission, it is most important that the
number of employees be kept at the lowest possible level.
Close supervision and productivity standards are essential in
achieving this.

The yearly cost to the City for the Civil Service
Commission is now $2,500,000, with a staff of Just under 100
employees. For this expenditure, it is reasonable to expect
up to date personnel programs which will result in efficient
and productive employees.

Mr. Walsh spoke to the entire Grand Jury, and we
were favorably impressed with his plans for improving the


The Health Service System, under the direction of
Mr. Philip J. Kearney, is designed to facilitate the health
program of San Francisco city employees.

The staff appeared well coordinated and performed
their duties efficiently. Mr. Kearney pointed out that his
staff is well integrated racially. The operation of the pro-
gram places considerable stress on upgrading the system.

There are three major plans under the system. They

are :

Plan 1 - City Administered
Plan 2 - Kaiser Foundation
Plan 3 - Children's Hospital

Blue Cross priced itself out of the system and it was replaced
by the Children's Hospital Plan.

Mr. Kearney stated that there was need for more
space which was quite evident as boxes of records were stacked
on top of the file cabinets.



In conclusion, we felt much progress had been made
in the past year, but the optimum has not yet been reached.


The Retirement System is administered by a Board
consisting of seven members : the President of the Board of
Supervisors, three City employees, and three members appointed
by the Mayor. For the past twenty years, Mr. Dan Mattrocce
has served as its General Manager and Secretary.

Although the Fund, which totalled $785,^00,065 at
the end of FY 1977, is sound and well managed, the yield has
not been outstanding. The yield was 3.2* from stocks which
is nearly 25% of the investment portfolio. The yield from
bonds was 8.93* • In February 1977, Budget Director Harvey M.
Rose made a study of the Retirement System and made several
recommendations for increasing the revenue. Some of these
have been adopted.

In FY 1977, the Fund Income was $153,000,000, of
which $9^,000,000 was contributed by the City, $22,000,000
was from the employees, and $37,000,000 was from earnings of
the Fund. The amount paid out in retirement benefits was
about $77,000,000.

The retirement payments continue to increase
annually and this will be a concern, particularly if there
is a sharp increase in the number of employees who take early

In December 1977, the San Francisco Chamber of
Commerce published a twenty month study of the Retirement
System. Their report should receive attention from the Mayor,
the Civil Service Commission and the Board of Supervisors.
Many administrative and clerical errors, oversights and loop-
holes were noted in that report.

The following are some examples:

1. Proposition L, as passed in November 1976, will not attain
the projected $21,000,000 savings until the year 2000, and
none until at least 1986. However, changes could be made
which would bring immediate cost savings to the City.

2. By working a great deal of overtime in one year, an
employee can greatly increase his retirement pay, which is
based on his highest salary for one year. For example,


one MUNI employee with base pay of $11,585, with overtime
made $23,330 in 1973, or 101* over his base pay. The
estimated increased cost to the Fund in lifetime benefit
payments is $70,470.

3. There is a high number of "late career promotions" which
result in higher salaries and higher annuities. There were
67 in a group of 564 employees, statistically many more
than would happen by chance .

4. A Charter provision calls for paying uniformed employees
who are given temporary promotions at the higher wage rate
even though they are not qualified or appointed to the
position. One policeman was promoted temporarily for two
days, resulting in an estimated extra $3,900 in retirement

5. Inadequate pre-employment physicals which overlook abnor-
malities can cost thousands. In the cited report, an
example is given that is expected to cost the Retirement
Fund in excess of $150,000.

6. CETA employees and temporary employees are not given pre-
employment physicals. In the Street Cleaning Bureau, CETA
employees were 12? of the work force, and had 42* of the
disabling injuries in FY 1975-76.

7. The Administrative Code permits "presumptions" that certain
diseases are job related if the employee has been on the

job for five years. These can be very costly "presumptions",
An attempt should be made to change this law to require the
employee to provide proof of his claim.

There is much more in this Report that will bear
careful reading. The Jury is grateful to the Chamber of
Commerce for making it available to us.

Another report which we would suggest for review by
the Board of Supervisors is the Grand Jury Report of 1975-76
(see page 223), which contains recommendations of a similar
nature .

The Workers Compensation Division paid out $5,968,796
in benefits in 1976, which is 11% more than paid in 1975, and
39% more than in 1974. Obviously, all departments of the City
must work to keep these claims as low as possible.

Departments with the highest claims in 1976 were:

Police $1,355,446

PUC (MUNI, etc.) $1,049,013

Fire Dept. $ 862,909

Dept. of Pub. Health $ 740,315

School District $ 644,631



The Jury concludes that the Retirement System Is In
sound condition. Its Investment Income will not Improve until
the Stock Market Improves, and until It can convert to higher
paying bonds. The City and County will have to continue to
Increase their contribution, particularly If the number of
retirements Increase, and possibly the number of employees
decreases. Outlined above are several suggestions that could
greatly reduce costly and unnecessary payments out of the Fund.

Steven H. Rosen
Edward J. Sosa

Willie J. Crosby, Chairman



The Board of Permit Appeals, Philip Siggins ,
Executive Director, is an administrative hearing board. Its
work brings contact with various city departments, for example,
Public Works, Health, City Planning and Fire. It has a staff
of three and a 1977-78 budget of $58,352.

As mentioned in a prior Grand Jury Report, Philip
Siggins has taken great pains to assist the appellants in the
administrative process dealt with by this Board. Additionally,
Mr. Siggins' efforts to streamline the administrative process and
consolidate files on San Francisco housing merit commendation.

Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 13 of 32)