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Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

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and the Board of Directors, with Peter Finnegan as Chairman,
have consistently done an outstanding Job with adult education
in San Francisco.

Helen I. Abbett

Michael J. O'Brien, Chairman



Ranking sixth in the world for passengers and fourth
for freight, the San Francisco International Airport is big
business. The estimated passenger traffic for this year is
20,300,000, with an increase to 31,000,000 by the year 1990.
The San Francisco — Los Angeles flight is number one in the
world in inter-city volume. Over twenty airlines use the Air-
port, and average 950 flights daily.

Needless to say, this operation has a beneficial
effect on the economy of San Francisco and the Bay Area. About
30,000 people are employed by the airlines, including 11,000
at the United Air Lines maintenance shop. There are nearly 600
employed by the City at the Airport. The total economic Impact
is estimated at nearly 2 1/2 billion dollars a year.

The new North Terminal and Parking Garage is sched-
uled for completion this autumn, with Phase 2 programmed for
completion in 1982. Phase 2 consists of the industrial waste
disposal plant, boarding piers, revamping older buildings, and
the people mover system. This will be financed by the $90
million bond issue which was approved in the November 1977
election (Proposition C) .

By Charter provision, the Airport is run on a break-
even basis, the using airlines being charged only enough to
offset operating costs after all non-airline revenues, such as
concessions, have been estimated. Because of this, the fees
have been among the lowest in the nation. Even with increased
fees which will be necessary to repay the new bond issue, the
rates will compare favorably with those of other major air-

During the past six years, the Airport has repaid to
the General Fund $18,000,000 of the $24,388,104 which was the
original cost of the Airport.

Excellent leadership is provided by the Director of
Airports, Richard R. Heath, and his immediate staff. The
orientation which the Jury received was well organized and
complete. With the completion of the new North Terminal and
Phase 2, San Francisco should take pride in its Airport, and
the manner in which it is operated.



The Emergency Services is the agency responsible for
developing the emergency preparedness plan which would be used
in the event of a wide range of possible disasters. It coor-
dinates this plan with other County, State and Federal agencies.
It also instructs officials who would participate in the plan,
and the general public.

The emergency plans are in a continual process of
review, and have been fully approved by State and Federal gov-
ernments. The operating cost for this fiscal year is estimated
at $255,672, of which $121,000 is provided by State and Federal

The Director, Mr. Edward Joyce, is highly qualified
by background, experience, and personality to provide good
leadership to these important Services.

For many years, the Emergency Services has recommended
the construction of an underground Emergency Coordination Cen-
ter, atop Twin Peaks, to provide for an ultimate disaster. This
location is selected because it would provide, among other rea-
sons, optimum radio communication. This construction would cost
over $3,000,000, plus a $50,000 preliminary study, plus an unes-
timated annual operating cost.

The Emergency Services presently has excellent office
and garage space at 6221 Geary Boulevard at an annual rental of
about $17,000. The Emergency Services is scheduled to move its
offices to 8l4 Mission Street at the end of June.

This jury was favorably impressed with the operation
of the Emergency Services, and its present location. It would,
therefore, assign only a low priority to the proposed construc-
tion at Twin Peaks, in view of the many existing alternative
sites, and the fact that adequate emergency communication is
already available by augmentation from the many radio systems
in the City.



Chief Andrew C. Casper and his staff are providing
good leadership to this important Department. Through em-
phasis on Fire Service Education in the schools, and a Home
Fire Safety Survey to increase public awareness in fire preven-
tion, there has been a significant decrease in fires. The
latest Annual Report of the Fire Department lists the following
encouraging statistics for 1976-77:

Total Fires



False Alarms



Civilian Fire Deaths



Firefighter Injuries



Lost Work Days, Injuries



Vehicle Accidents


Assistant Chief John Sherratt, who heads the Public
Education Program, reports that total fires are down another
10* this fiscal year, and the Department has a goal of reduc-
ing the total number of fires 50* in 5 years.

Arson is a crime which calls for action by the Mayor
and Board of Supervisors. Although legally a felony (clas-
sified as part 2, and not reported in the Uniform Crime Statis-
tics), it too often becomes homicide if lives are lost in the
fire. Last year, San Francisco had 545 arson fires, an increase
of 800* in the last 15 years. Our arrest rate is 6*, our convic-
tion rate, 3*. Sentences are often as little as 2 years. Many
convicted arsonists serve only 5 months, some receive suspended
sentences. We urge the Mayor and the Supervisors to allocate
more manpower and equipment to combat the increase in arson
fires, and to seek state and federal legislation to increase
the penalty for arson.

Firemen may retire at age 50 with 25 years of service.
For each dollar paid in salary, the City also contributes $.71
toward their retirement. Retirements usually average about
2 per week, but there have been 50 in May and June due mainly to
Proposition 13. About 33* go out on disability retirement. Chief
Casper hopes to reduce this high rate with a physical fitness
program, which should maintain the men in better physical shape.

As this report is written, the effect of Proposition 13
on the Fire Department's budget is unknown. The budget for 1978-
79 is $70,477,830, including $6,000,000 for anticipated salary
increases. The employment level is 1,686. The Mayor and
Supervisors are reluctant to make any cut; however, this Grand



JUry believes some cut should be made, perhaps 10$. It is
reasonable to expect some savings are possible in a budget
of this size, and a work force of this number. With a 10$
cut, our Fire Department would still have a much larger budget
than most cities of similar size in the United States.

With good reason, San Franciscans have long been
proud of their Fire Department. It has been traditional for
the firemen to respond promptly and bravely to fires and
other emergencies often far outside their range of duty.
This Jury has seen many letters of gratitude indicating aid
and comfort generously given in time of need. We have every
reason to expect that this tradition of excellence will
continue despite the possibility of a reduced budget.

Howard Ross
Ronald Rubia

Gordon A. Caswell, Chairman



The Police Department , under the leadership of Chief
Charles Gain, has been In the news many times this year. Law-
suits filed by the police unions (Officers For Justice and
Police Officers Association) are coming to a climax. The
Decoy Program instituted this past year, has received a great
deal of praise and criticism by the public, as has the Golden
Dragon Incident.

The rate of serious crime, with the exception of
rape and robbery (up 29* and 3% respectively), has decreased
in the past year. We feel that this is in part due to the use
of the decoy system. At the outset of our investigation we
did view the program with some skepticism. The biggest
criticism of the system is entrapment. However, after being
presented with the fact that 91* of the arrests were re-arrests,
and a full explanation of the system, it is our opinion that
entrapment is not a valid issue.

It has been said by some officers that middle and
upper level management personnel have been very lax (a news-
paper article referred to it as Endemic Racism) in their
responsibility to encourage officers to be fair and discourage
cultural harassment of citizens.

Charges of blatant racism in the department, among
the ranks, have also been made. There are many incidents to
back up these charges. Suits have been filed in the past
charging promotional discrimination, failure to recruit
minorities, and denial of equal opportunities. There also has
been cruel personal harassment of some minority officers. We
are not accusing the entire department of racist activity, but
we do feel that a more thorough investigation should be under-
taken by Internal Affairs to apprehend the perpetrators of
the actions.

Perhaps the low number of minority sergeants is
partially responsible for the racial friction in the department.
Out of 166 permanent sergeant positions, 158 are filled by
White officers, 5 by Spanish-surnamed officers, and 3 by
Black officers.

There have also been complaints from the Chinese
American community about representation. The Chinese For
Affirmative Action (CAA) filed complaints last Fall when,
after the Golden Dragon incident, police officials accused
the Chinese community of not giving assistance in their
investigation. The CAA claimed that part of the problem was



due to the fact that of more than 1600 officers on the force
only 14 or 3/ 1 * of II were Chinese.

The complaint spurred an investigation by the Law
Enforcement Assistance Administration, which subsequently made
an agreement with the San Francisco Police Department, to
provide more adequate protection in the Chinese-American
community. Since that time the number of Chinese-American
officers has risen to 23.

The Crime Lab, criticized in recent reports, has
improved its space problem somewhat by storing some evidence
in another location. The Lab also acquired an office on a
separate floor and in January three persons were assigned to
full time fingerprinting analysis. This has doubled the
normal output of information.

The physical space limitations of the Lab are still
serious. We forsee the problem becoming acute with the
addition of 20 personnel as Field Evidence Technicians in the
near future.

The emergency 911 phone number is yet to get off the
ground. The law says that it does not have to be put into
effect until there are sufficient funds. At this time a 1/2$
tax on telephone bills is the only revenue for the project.

We would, in closing, like to commend the Police
Department for solving the Golden Dragon massacre and their
overall fine protection of the City. We would like to indicate
that it is our belief that only a small minority of officers
are responsible for the harassment of certain groups and also
the poor leadership referred to above. It is with this thought
in mind that we express appreciation to the many officers who
go forth to protect us each day, leaving their individual
prejudices and egos at home.

Thomas J. Cook
Jane F. Reeve

Joseph McKinley, Chairman



The Municipal Railway, which has been plagued with
numerous problems over the years, appears to have made consider-
able progress toward Improving the transit system. The first
complete survey of the MUNI system was released in 1977, re-
flecting major changes in all aspects of its operations. The
POM (Planning Operations and Marketing study, conducted by Wilbur
Smith and Associates) had been going on since late 197 ^ and is
currently under review by the City Public Utilities Commission.
Also established was the creation of a permanent Planning Divi-
sion within the MUNI and the completion of the MUNI 5-year plan
for transit development.

Fundamental to the POM study is a complete restructur-
ing of the present transit lines away from the "radial-downtown"
existing format to a "grid-city wide" operation. This would
facilitate the possibility of one-transfer riding between points
in the City. Although the plan recommends a cut of 32 mid-day
routes, it has projected an increase of 53*000 daily passengers
at increased revenues of $2 million. The transit line proposals
by the POM study concur with the MUNI's Planning Department's ob-
jective to increase service on trips within the City where the
destination is not downtown. Although the major part of the tran-
sit market is for downtown commuting, there is a large portion of
trips within the City which would benefit the citizens and pro-
vide additional revenues. The total cost of the capital improve-
ments recommended is $237.7 million, of which $8.64 million would
come from the City's General Fund, with the remaining costs borne
by state and federal agencies . Of the total amount of these cap-
ital improvement recommendations, $15b.3 million represents work
already taking place.

MUNI has been active in presenting public meetings to
neighborhood and special interest groups on the proposed schedule
changes. Although the Grand Jury backs this action, it also pre-
sents what has been an ongoing problem to MUNI with respect to
scheduling changes. Public hearings, a vote of the PUC, and con-
currence of the Board of Supervisors is needed for every schedule
change. We support MUNI in changing this requirement especially
in view of the route changes as proposed in the POM study.

The question of another fare hike has been the subject
of much discussion with numerous solutions having been presented.
The POM study noted that MUNI operating costs were 68* higher for
fiscal year 1975-76 than for fiscal year 1969-70. During the
same period, passenger revenues decreased 3% , producing a 163$
increase in non-fare box subsidies. The operating cost increases
were not caused by increases in service but rather from salary



increases, and the higher costs of fuel, parts, etc. The Metro-
politan Transportation Commission (MTC) is expected to contribute
$7 million to MUNI in the coming year. Under MTC policy, however,
MUNI must meet 33$ of its costs through fare-box revenues or not
qualify for the funding. Presently, MUNI fare-box revenues ac-
count for only 27$ of its costs.

With the passage of Proposition 13, the ad valorem
funding to MUNI will be reduced by 20# to 40#. This will make
a fare increase imperative.

One of the problems facing MUNI has been the security
of passengers and operators on the vehicles. Recently the PUC
approved $1.7 million to equip the City's buses with ultra-high
frequency radios and silent alarms to instantly notify MUNI
Central Control when a driver is in trouble. All 3^5 Flyer
electric trolley coaches and the 100 A.M. General diesel coaches
will be equipped with radios. The system (including the con-
struction of transmitter stations) is expected to take one year
to install. The past Grand Jury had reported that such a system
in use in three major cities had reduced transit related crime by
85$ to 95$. The installation of the equipment should also im-
prove poor driver morale and attitude.

We found the General Manager, Mr. Curtis E. Green, Sr.,
and his staff optimistic about the task of correcting the prob-
lems of the MUNI. With the support of the Mayor and the Board of
Supervisors, the MUNI can strive to achieve the planned goals and
improvements necessary. With the loss of a large portion of ad
valorem revenues, MUNI will be facing financial difficulties dur-
ing the next year.


The Water Department received much publicity during the
year following the release of the Bureau of the Budget's critical
review of its operation. The department has rebutted at some
length the audit's statements and recommendations and it is clear
that in some cases the auditors did not have full understanding
of the issues and in other cases overstated potential savings or
increased revenues. This is not to say, however, that the audit
did not disclose several important areas that the Water Depart-
ment could improve upon.



One of the areas under current examination by the de-
partment and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is its land
management operations. While much of the leasable land owned by
the department is restricted by federal easement to development,
a more uniform program of review of existing leases is needed to
insure maximum dollar return. Specific reference to the Peninsula
Division's property on El Camino Real in Millbrae was highlighted
as an example by the auditors of a situation where the land was
not being managed to full potential.

The department has been considering bank processing of
the water bills for several years. Under the best proposal re-
ceived, the department has determined a total net cost benefit of
approximately $58,000. While this figure may be considerably
under the auditor's disclosure of lost revenue and savings, im-
plementation of such a system should be pursued as quickly as

During the year, the Water Department received approval
from the PUC for a flat water rate of 37 cents per water unit of
100 cubic feet. This reverses prior policy of allowing large con-
sumers to pay less than smaller consumers. Bills for hotels and
apartment complexes are likely to rise 30% to ^0%. The flat rate
will mean a smaller water bill for about 95* of San Francisco
residents. The flat rate does not affect suburban customers in
San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Alameda Counties who have received a
court injunction preventing the department from charging the high-
er rates.

One of the areas of continual concern has been the re-
placement of water mains. While the Distribution Division has
Just about completed work on its program of reconstruction and
replacement of service connections from the mains to and in-
cluding the meters, the 1200 miles of mains are still not being
replaced at a reasonable rate. Many of the mains are over 100
years old. While we recognize the fiscal restraints being placed
on the City, this type of "deferred maintenance" can only lead to
false economy when the frequency of main breaks increases.


The Hetch Hetchy Water and Power Department operates
the three main water storage reservoirs and three hydroelectric
generating stations on the Tuolumne River basin on the western



8 lope of the Sierra. The department is responsible for the oper-
ation and maintenance of the 116 miles of water tunnels and pipe-
lines carrying the water to the Crystal Springs Reservoir (under
the Water Department) in the Coast Range in San Mateo County.

Hetch Hetchy, through the Transit Power Division, is re-
sponsible for the Overhead Lines and Motive Power sections of the
Municipal Railway. Included in Hetch Hetchy is the Bureau of
Light, Heat and Power which administers contracts for furnishing
electric, gas and steam services to municipal departments. The
Bureau also administers contracts for furnishing street lighting
services and for operation and maintenance of City-owned street
lighting. The Bureau is financed by payments from municipal de-
partments and from gas tax funds .

Hetch Hetchy water and power revenues have not only
been sufficient to cover the department's operating costs,
capital improvements and bond interest and redemption, including
those of the Transit Power Division, but have also contributed
significantly to the support of other City departments and the
General Fund.

The figures representing the contribution to the City
welfare for the prior three years are as follows :

1974-75 1975-76 1976-77

Support to MUNI $3,063,125 $4,147,083 $3,688,878

Discounted Power 3,300,000 3,200,000 4,000,000

Interest on Utility Funds 1,516,562 716,849 494,764

Surplus transferred to

General Fund 1,000,000 5,150,000 2,500,000

The Hetch Hetchy Water and Power Department is currently
involved in litigation with both the San Francisco Airport and the
Turlock - Modesto Irrigation Districts concerning its power sales.

As a result of a recent court decision, Public Utili-
ties Commission charges to the Airport for power will be estab-
lished at June 1975 levels on a temporary basis pending appeal.
This decision has had serious effects on the capital improvement
requests in the department's 1978-79 budget and in expected
revenues to be transferred to the General Fund.

The dispute with the Turlock-Modesto Irrigation Dis-
tricts resulted when the City, in an effort to increase revenue



from power sales, tried to exercise its contract option to with-
draw Hetch Hetchy power to the Districts and replaced it with
purchased PG&E power (at the higher PG&E rates). By doing this,
Hetch Hetchy power could then be resold at the higher PG&E rates
to assigned customers bringing in significant additional revenues,
The Irrigation Districts, however, filed suit in Federal District
Court in Sacramento and received an injunction stopping San Fran-
cisco from selling power at rates other than those approved by
the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior
has contended that Hetch Hetchy power is intended by the Raker
Act to be sold at cost plus a small rate of return, not at the
prevailing market, or in this case, PG&E rates.

The City Attorney's office has informed us that the
Airport and the Irrigation District's appeals have been combined
into a single action. We recommend that all possible concentra-
tion and efforts of that office be directed toward a favorable
decision since significant revenues stand to be gained or lost.

Lucinda M. Romaneck

James K. Broderick, Chairman



Ttte Department of City Planning under the direction
of Mr. Rai Okamoto has run smoothly and efficiently during
the 1977-78 fiscal year. The department seemed to be adequately
staffed. No mention was made of any severe staff shortages;
there was no apparent wide scale morale problem; nor were there
any glaring problems that require immediate attention.


The Recreation and Park Department provides a great
diversity of recreational facilities available to people living
and visiting in San Francisco. This department provides a wide
range of services. The Recreation and Park Department is
responsible for fulfilling the many policies presented in The
Plan for Recreation and Open Space. This department not only
has to maintain the existing park and recreation areas under
its Jurisdiction, it must also make plans to acquire parks for
areas that may be lacking the necessary open space required by
the master plan. One example of the enactment of this policy
has been the acquisition of several hilltops in the City to
preserve the feeling of open space and the geographical contour
of the City. Other examples of good planning are the new parks
in the Hunters Point area, the award winning renovation of the
Children's Park located in Golden Gate Park, the miniparks that
have added much needed open space in many of the City's most
congested areas, and the several large natural style exhibit
areas that are under construction at the San Francisco Zoo.

At the present time a new master plan for the future
uses of Golden Gate Park is near completion. Public input was
invited for this project through a series of public hearings.
The new plan will reflect the residents' ideas for use of
Golden Gate Park.

In order to combat the problem of deferred mainten-
ance, the Recreation and Park Department has put most of its
180 CETA and 60 Title II employees to work in the areas that
suffered from lack of maintenance. This is helping to restore
many of the rundown areas in the various parks . The Recreation
and Park Department should continue to combat this deferred

In spite of the many achievements of the Recreation



and Park Department, there are still a few areas that need
critical attention. Top priority should be given to plans to
establish a park In the highly populated Chinatown area. The
Inner Mission district also lacks adequate recreational areas
and facilities. The field at Candlestick Park has to be
replaced as soon as possible.

At the present time no one is quite sure what effects

Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 16 of 32)