California. Grand Jury (San Francisco).

Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

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work and the dedication of their foremen. All divisions keep
concise records of all work performed.



The department has an excellent mechanical division.
Besides routine maintenance and repairs, the mechanics are
engaged in the design and manufacture of special mechanical
apparatus and fixtures when needed. This is necessary to
replace obsolete parts of old equipment.

The painting section is employed at painting fire
alarm and police control boxes , traffic signals and other
miscellaneous equipment. Due to a shortage of personnel, they
are on a *l — 5 year painting cycle rather than the recommended
2 year cycle.

The Administration/Accounting Department, under
direct supervision of Mr. Dougherty, maintains an orderly system
of recording costs and revenues which are compiled and reported
to management in timely periodic reports.

In the aftermath of Proposition 13, the department
with a budget of $3, 217, M6 was cut by $152,000. Mr. Dougherty
predicts no layoffs, but routine maintenance and employee
morale will be affected.

The Grand Jury thanks Mr. Dougherty and employees
for their cooperative assistance.

Recommendations :

1. Accelerate action to install the 911 Emergency phone system.

2. Route funds collected from responsible parties who damage
City-owned electrical equipment to this department since
it is responsible for repair and billing.

3. Hire additional painters to get the department back on a
two year painting cycle.

JJ . In spite of the passage of Proposition 13, no budget cuts
be made that directly affect the quality of the services of
this department or employee morale.

Helen I. Abbett
Howard L. Ross

Robert G. Smith, Chairman



The Department of Agriculture and Weights and Measures
is under the direction of Mr. Raymond L. Bozzini and is composed
of three units .

1. Agriculture

2. Parmer's Market

3. Sealer of Weights and Measures


This department is responsible for the enforcement of all
state laws, rules and regulations pertaining to agriculture. It
inspects fruits, vegetables , eggs and other products in wholesale
and retail stores. It also conducts pest surveys in an effort to
detect pests before they become established in a particular area.


The market is located at 100 Alemany Boulevard. It is
operated by the City and County and fees are charged to the growers
having a booth on the premises. It has shown a profit every year
in addition to earning its own operating expenses. Only growers
are permitted to sell on the grounds.

Recommendations :

1. There should be two left turn lanes at the exit at
Alemany and Crescent. This would allow for easy exit by shoppers
and neighborhood residents.

2. The cyclone fence at the rear of the parking area
should be relocated to the curb-line. This would prevent the public
dumping garbage on the hillside.

3. The stalls should be painted. The area has a very
shabby appearance .


This department is responsible for making certain that
all scales and measuring devices, and also packaged goods, show
the proper net weight, measure or count. In addition, it is



responsible for testing the meters on taxicabs by use of a fifth
wheel. Since there are over 900 taxicabs, this is a very slow
and cumbersome process and as a result it is impossible to test
all of them properly each year.

Mr. Bozzini has requested special testing equipment for
use on electric sub-meters. He has requested this equipment for
three years. There are over 15,000 sub-meters, some of them dating
back to 1910. Many are undersized, incorrectly wired and consequently
do not give accurate figures. As a result considerable money is
lost to the citizens of San Francisco because of incorrect readings
from these meters .


Mr. Bozzini 's request for special equipment for read-
ing the electric sub-meters should be recognized. He would then be
able to read these meters on what he calls a "complaint" basis and
in that fashion he would be able to perform this service without
additional personnel.



James R. Scannell is the Public Administrator. He takes
over the administration of the property of those deceased persons
having no executor or administrator. In some instances he will be
ordered by the Court to administer estates .

In some cases his office will have to take charge of and
continue to run a business when the owner has died and the heirs
are unknown. He will handle this procedure until either the heirs
are known or the estate is liquidated.

His office also pays the estate taxes and funeral expenses.

A recent law change has resulted in a lower case load for
the office and as a result they have been able to catch up with the
backlog. A change in the Probate Code now requires that most estates
opened after January 1, 1977, be completed within one year. At the
present case load level they do not anticipate an increase in staff
will be necessary.




This is also under the direction of James R. Scannell
and in which capacity he serves as a guardian to persons or es-
tates when needed. He is appointed by the Court in each case and
must represent the ward of the court in all actions.

The social worker in the office has a case load of 150
and her duties include visits to nursing homes to verify that they
are up to standards and that the wards are well taken care of.
The recommended case load is 75.

One of the functions of this office is the preparation
of tax returns for more than 500 estates, within the one year time
limitation required by the statute. If the office fails to com-
plete the return within the time allowed, the court may deduct
additional fees from the Public Guardian's fees. This function
really is within the capabilities of a tax attorney. If the Public
Guardian had such services the attorney would use 50% of the time
in research and preparation of the tax returns and the other 50%
to work on guardianship cases. It is anticipated that this posi-
tion would generate enough additional revenue to cover 90? of the
salary .

Recommendation :

Employment of one additional social worker to assist the
social worker now in the department .


The County Recorder, Mr. Thomas Kearney, is required by
State and County laws to receive, record, index and preserve papers
such as property documents, tax liens, death certificates, and to
issue certified copies upon request.

He operates with 19 people which he considers to be ade-
quate. His total budget for 1978-79 is $369,982. At this writing
he does not know how he will be affected by cuts due to Proposition
13. He has no significant operating problems.



Mr. Kearney also serves as Registrar of Voters, operating
a department which has the following functions:

1. Registration of Voters — the number of registered
voters is presently 351,211.

2. Preparation and dissemination of voters' handbooks
and sample ballots at least 10 days prior to an election.

3. Hiring and training temporary voting precinct em-
ployees. About 3,644 temporary employees are needed for the 911
voting places.

4. Renting premises for use as polling places.

5. Storing voting equipment and materials.

6. Registering candidates for office.

7. Conducting the election, counting and tabulating the

Federal laws require the printing and distribution of
voting materials to the non-English speaking population whenever
that particular language group achieves 5% of the population. At
the last election on June 6, 1978, the cost for the Chinese lang-
uage materials was $11,435, and for the Spanish language, $12,170.
The increasing Filipino population may shortly require voting
materials in their language. Many counties in California are taking
the position that the federal government should bear the added cost
of this recent law, and are seeking reimbursement. We recommend
that the Registrar take the necessary action to see if this County
can recover the added cost of these printings.

At the last election, there were 911 polling places. The
cost of each is as follows:

Rental of space $ 25.00
Salaries, 4 people 140.00
Rent of voting machines 165.00
Moving expense 8 .00

TOTAL $338.00

The cost to operate 911 polls at $338 each is $307,918.
If the number of polls were cut in half, about $150,000 could be



saved at each election. In a county of this size, voters would
not have to go far even with half the number of polling places.
Serious consideration should be given to a substantial reduction
in polling places.

The rental cost of the voting machines, at $150,000 per
election, is excessive. The City should decide quickly what
machine it wants to buy, or obtain through competitive bidding
a better rental price.


The Tax Collector's principal function is to collect
taxes and license fees. In fiscal year 1976-77 this amounted to
$508,475,711. There are about 135 employees, plus a few temporary
and CETA workers. For the past seven years, Mr. Thad Brown has
been the Tax Collector. His immediate supervisor is the Director
of Finance and Records, who in turn is supervised by the Chief
Administrative Officer.

In 1972, the Grand Jury authorized Main LaFrentz and
Co. to make a study of the Parking Meter Division. Their report
warned of many possibilities for misappropriation of funds. The
findings were turned over to the Mayor and Tax Collector. The
1973 Grand Jury followed up on the matter and were assured that
corrective action had been taken.

On March 26, 1978, sixteen employees of the Parking Meter
Division, including the supervisor, Norman Coates, were arrested
and charged with embezzlement of funds.

At the same time it came out that employees of this Di-
vision, which is located in an isolated area of the City Hall
basement, only worked about four hours each day. That this situa-
tion had gone on for years was common knowledge to employees up-
stairs in the Tax Collector's Office, and could not possibly have
escaped the notice of the Collector or his Assistant.

The CAO, Mr. Roger Boas, stepped in over the head of Mr.
Virgil Elliott, then Director of Finance and Records, and promptly
suspended Mr. Brown. Mr. Tom Miller, for many years Assistant
CAO but now with Waste Water Management, was installed as acting
Tax Collector. Arthur Anderson & Co. was authorized to make an
operational review and analysis of the Tax Collector's Office.
Shortly after receiving a preliminary report of their findings,
in late April, the CAO returned Mr. Brown to his position as Tax



Due to a typographical error the
pagination skips from Page 59 to Page
61. In addition, because of a printing
error two pages appear blank in the
report on the Tax Collector.

Despite these errors the report
on the Tax Collector is complete as
approved by the Grand Jury.

TAX COLLECTOR (continued)

Collector, but on a six months probationary status. The Anderson
report made about 100 recommendations, most of which have been
accepted and are in process of implementation.

Losses to the City in meter collections have been es-
timated between $2,000 and $5,000 daily, or perhaps from $600,000
to $1,200,000 annually. Further, the preliminary report states
that throughout the Tax Collector's Office there are major high
risk areas and a significant absence of controls which are neces-
sary to provide reasonable and prudent assurance that all collec-
tions will be made and safeguarded from intentional or inadvertant

The deficiencies listed in this report reflect seriously
on the competency of Mr. Brown and his staff. After the tip-off
by Main LaFrentz & Co., with better supervision, the situation in
the Parking Meter Division could have been stopped at least five
years ago. The potential for thievery should have been apparent
to more alert supervisors. In fact, it would be difficult to de-
sign a better layout for theft than the work area of the Parking
Meter Division. Even the safe was not large enough to accommodate
one day's coin collection.

Supervisors up the chain of command have tried to place
considerable distance between themselves and this crime. It has
been said that Mr. Brown lacked supervisory experience; but he had
been on the Job for seven years. Experienced or not, his superior
Mr. Virgil Elliott, since retired, said he had so much faith in
Mr. Brown that he gave him little or no supervision. So far as we
could find out the Chief Administrative Officer did not take action
to give Mr. Brown better supervision. Mayor Moscone authorized the
police action which lead to the arrests, but thereafter maintained
a hands-of f policy .

In addition to the loss of meter receipts, thousands of
salary dollars have been paid to employees who did not work a full
day. There is also evidence of inaccurate time keeping in other
areas of the Tax Collector's Office. Like so many other City de-
partments, this Office "anticipates" its time rolls — yet another
example of this bad time keeping practice.

Before this scandal is laid to rest, it would be fitting
to hear some words of regret from the Tax Collector and the other
supervisors all the way to the top. Also welcome would be a sign
that they have learned a lesson. Improved supervision will only
come with some show of it at the top.


TAX COLLECTOR (continued)

This Grand Jury will go out of office before the final
Anderson Report is written. That report will contain their rec-
ommendations and the reforms that have been instituted; therefore,
further comment by us would be premature.

Reynold T. Rey
Robert G. Smith

Howard L. Ross, Chairman



In the County Clerk's office Mr. Carl M. Olsen Is
the ministerial arm and record keeper for the Superior Court.
He receives, indexes, files and retrieves legal documents.
These documents serve the needs of attorneys and the general
public .

Budget requests made during the fiscal year will
result in indexing procedures by electronic data processing
for all new civil and probate cases at City Hall. This change
was sponsored by his office and successfully passed through
the California Legislature (SB 507, Chapter 225). The legisla-
tion provides that an additional $2.50 charge be added to most
filing fees in civil and probate actions and will result in
$50,000 additional revenue per year. The effective date for
this change was January 1, 1978. In the first two months his
office has realized $11,000 in revenue from this sytem as well
as many saved man hours.

During the year Civil Service examinations were
requested because of position turnovers and the exhausting
of the Civil Service lists adopted in 1976. With the increase
of work over the prior years and the District Attorney's
Family Support Bureau, which has increased its filings by nearly
10055 over the previous year, Mr. Olsen has fallen back in other
operations of his department.

With the adoption of the new Civil Service list Mr.
Olsen has been able to fill 30 vacant positions that he needed.
With the new personnel and the training program of new employees
he feels that his department will run more effectively in the
future .

He would like to see a twelve-month probationary
period for new employees instead of the present six months. He
would then be able to better evaluate new employees. The Grand
Jury concurs .

Reynold T. Rey
Robert G. Smith

Howard L. Ross, Chairman




Dr. Mervyn Silverman became the Director of Public
Health for the City and County of San Francisco in May, 1977. As
the Director, under the Chief Administrative Officer, he is re-
sponsible for the overall administration of the Community Public
Health Programs, Community Mental Health Services, Hospital ser-
vices (San Francisco General Hospital and Laguna Honda), the Emer-
gency Medical Services and also the Jail Medical Services. It is
his responsibility to provide to the citizens of the City and
County, the best health care available.

The Department of Public Health in San Francisco is very
extensive and very complex and until recently very disorganized.
As the Grand Jury visited the different institutions and facili-
ties, it became apparent that a sense of order was being restored.

Community Public Health Services

Dr. Lorraine Smookler is Assistant Director of Public
Health for Public Health programs .

San Francisco is divided into five district health cen-
ters (Northeast, Southeast, Mission, Westside and Sunset-Richmond).
Each center implements programs of the Public Health Department by
providing specific services adapted to the differing needs of each
district. The services, all of which are too numerous to mention
here, include pre-natal classes, well-baby clinics, school nursing
and pre-school exams, immunization and T.B. tests and home visiting
by the public health nurses.

It is interesting to note, at this time, that San Fran-
cisco leads the State in venereal disease. There are 300 to 400
people seen daily at the V.D. Clinic. Tuberculosis is two and
three times more prevalent in San Francisco than in other cities,
such as Los Angeles and New York.

Approximately 12% of the budget is allotted to this area
of the Department of Public Health which is low, indeed.

Since the passage of Proposition 13 and at the writing
of this report, it has been decided to close all five centers in
the names of "savings"! In essence, the definition of public
health is the promotion of health and the prevention of illness.
It is difficult to show in dollars the value of health education



or "an ounce of prevention is worth the cost of a pound of treat-
ment" but to those with insight, it is readily apparent that this
is a step backwards and a very expensive one 1

This Grand Jury condemns the closing of the health cen-
ters and doubts very much whether the citizens of San Francisco
will abide by this decision nor are they deserving of it.

Community Mental Health Services

In 1969 the state mandated local services to treat the
mentally ill in facilities near where they live, instead of placing
them in distant mental hospitals. By law, all patients admitted
to state hospitals must first be screened locally. As a result
of the effort to develop alternatives to hospitalization, state
hospital admissions have declined markedly and local programs have
grown. The concept is good but there have been problems implement-
ing it.

San Francisco is divided into five mental health dis-
tricts. Each district or center is a system of mental health
services in several locations, within each district. Four dis-
tricts are county-operated (Mission, Southeast, Northeast, Sunset-
Richmond), the fifth (Westside) is privately-operated under con-

Each center provides five essential coordinated services:
1) inpatient care, 2) outpatient care, 3) emergency service, **)
partial hospitalization and 5) consultation and education.

There are also specialty services. These programs serve
the entire City and deal with special problems such as drug and
alcohol abuse, sexual identity, retardation, etc. Fees are based
on the ability to pay.

The Mental Health budget is approximately $32,000,000.
The passage of Proposition 13 does not seriously affect this program
as it is 80-90? federally funded and these funds cannot be trans-
ferred to other departments. The City is responsible for the ad-
ministration of the program and, therefore, is responsible for the
quality of these services. About 35,000 San Franciscans received
mental care last year.

Dr. William Goldman who has been Acting Director for
nearly two years, appears to have brought some semblance of order
to a chaotic situation. The administrative capacity in the Cen-
tral Office has been strengthened by the addition of a Contracts
Manager and a Mental Health Planner. Accountability, cost effec-
tiveness, productivity and performance evaluation have all been
stressed as an important part of providing quality care.



The implementation of a complete Management Information
System is scheduled to go into effect this year. This was sadly
lacking as virtually all of the City's mental health statistics
have to be qualified because San Francisco did not have central
data collection capacity.

An adequate billing system has not, as yet, been imple-
mented. However, the manual billing system has been replaced by
an automatic billing machine. Dr. Goldman believes that in the
near future, after a standard form has been developed, they will
then go to contract billing.

Community Mental Health Service operates on the premise
that overreliance on hospitalization, particularly state hospitals
for mentally disturbed patients, results in prolongation of depen-
dency. It is their conviction that usually non-hospital treat-
ment services, crisis intervention, outpatient care and partial
day care, which are flexible and immediately available provide
benefits to the patient and ultimately to the community .

Centralization vs. decentralization has long been an
issue of concern and controversy. There are approximately 285 San
Franciscans in Napa State Hospital. Many do not belong there. It
is cruel and expensive to keep them there. Dr. Goldman has a
three year plan in which he hopes to reduce this number to 150.
It will take that time to acquire community based facilities.
There will always be a need for an institution such as Napa as,
for some, there is no alternative. Dr. Goldman also stated that
out of 100 clients he had brought from Napa to the Urban Community
Mental Health facility at 121 Leavenworth Street, lH were working
and self supporting. This is a victory not only for the individuals
but a great asset to the community as they pay taxes and are no
longer supported by the government. The Grand Jury visited this
facility and can truly appreciate the situation.

Difficulties have been experienced in procuring suit-
able sites for the various community based facilities. This was
evidenced by the neighborhood "revolt" when it was decided to es-
tablish the Youth Campus for emotionally disturbed adolescents.
This is now in litigation. It is sad when we, as a community,
cannot accept our own children.

In our society today, stigma is still attached to mental
illness. We cannot see mental illness, as we can readily observe
a broken leg. People fear the unknown and what is strange to
them. To allay these fears, it will take time, patience and above
all education . A major portion of this responsibility rests with
the health department itself and their Advisory Boards. They must



get the communities involved. It is, then, their onus to convince
the policy makers that this is the right course and therefore their
duty to support the worthy programs so that everyone's rights are
upheld — even the mentally ill !

Recommendations :

1. Programs be carefully evaluated. Some are excellent
— others should be discontinued. Pouring money into a problem
does not necessarily cure it.

2. Streamlining the awarding of contracts. The layers
of bureaucracy they must go through before approval is frustrating
and very time consuming . The endless delays can cause crucial
hardship on the non-profit private agencies .

3. Diligent monitoring of all contracts. The .Grand
Jury was impressed with the monitoring methods used by Larry
Meredith, Ph.D., Director of the Bureau of Alcoholism.

4 . Implementation of an adequate billing system. This
would bring an increase in third party payments .

5. Remove the "freeze" on Ward 7B at San Francisco
General Hospital. It is fully funded, staffed and ready to oper-
ate and the beds are desperately needed. When the Grand Jury
visited the Jails, it was appalled at the number of inmates who
needed mental therapy but remained in jail as there was no other
place to put them. Others, who needed mental therapy were let go
without treatment — only to be picked up again in a short time
and so it becomes a vicious circle.

Dr. Goldman has shown remarkable skill, under adverse

Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 18 of 32)