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Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

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treatment center is fully staffed 24 hours a day.

Dr. Blaisdell complained of the difficulties in having
to apply through other departments for medical equipment instru-
ments, etc., which are needed urgently, but that long periods of
time are expended between requisition and acquisition. While that
may be true at present, the Purchasing Department is sensitive to
the problem and is combining with other Bay Area purchasers to
gain a cost advantage in purchasing such specialized equipment.

The lack of clerical personnel is so acute that at times
nurses have to do clerical work. Their salaries are twice that of
a clerical worker. This Grand Jury recommends that adequate
clerical personnel be assigned to the Hospital to perform the work



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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (continued)

which should be done by them. We suggest that if there is adequate
nursing staff to do their assigned work as well as clerical work,
some thought be given to exchanging some of the nurse positions
for clerical positions as nurse positions become vacant.

Laguna Honda Hospital

Responding to some safety deficiencies noted by the
previous Grand Jury, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare
has accepted a promise by the Board of Supervisors to correct
certain deficiencies, including the power plant and fire and safety
regulations. In order to bring the facilities up to Code, to
conform to Medicare, Medi-Cal regulations an expenditure of m
million dollars would be required, which Laguna Honda Hospital believes
should be a bond issue next November.

The prior Grand Jury also discussed theft of linens and
blankets but the Hospital Administrator claims that the problem is
comparable to that in other hospitals.

Members of the Grand Jury found the premises and the
facilities to be clean and in good order. The Hospital has installed
dining areas in most wards. With regard to recent claims of
excessive roach infestation at the Hospital, a pest control company
now treats the problem on a weekly basis. The administration
insists that the severity was exaggerated in the newspapers.



Barbara A. Belling
Edith Perlman

George A. Kardum, Chairman



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PURCHASING DEPARTMENT

The function of this department, which is under Mr. Joseph
C. Gavin, is to obtain materials, supplies, equipment, insurance and
contracts for services for all City and County departments, including
City-owned utilities, the San Francisco Port Commission, and the
San Francisco Community College. Its responsibility covers many
fields, such as repairs and maintains automotive and other equipment
for the various City departments and also the School District, but
does not include the motor vehicles of the Public Utilities Commission.
It operates a central reproduction bureau for printing, mimeographing,
blue -printing, etc., for the City departments which require these
services. The Inventory Division is charged with the equipment inven-
tory of all City departments.

The Bureau of Stores and Equipment, under this department,
operates and maintains a central warehouse and storerooms in various
City Departments. It receives and issues materials, supplies and
equipment for all departments of the City and County of San Francisco.
It handles approximately 90,000 items in common use on a daily basis
and an additional 100,000 more items that are purchased more routinely
for the Airport, Railway, College, etc.

This department would have a much more effective program if
it had one more buyer and one more assistant buyer. Central Ware-
house, which was closed for a time, has reopened and still has only
eight employees and was fortunate to have an increase of one store-
keeper recently. To improve the efficiency of this department store-
keepers are now taking Certificate Course at Community College. A
much needed supervisor's position was finally filled and the supervi-
sor was due on the job on July 1, 1977. The Bureau of Stores and
Equipment are staffed and operated in these locations:

1. Central Warehouse - 15th & Harrison Street (Stationery

& Janitorial Supplies)

2. Department Public Works - 2323 Army Street

3. Water Department - 1990 Newcomb Ave.

4. Hetch Hetchy - Moccasin, California

5. San Francisco Int'l. Airport - South San Francisco

6. Municipal Railway - 24th & Utah Streets and branch locations

7. Health Department, San Francisco General Hospital and
Laguna Honda Hospital



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PURCHASING DEPARTMENT (continued)

8. Recreation & Park - Golden Gate Park

9. Department of Electricity - 901 Rankin Street

10. Sheriff's Department - City Hall

11. Central Shop - 800 Quint Street

There have been recommendations from various specialized
departments who would prefer doing their own purchasing because of
the red tape involved and lack of savings because of low volume of
purchases and the uniqueness of items in the specialized fields. We
do not recommend this course of action because of the difficulty
in defining specialized items. In any event this department has
plans to participate in a joint procurement program with other Bay
Area counties which will realize a greater volume and thus a lower
cost. This will further diminish the likelihood of accurately defining
specialized items. This Grand Jury can see the merits of this plan
and recommends early participation in this program.

In the Auto Shop (Light Truck Shop) there has been no in-
crease in staff and no replacements. There is much more repair and
maintenance of an automotive fleet that is, on the average, 8 years
old. All old cars are sent to the Auto and Light Truck Shop for
appraisal. Special forms must be completed and have to go through
channels before any request for new autos are taken into consideration.
At present fifty new cars have been requested and many more are des-
perately needed. Private industry has recognized that automotive
equipment has a predicted economic life span. According to the 1975-
1976 Purchasing Department Annual Report: "Many cities are coordinat-
ing the responsibility for their essential in-service transportation
operation within a single bureau or department. That division
acquires the vehicles and then 'leases' them to the operating depart-
ments for a flat-periodic fee that would include operating expenses
and a depreciation factor. At the end of the predetermined useful
life a reserve fund has been accumulated for replacement."

This Grand Jury recommends budget authorities develop and
put into force a reasonable and timely replacement program for City
automotive equipment. Both the above plans should be investigated
thoroughly. There is also a need for an up-dated system to enable
this department to utilize the capabilities of the computer to
properly control repair and maintenance expenses.

Budget appropriation is needed to bring in an outside
expert to discover a way to stop the undisciplined, extravagant
multiplication of paperwork done by the City departments. There is
much waste. Much reduction could be made on traditional reams of



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PURCHASING DEPARTMENT (continued)

interoffice memos, correspondence, forms, reports and multi -copies.
There is no end to the request for more letterheads, stationery,
envelopes, forms and many other miscellaneous office papers. Volumes
of paper are being used by all City departments and agencies; by
avoiding waste and extravagance thousands of dollars would be saved.
Out-of-date forms should be eliminated, materials could be combined.
Strict requirements should be set up on a firm or permanent basis.
To correct all this unnecessary waste of funds, time, materials, and
the use of unnecessary man hours this Grand Jury recommends bringing
an outside expert (Forms Analysis and Control Consultant) to recommend
methods to control this problem.

A previous Grand Jury noted that there has been no physical
inventory of equipment in the city for over six years. We note this
is a big assignment which is complicated with budget cuts and lack of
personnel replacement. This task has still not been accomplished.
This Grand Jury recommends that a complete physical inventory count
of all City equipment be required of each City department and there-
after that a regular and periodic physical inventory count be done
by the Purchasing Department through its Inventory Control Division.



DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

The Bureaus under the Department of Public Works include
Architecture, Engineering, Building Repair, Street Repair, Street
Cleaning and Planting, Water Pollution Control and Wastewater Manage-
ment. All private construction within the City is controlled by the
Bureau of Building Inspection. There are such a large number of
projects and improvements presently in planning and construction
stages that this Grand Jury has, in its limited tenure, been able to
look into only a few of the functions of the department. Mr.
S. Myron Tatarian, Director of Public Works, and his staff, have been
most cooperative and have provided valuable assistance to this Grand
Jury.

The Public Works Department needs more funds for maintenance
and improvement of the City's capital plant each year. There has been
a lack of funds for improvements and maintenance during the past few
years which has resulted in massive deterioration of the City's facil-
ities including its streets and buildings. We note that, currently,
insufficient maintenance funds are being provided to maintain the
almost three hundred public buildings under the Department of Public
Works' jurisdiction. In 1977-78, a budget of $1,063,350 was appro-
priated. This is somewhat less than the amount approved in 1961-62,
some sixteen years ago. Just to maintain the 1961-62 level of main-
tenance with today's inflated costs, this Department would require



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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS (continued)

about $2.2 million annually instead of the $1.1 million approved.
This deficiency is temporarily being offset by the infusion of Federal
funds in the amount of $1.5 million. This grant, however, will expire
in March of 1978.

We found that all City streets are rated as to condition
and this information is computerized. Those streets which are most
in need of work and repair are completed first. Therefore, all com-
plaints cannot be acted upon promptly, which results in a dissatisfied
public. There is a severe lack of funding for normal preventative
street maintenance. More funds are needed for personnel services,
contractual services and equipment replacement. The budgeted funds
for the 1977-78 fiscal year probably will be insufficient to prevent
the increased deterioration of our City streets. A previous Grand
Jury noted that there was a severe gap in communication between this
department and the citizens of the City. Many complaints about streets
and sidewalks are received daily by the department. About one-half
of these complaints are related to contractor operations, utility
ditches, sewer failures and private sidewalks. These complaints are
referred immediately to the proper City departments. At present, the
Bureau of Street Repair is up to date on grievances relating to repairs,
If a repair cannot be made promptly, the complaining person is notified
when the repair will be made. It appears to this Grand Jury that this
department has been very cooperative with the public and has done
much, within its present level of funding, toward the improvement and
repair of City streets. In addition, street furniture (benches), new
pedestrian lanes and handicapped ramps have been installed which assist
our citizens as well as add to the beauty of the City.

At present, our streets are being cleaned at night, par-
tially through the Federally funded CETA program. It was determined
by the D.P.W., after several months' experience, that night manual
street cleaning is not sufficiently productive, efficient or safe
compared to daytime operations because of lack of direct supervision.
Due to the problems involved with our present system, the City's
future policy is to use mechanical sweeping in all areas of the City
where it is feasible to do so. This program should be fully imple-
mented by December of 1978. The mechanical street sweeping program
will be similar to the Richmond District program which has been in
effect for three years and will involve controlled parking. There
have been some complaints from residents in the Richmond District,
but there has been, in general, a favorable response to the program.
This new system should realize a tremendous savings as well as provide
for cleaner streets. In the Richmond District, for instance, the use
of mechanized street sweepers is providing substantial savings to
taxpayers annually over the prior costs. Since there will be some
areas of the City that cannot be cleaned by this system, a certain
number of street cleaners will necessarily be used for hand work.



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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS (continued)

This Grand Jury commends the recent implementation of the
Citation Policy for littering which has been developed by the Depart-
ment in further aid of the clean City campaign. The program will
involve a progressive systems of fines, starting at $10 for the first
offense. We feel that a citation system will increase public aware-
ness and help retain the beauty of the City. We suggest intensive
media coverage be provided as a further deterrent to those who litter.

The most controversial project of the Department of Public
Works is the Wastewater Management Program. This is the largest
Public Works project that the City of San Francisco has ever under-
taken. It is a very expensive program which will cost over $1.5
billion. Construction activities will affect major sections of the
City for at least the next eight years. Well informed residents are
of great importance and it is up to our public to voice their ques-
tions and opinions to make this project successful. The Wastewater
Management Program has had several meetings with residents of the
areas involved and has sent newsletters to all interested public or-
ganizations. A preliminary Environmental Impact Report has been
completed on the west-side transportation line. Many additional
questions regarding the problems that will arise remain unanswered.
The EIR reveals that traffic diverted from the upper Great Highway
during the construction will probably use Sunset Boulevard and 19th
Avenue. These traffic changes will continue unless the upper Great
Highway is replaced with another four lane road. According to this
report, the construction will adversely affect air quality and odors
are expected to come from the proposed pumping station. According
to the report, beach erosion may be a problem in this area and the
pipeline could eventually be undermined by waves or damaged by earth-
quake-induced ground shaking and liquefaction of sand. This Grand
Jury recommends that all interested parties cooperate and answer all
questions on this project. The project planning must include the
residents and must provide sincere and honest answers to all of their
concerns.

To date, study on the controversial Upper Market Street
Beautification Plan has not been conclusive. The Mayor's Advisory
Committee for the Upper Market Street Project favors a bicycle lane
and two lanes for moving traffic for each side of the street. The
Department of Public Works, at the request of the Streets and Trans-
portation Committee of the Board of Supervisors, developed a plan
for three lanes of traffic in each direction. The Department has
been directed by the Federal Highway Administration, through the
California State Department of Transportation, to:

1. Make a final traffic analysis of the various
alternatives that are being suggested;

2. Conduct tests in the field;

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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS (continued)

3. Review the findings with them to determine

if an environmental impact report is necessary.

This Grand Jury recommends the deletion of bicycle lanes on
Market Street due to the questionable safety of bicyclists. We
further recommend the three lane concept as there appears to be a
definite need for traffic lanes especially during evening rush hours.

According to this department, several changes are necessary
to make the department more effective and more workable:

1. Institution of program- type budgeting to permit the
management of the Department through the effective use of personnel,
materials and equipment where the needs and priorities exist. This
program will be implemented by 1982.

2. Additional funds are needed for routine and major
maintenance to reverse the present trend in the deterioration of the
City's physical plant.

3. The department also requests more leeway in retaining
top management assistants. They feel that higher salaries and fringe
benefits are necessary to solicit well -qualified middle management.

The Department of Public Works has well-performed its duties
in this City. The citizens now must look at the future and realize
that this department, perhaps more so than any other City department,
can only accomplish its projects successfully through the participa-
tion of concerned residents.



REAL ESTATE DEPARTMENT

The services of the Real Estate Department, which is staffed
with many specialists in this field, are required by almost all
departments of the City in all appraisals and negotiation work. Its
services include: acquisition of property for street widenings and
extensions, school expansions and parks, special study and appraisal
projects; disposal of surplus property, management of City-owned
facilities (such as Civic Auditorium and Brooks Hall, parking garages,
etc.); leasing of additional quarters for all departments, advice
pertaining to real estate matters, lease and rental of properties as
both lessor and lessee as required by all City departments; furnish-
ing of loans and finance services to the Department of Public Works
in connection with the Federally Assisted Code Enforcement (FACE)
Program and the Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RAP), Admin-
istration of the Home Ownership Assistance Program; Maintenance of
records relating to City, School District and Community College

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REAL ESTATE DEPARTMENT (continued)

District property; and acting as an Advisor to the City Attorney in
all matters pertaining to real estate.

This is a very well -managed department and to date it has
accomplished its goals without requesting additional personnel in
the budgeted departments. This Department has only five budgeted
positions. The rest of the positions are Interdepartmental and are
funded through work orders from departments requiring real estate
service.

Several major programs are now in progress. These are:

1. Land acquisition for Wastewater Treatment Facilities
which now has the go ahead for construction under
the Great Highway, but which still is a matter of
dissension among the residents of that area.

2. Land acquisition for Proposition "j" Open Space
and Recreation.

3. Ongoing leasing program for City departments requir-
ing space not available in City-owned buildings.

Since revenues are obtained mainly from rentals of City-
owned properties, increasing department revenues from other than tax
sources would be hard to accomplish. These properties include sur-
plus from public works, school, or other project; properties improved
and leased out for public purposes such as major off-street parking
facilities; properties held in trust for specific purposes such as
the Puhrman Bequest, the income from which is designated for Library
and Park purposes; and rental fees from use of Brooks Hall and Civic
Auditorium.

There will be a request for a Supervisory Loan Office when
the RAP Program expands to more than three districts. RAP, which is
getting underway in the Inner Richmond, is a mandatory code enforce-
ment and voluntary home improvement loan program. Persons who own
property in RAP areas may take out loans from the City at a 6% in-
terest rate to bring their buildings up to code and to make improve-
ments. The opponents in RAP in the Upper Haight Ashbury were concern-
ed that this program would work a hardship on the neighborhood's low
income residents by forcing up housing and rentals costs. After much
controversy between homeowners, the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors,
the RAP program for Upper Haight Ashbury has been approved.

This Grand Jury feels that RAP (Rehabilitation Assistance
Program) is an excellent program. Not only will it bring back some
of the old historical beauty of the City and restore the unique
Victorian structures, but it will also up-grade the quality of our
City's deteriorated residential neighborhoods.

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REAL ESTATE DEPARTMENT (continued)

City officials are concerned about the decision by the
Foundation of San Francisco Architectural Heritage to nominate the
Civic Center for inclusion in the National Register of Historic
Places. If the nomination is approved, it will mean that any major
changes in the properties in this designated area would be under
strict governmental controls. The Architectural Heritage is request-
ing area designation, thus its nomination includes all buildings and
developments within neighborhood boundaries including private and
public parcels. Included in the Civic Center nomination are mon-
umental and important public buildings, including the City Hall and
Opera House, and smaller private structures such as small shops and
a gas station.

According to one report, for the first time in many years,
the demand for new office space in San Francisco may be on the verge
of outstripping supply. Thus, due to the shortage and expense involv-
ed in obtaining rentals In the Civic Center area, this Grand Jury
recommends that this plan be thoroughly investigated before dedication
is supported. We further recommend that, before dedication can be
accomplished, the City make a thorough review of potential future
requirements of City offices and that required space be obtained.



Stelios M. Andrew
Lawrence M. DuVall
Seizo F. Oka

Mrs. Dagmar G. Meyer, Chairman



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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

The Board of Supervisors is generally charged with all
powers not specifically delegated to other officials , such as the
Mayor and the apolitical Chief Administrative Officer arm of the
government, and the departments, boards and commissions under their
jurisdictions. The members of the Board of Supervisors, each chairing
one of the eleven standing committees, are prohibited from interfer-
ence in the affairs of any department except for inquiry through the
department's board, commission or department head. Although the
Board's principal responsibility lies in its exclusive jurisdiction
of legislation, it controls other City departments with its final
adjudication over all financial matters.

During the past fiscal year, this Grand Jury has been
overwhelmed by the dissension among certain of the Board of Super-
visors and other officials of the City. There has been a pronounced
tendency to engage in personal attacks rather than to evaluate
objectively legislative proposals and City administration. We, as
well as other citizens in this City, have witnessed an unsurpassed
degree of inter-personal disputes — particularly since these vociferous
attacks have been presented daily in the press. We are supported in
our observation by a local newspaper poll, the results of which were
published on January 3, 1977. According to this report, only twelve
percent of the respondents indicated a vote of confidence in the
Board. Most of the responses were framed in a feeling that the Board
was interested only in big business and themselves and not in the
economically deprived. This may or may not be true, however, it
does point out the destructive effects of the wars waged through the
media. We submit that, if our elected officials and governmental
department heads would combine their efforts in the common goal of
finding solutions to the numerous City problems, they could be
infinitely more effective.

This Grand Jury has been aware of the problems inherent in
the operation of San Francisco on a very limited budget. We feel
that the Board has done a commendable Job in controlling department
expenditures, in most cases, within this stricture. We do suggest,
however, that the Board, in the upcoming year, further explore
alternative forms of government funding. In other reports, we have
suggested the implementation of increased payroll taxes on business,
the increase in general fares on MUNI as well as an increase in
parking taxes. The population of this City is decreasing and the



Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 8 of 32)