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Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

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districts rather than the overall needs of the City. We recog-
nize that the current President of the Board of Supervisors is
experienced and dedicated, and has been a stabilizing influence.

The Board is faced with many problems. Those meriting
top priority are:

1. Specially funded rental programs for middle-income families;

2. A middle-income family housing building program;

3. Health Department services for middle-income families;
ij. A Muni railway program which provides transportation to

special events, shopping and for children;

5. Aid to family and neighborhood businesses;

6. An office of "Middle-Income Services";

7. City budget provisions for improved neighborhood police
services, specifically policemen on the street. This
practice has been proven to be an important factor in
deterring crime;

8. A planning program encouraging retention of middle-income
housing and private financing of new family housing;

9. Stabilization of housing costs and speculation;

10. Social services to middle-income residents. The heavy

emphasis on middle-income programs is due to the fact that
the number one problem in San Francisco Is the mass exodus
of middle-income families from the City to the suburbs.

It is very significant that these needs must be met
with a reduced budget. This makes it all the more vital that
the Supervisors consider first the overall needs of the City
as a whole, rather than those of their individual districts.

We feel that the Board was hasty in voting a settle-
ment of the police discrimination suit. There is ample
evidence that there was not provable, systematic and conscious
discrimination and therefore we believe that the decision is
better left to the courts.

Mr. Harvey Pose, the budget analyst, performs a
valuable service in monitoring various City departments.



Different departments have refuted his findings, but in the
majority of cases he has proved to be thorough and factual.

The Board's cooperation with the Mayor in revising
the budget, subsequent to the passing of Proposition 13 > is
laudable. We trust that this augurs well for the future.
Next year's budget may be even more difficult if the State is
unable to assist in the financing, as it has done this year.
We sincerely hope that the message of Proposition 13 to trim
the fat and increase efficiency in government is adhered to.


The Academy is a place where in a few pleasant
recreational hours visitors obtain understanding of their
natural world which they could get in no other way — and
more than 1.5 million do so every year. The Academy is the
natural history museum — planetarium - aquarium complex in
Golden Gate Park, and is its most popular attraction. Its
mission is research and education in the natural and
environmental sciences, or as originally stated at its found-
ing in 1353, the exploration and interpretation of natural
history .

The Academy has been located in Golden Gate Park
since 1916, as a result of a vote of the San Francisco citizens
when its earlier museum, on Market Street, was destroyed by the
Earthquake and Fire of 1906. It is the oldest conservation
organization and oldest scientific society in the western
United States.

The Academy displays the wonders of nature, through
dioramas in the North American Halls and Simson African Hall,
Mineral Hall, Wattis Hall of Man and adjacent Galleries,
Morrison Planetarium, Steinhart Aquarium and Fish Roundabout.
It has the largest attendance of all the northern California
museums .

Dr. George Lindsay has been the Director since 1963 •
He is directly assisted by Dr. William Eschmeyer, Director of
Research, and Dr. John McCosker, Director of Steinhart
Aquarium. They work with a budget of $3,000,000 a year, one-
third of which is City-financed. The remaining two-thirds is
privately funded.

The Academy has been very fortunate in that it has
received millions of dollars in endowments. Notable among



these are the bequests of Helen Lillis - a ranch near Fresno
which was sold by the Museum for $1,500,000 and William Noble
donated $5 million. Additional monies are received by admis-
sion charges and Academy membership.

There are seventy nine "Friends of the Academy" who
each contribute $1000 or more annually. There are 126
corporations and foundations which have gifted the academy -
past and present, in many forms: cash securities, life
insurance, real and other property, and bequests. It is
qualified as a tax exempt organization.

There are 220 paid staff and approximately 30 CETA
employees. The Academy is most grateful to the 325 volunteers
who donate their time and services.

We were impressed to learn that the California
Academy of Sciences rates fourth in importance in the United
States, preceded by 1) the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.,
2) the American Museum of Natural History in New York City,
and 3) the Field Museum in Chicago. The Academy of Sciences'
fish collection is rated number three in the world behind the
Smithsonian and the British Museum in London. The fish speci-
men collection is a valuable resource in the areas of ocean-
ography, ecology, commercial fishing industry, etc. The Fish
Roundabout is the newest innovation at the Academy. It
simulates oceanic conditions. The fish swim upstream in a
continuous 3 knot current. Its interest has increased atten-
dance by approximately h0% . The anticipated attendance for
1978 is 2,000,000 visitors, particularly with the opening on
June 15th of the "Treasures of Peru" Exhibit.


1. To alleviate the problem of Sunday closure to automobiles,
we recommend an educational program for the public of
alternative accesses to the Academy, i.e., distribute
fliers with maps of the park, various media publicizing
alternate transportation methods and routing.

2. That the Academy subcontract services as a money saving

We commend the Academy on the atmosphere of culture
in natural and environmental sciences in the magnificent
ambience of this natural history museum.



The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco consist of
the M. H. de Young Museum and the California Palace of the
Legion of Honor under the capable direction of Ian McKibbin
White. The de Young Museum has a permanent collection of
Western art from its Egyptian, Greek and Roman origins through
the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and into modern Europe and
America. Art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas is
exhibited here also.

The function of the Museum is to preserve, collect
and exhibit. The collection is divided into four categories:
Painting, Prints and Drawings, Decorative Art and Sculpture,
each headed by its own curator.

At present the de Young Museum is following a trend
of ethnic exhibits. The "Treasures of Irish Art" Exhibit was
received enthusiastically. The director and city fathers
are to be commended for the acquisition of the King Tut show.
San Francisco was not on the Itinerary but due to a special
trip to Egypt and successful negotiations, it has been
obtained for the de Young Museum commencing in June, 1979 for
four months. Preparation for the show has necessitated large
expenditures. It will cost $1,500,000 to run it. Two full-
time employees have been working since last Fall on the
project. Sophisticated environmental control equipment is
being installed for preservation and protection of the show.
This condition, among others, was demanded in the original
negotiation. The excitement generated by this exhibit is
reflected in greatly increased membership. By 1979, 50,000
members are anticipated. It is predicted that 1,500,000
people will view it here.

Seven permanent private collections are to be
received. Notable among these is the collection of Nomadic
rugs. With the continuing expansion of collection and
exhibits, space has become a major problem particularly with
present negotiations for the El Prado Museum (Madrid)
collection and the Treasures from the Kremlin. Additional
staffing and funding are also badly needed.

The Legion of Honor is unique in America for its
emphasis on the art and culture of France, depicting religious
art of the Middle Ages, 17th and 18th centuries, 19th and 20th
century Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.

The Legion of Honor also houses the famous Achenbach
Foundation for Graphic Arts. The Achenbach collection was



given to San Francisco in 1950, along with an endowment of
which only the interest ($50,000) is used to support the
collection. This is a showpiece of the Museum.

Problems Facing the Museums

1. Legion of Honor - lack of restroom availability for

2. Lack of public transportation on weekdays. (At present,
transportation is available only on weekends.)

3. Lack of directional signs at key intersections.

4. Lack of adequate communications system. In consolidation
of the two museums, 13 phones have been reduced to 5. All
calls go through the City's main switchboard. Important
phone calls are lost because of the system's constant

5. Lack of preventive measures for dust damage to the
collection from a nearby workshop.


1. An aesthetically correct handicapped ramp at de Young
Museum to be approved immediately.

2. The communication system improved by installation of
private lines (a break away from City Hall lines).

3. Adequate restroom facilities for the handicapped at the
Legion of Honor.

*J. Renovation - at the de Young Museum for preparation of
King Tut exhibition and at the Legion of Honor for the
Dresden exhibit.

5. High Velocity Air Conditioning climate control at Legion
of Honor.

6. Installation of directional signs to Legion of Honor at
key street intersections.

7- Shuttle buses from Clement Street to Legion of Honor three
times daily between 10 A.M. and 5 P.M. on weekdays.


The Asian Art Museum has been under the direction
of Rene-Yvon Lefebvre d'Argence since its inception in 1959.
The Museum has exclusive jurisdiction over the collection of
Asian Art belonging to the City and County of San Francisco.
Originally it was built to house *)500 items - the gift of
Avery Brundage. This amount doubled in 1969 with the second
gift by Mr. Brundage. At present, through additional contri-
butors, the collection now totals close to 10,000 art objects,
consisting of sculptures, architectural elements, paintings,
bronzes, ceramics, jades, textiles, and decorative objects,


ASIAN ART MUSEUM (continued)

Illustrating major periods and stylistic developments of
Asian arts.

The facility also contains an Asian art library of
12,000 volumes and provides a complete docent training program,
Educational books have been published in several languages,
based on the collection.

The problems facing the museum at present are:

1. Lack of display space . The complete collection cannot be
displayed at one time but is rotated on a continual basis.
The ratio is 13* display to 87% storage. It would take
fifteen years to display the collection In its entirety.

2. Need for additional staffing .

a) Curator I for education. Diana Turner was appointed
Curator of Education in 197^ . She handles all educational
areas. She is in desperate need of an assistant, a
Curator I position.

b) One Chief Preparator - needed to organize and take
charge of design and construction of all displays.

c) Assistant Librarian - due to the large size of the
collection, an assistant is needed for the one librarian.
At present it is closed to the public because of inadequate

3. Upgrading of Civil Service classifications . The Japan
curator and the India curator have served for twelve and
ten years respectively. They have taken on additional
responsibilities far and above their present classifica-
tion. Mr. d'Argence consulted the Civil Service Commission
regarding the matter and received full support. However,
the request was deleted by the Mayor in the next budget.

4 • Security . A security system to be installed for the

accountability of the art objects. This is particularly
crucial due to the fact that there is no insurance on
this collection valued at one-half billion dollars.

Mr. d'Argence has a small staff of fifteen
permanent and eleven CETA employees.

The City of San Francisco through the Asian Art
Museum has been honored by the request of the Korean govern-
ment to organize a two year tour of Korean art treasures. It
will commence here in May 1979, and will remain here for five
months, to be followed by a United States tour. It is hoped
that the City will assist financially in this exhibit.


ASIAN ART MUSEUM (continued)

There is also an art exhibit from the People's
Republic of China projected for the summer of 1981. This will
display the newest excavations in Ching Dynasty art.

Bearing in mind the monetary, aesthetic, political
and educational values of the Asian Art Museum to the people
of San Francisco, we hereby recommend:

1. Investigation of the problem of display space.

2. Granting of three additional staff positions.

3. Upgrading the positions of two curators.
1* . Reinforcement of the security system.


The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1868 and is presently under
the direction of Mr. Richard Avanzino. It provides for the
hospitalization and sheltering of animals, a low cost animal
care program for senior citizens, low cost spay and neuter
clinic and the rescue of animals in distress. It also has the
responsibility of impounding unleashed animals and quarantining
of biting dogs.

The S.P.C.A. is a non-profit corporation which is
funded privately and by the City. The current budget is
$1,^00,000. Of that amount, $517,000 are City funds. The
remainder is obtained through endowments and private sources.

The ultimate goal of the shelter is obtaining for the
animals a happy home environment, securing responsible owners
who will license them, keep them on a leash and clean up after

We commend Mr. Avanzino for initiating the program
whereby volunteer veterinarians from U.C. Davis contribute their
services. Mr. Avanzino encourages animal groomers to donate
their expertise toward readying animals for adoption. He has
an exchange policy with the local press; for any animal story
to get into the newspaper, they must provide an adopter.

Last year 775? of the cats and 65% of the dogs were
adopted. The national average is 10%. The shelter generated
$280,000 in fees last year. It also provides animal care for



people who are incapacitated or in legal custody. There is a
new program underway to train dogs to hear for the deaf. They
will respond to crying babies, ringing doorbells, screeching
brakes, keys dropping, etc.

Mr. Avanzino has obtained through the private sector
of the S.P.C.A. four vans for animal protection. They cost
$15,000 each. The rescue van cost $20,000 and is fitted with
life saving equipment. The Petmobile cost $25,000. It travels
to shopping centers and recreational centers and shows animals
on the spot for adoption. The vehicles are rented to the City
for four years at the rate of 25? of their value each year.

We wish to commend the entire staff, including
volunteers, on a smoothly run, competent organization.

Robert D. Au

Willie J. Crosby

Luclnda M. Romaneck, Chairman



The City Attorney is the legal counsel for the different
departments of the City and County of San Francisco. The office's
litigation involvement extends to areas such as City code enforce-
ment, the Public Utilities Commission, Police, Recreation and Park,
Airport Commission, Public Works, and a wide range of other depart-
ments. These legal situations involve the City as a plaintiff or

This office has many problems that have been cited in
previous Civil Grand Jury reports and recently, by a special report
from the Bar Association of San Francisco. This Jury has investiga-
ted this office and is definitely concerned with these reports.

A major problem is space. Many of the attorneys do not
have a desk and have to use the library tables as temporary space
for their work. The attorneys that do have desks are crammed into
noisy, small offices with one or two other attorneys, and if he or
she is lucky, a secretary.

The library is spread throughout the offices in corridors.
It is difficult to use because of heavy traffic interruptions.

Filing cabinets are locatea wherever available space per-
mits, not where they are readily accessible.

In addition, lighting and ventilation are substandard.

This department is understaffed for the volume of work
and has an inadequate ratio of support personnel to attorneys. City
Attorney George Agnost has a present staff of 65 attorneys and a
support staff of approximately 30 to handle more than 4,000 cases
a year. This represents hundreds of millions of dollars of liti-
gation. The importance of these cases has forced many attorneys
to take their work home or to work on weekends , and on occasion
to file and type their own cases. This was partly caused by the
previous ratio of support staff to attorney of .42. Eight new
attorneys have been hired making it the present total above. Mr.
Agnost is striving for a ratio of .67 to obtain maximum productivity
The present rate is counter productive and a waste of the taxpayer's
money .

Another problem is inadequate equipment or the lack of
equipment. Many of the old typewriters as well as some new ones
lack "specialized characters" needed for legal typing. The old
typewriters break down often and turn out work that is smudged


CITY ATTORNEY (continued)

or otherwise unacceptable. At the Airport Branch of the City
Attorney's office, three secretaries were approved, but no desks
or typewriters.

The fifty line switchboard is outdated and operated by
only one person who must answer and reroute through central City
Hall to deputies for non-direct calls. Because of this situation,
some incoming calls are never answered or lost in the transfer.

To handle this department's monumental legal documents
that have extensive texts, the Citv Attorney has installed a "Wang"
word processor and a phone recorder system for attorneys to phone
in document directives. In the past, long documents of similar
or same text had to be retyped to insert individualized information.
This word processor has an archive unit thai retains the original
text and allows changes in format, text, name ^ and countless de-
tails. There are four work area units with a '/isual scan which
projects the graphic text to be entered or adjusted. These four
scans allow for four different documents to be worked on at the
same time. When completed the changed document is printed auto-
matically on pleading paper per the execution button. The ori-
ginal text is still retained in the unit.

The full potential of this "Wang" has not been fully
realized. It has already proved to be a savings in secretaries,
time, quality of work and money. It costs the City $8,400 a year
to rent. This committee of tne Grand Jury was greatly impressed.

The new Airport Branch was formed to have a legal staff
immediately on hand for the Airports Commission. This staff has
enormous responsibility in providing advice, preparing and re-
vising over 300 leases, permits and concession agreements, pre-
paring and monitoring bid documents and contracts, and related
documents resulting in the current multi-million dollar Airport
expansion. It also defends the existing 1M2 lawsuits resulting
from Airport operations.

In addition, this branch is working on a pilot program
for contract management. Because of the volume of work and con-
ditions, many of the City's contracts are drawn up by "the other
side" which could leave the City at ? disadvantage. The legal
staff is trying to revise this process.

The staff has to work in substandard make-shift offices
shared with the Airports Commission. They also lack desks, chairs,
typewriters and need a law library. The cost of this would be at
no expense to the taxpayer as funds would come from the landing


CITY ATTORNEY (continued)

fees paid by the airlines under the Airports Commission. The Jury
feels that this area should be approved or put high on the list of
priorities since the Airport stands to gain substantially from
Proposition 13.

Mr. Agnost would like to see the department relocated
under one roof and it has been suggested that the department rent
floors in the new State Compensation building to provide modern
office space for the entire City Attorney's office. His goal is
to have the best public law office in the State.

The department has had "years of City Hall budgetary short
slghtedness." The political preoccupation with the ad valorem tax
rate and the concentration of front page programs have taken their
toll on unglamorous agencies such as the City Attorney's office.
Last year some fiscal attention was directed to this office but
the years of neglect require more serious support now. There is
too much at stake socially and economically for the City to do
otherwise. Proposition 13 will make this department even more
important as the legal problems it generates grow.

This Jury commends the City Attorney's staff on their
devotion and good work in these uncertain economic times and
under existing physical conditions. We support Mr. Agnost in his
goals .


The District Attorney's Office, headed by Joseph
Preitas , Jr., is made up of several teams: Investigations,
Special Prosecution, Administrative Section, Consumer Fraud, Crim-
inal Prosecution, Victim Witness, and Family Support.


The Family Support Unit was established in January, 1976,
by state and federal mandates to recover support obligations owed
to both welfare and non-welfare families by absent parents. Basic
functions are to obtain child support orders, locate absent parents,
establish paternity, collect and disburse chill support payments.

This unit employs about 122, with a current year budget
of $2, 370,91^. However, because of state and federal subventions,
it did not require ad valorum taxes to operate. At this writing,
the Unit has vacancies which it cannot fill due to the freeze on



employment. We recommend lifting of this freeze as this will ham-
per the Unit in its collection function, and the salaries are not
paid out of ad valorum tax money.

Prior to the establishment of this Unit, San Francisco
ranked about last of all counties in California in its collection
program. It is now about fourteenth. The Grand Jury was impressed
with the drive and motivation of this Unit , which is under the
direction of Nancy Keane . It is one of the operations in the City
where we saw evidence of a training program, productivity goals,
and a reward system for performance.


Acting Director Judy Ford heads an enthusiastic staff
made up mostly of volunteers and law students. Its mission is to
protect consumers from illegal business practices. It utilizes
a federally funded complaint mobile unit to make itself more ac-
cessable to the public. Information and complaint forms are
printed in English, Spanish and Chinese. In 1977 this Division
obtained $100,000 in court awards. We feel this Division provides
a valuable service to the citizens of this City.


The District Attorney has 85 attorneys, with a ratio of
one secretary to three attorneys. This situation is similar to
that of the City Attorney where high priced attorneys are doing
some of their own typing and filing. The District Attorney is
trying to solve this problem by enlarging his secretarial pool,
and making the existing one more productive. He hopes to accomplish
the latter, with a training program, room dividers to improve
working conditions , and with a program to reduce turnover in per-
sonnel. This turnover, and lack of adequately trained typists has
prevented optimum use of the word processor equipment which would
in turn increase productivity of the pool.


This program provides services to victims and witnesses
of violent crime. This newly funded federal program is directed
by Sue Gershenson with a staff composed of two assistants, clerical
personnel, and volunteers.

Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 20 of 32)