San Francisco (Calif.). Board of Supervisors.

The municipal employee (Volume v.3 (Jan. - Sept. 1929)) online

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considered by these men, women and clubs.

Intended to Clear Up Situation
Here was a piece of proposed legislation designed to
clear up the civil service situation in San Francisco
for all time and make the city government civil serv-
ice pure, as it were. In other words, the machinery
provided by the terms of the proposed amendment
would have made San Francisco a shining example
to the cities of these United States in the way of
thorough civil service. If our citizenry could have had
the opportunity to vote on this proposal alone it would
have carried by an overwhelming vote, but they had
neither the time nor opportunity at the last election
to give the amendment due and proper consideration.
Vicious propaganda by a few made many believe that
approval would mean an increase in taxes, which is
positively untrue.

The only open opposition to the amendment was
made by the Municipal Civil Service Employees' As-
sociation. The opposition of this association not only
did not contribute to the defeat of the measure, but
actually gained votes for it, as we found on a check
early in the campaign, which persuaded us to refrain
from attempting to try to secure their approval or
neutrality. An article under the name of the president
of that association, but written by a clever and worthy
person, surely gives us the right to answer same and
place our organization squarely and fairly before all
city employees. It is said that we made a vast outlay
of money to carry No. 28. To be exact, we spent
$5196.59. With 1100 men and women involved, it
averaged less than $2 per person. By the widest
stretch of the imagination this cannot be considered a
vast outlay of money. In fact it would cost a single
candidate for office that or more. The truth is, we
conducted a real campaign for little money and our
recipe is worth something to anyone wishing to con-
duct a campaign in the future. We are willing to
permit anyone to use it. The truth is that organiza-
tion work, coupled with individual work, made the
display without newspaper assistance.

On December 6 we held a meeting and banquet of
our Executive Board of forty members in the rooms
of the Elks' Club. Genial Michael Lawley was the
master of ceremonies, and it was an evening long to
be remembered. A special committee is now arrang-
ing a monster entertainment for a gathering of the
entire membership of 1100. The organization has
selected Oliver Germino as its attorney. That places
our legal matters in capable hands. Brother Rlcln-
tosh of Golden Gate Park is the custodian of flowers
and incidentally chairman of the finance committee.
Not a poor selection at that.

No Misrepresentation Used
It is said that we used a great deal of misrepresenta-
tion in the campaign. Such is not a fact, as we were
at all times honest as to all of the issues involved.
Our advertising, for which we paid, stated the story
full and complete, as did the news stories of our pub-
licity men and our radio service. The fact of the
matter is that the other side, if we can call it that,
carried on all of the misrepresentation in the cam-
paign. We are informed that the representative of the
Civil Service Association called the 250 men and
women "political bums" to his radio audience. He

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stressed the point of one man involved, who, through
his ability and worth to the city, received quite a hand-
some salary. Bearing down on such minor points as
these is the essence of misrepresentation. This mis-
representative played all of his cards with the city
authorities to prevent the proposal being placed on
the ballot and did not help his cause by using bullying
and unfair tactics. These assertions are made ad-
visedly. We have no quarrel with the Civil Service
Association and its purposes of organization, but we
find that it functions poorly as regards the rank and
file which has dwindled so materially because of its
attitude and methods in connection with Charter
Amendment No. 28.

The attitude of this association on No. 28 can be
attributed to the selfish motives of a few who wished,
with no risk, opportunity to throw on the mercy of the
world men and women who had served the city from
one to twent)' years for the purpose of merely gaining
for themselves a few more dollars per month. Let it
be understood that many of these 250 have civil
service standing, but, like many other civil service
employees, are holding advanced positions because of
ability or advanced wages, because of changing eco-
nomic conditions.

The Board of Public Works employees were the
bugs in the ointment. There were about forty-eight
of them, but the honest opposition counted 250, which
included the nurses in the San Francisco Hospital and
men and women in about twelve other departments.
These forty-eight did receive appointments for polit-
ical activities, undoubtedly. How many of the old
guard started the same way and were later given the
advantages of civil service standing? Stand up and
be counted. You only received what you were enti-
tled to if you did your work, and you did, or your
superior would not have retained you. And so it is
today. It can be proven beyond doubt that the forty-
eight are delivering, or they would not be tolerated by
the Board of Works — you can gamble on that. Many
have given twenty years. Others lesser periods. If
they have made good it would not be amiss to make
them civil service. This is true also of the remainder
of the 250 in the other departments.

Just a word as to efficiency on the part of the
Board of Public Works. This is a great city. Never
does the Board receive half the money it needs and
asks for in the annual budget. Yet it gets along in
some manner under the managership of its efficient
Commissioners and Bureau Chiefs. Take, for in-
stance, the Street Cleaning Bureau. Peter Owen.
Superintendent for the past twenty years, has never
had enough money to run his bureau. He has never
had enough money for equipment or men and asks for
it year after year. He gets less money for this bureau
than any similar bureau in the United States, com-
paratively speaking, and yet through his keen under-
standing of his work performs a wonderful task for.
our city each and every day. Still there are those who
wish to put someone in his place, someone who ha^
no practical knowledge of superintending this work!
but who may be a wonderful student and an expert il
examinations. You know that there are many whd
make a specialty of examinations and yet may fail o|
executive ability.

In closing we wish to thank Mayor Rolph, Super!
visor Jesse C. Colman and the entire Board of Super']
visors, as well as City Attorney John J. O'Toole, thi
Citizens' Committee, all city organizations and th|
people for their wonderful support during the pas
campaign, and we further respectfully solicit thei^
future kind consideration.

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Vol. Ill, No. 5

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co^^rRIBUTING editors

Assessor's Office Louise M. O'Hara

Auditor's Office J. Everett Sharp

Board of Education

_ D. P. Hardy and Mrs. Harriet Leaman

Board of Health Edward M. Coffey

Board of Public Works Sid Hester

Bureau of Engineering N. A. Eckart

Bureau of Supplies Ivy Perkins Cerkel

City Attorney's Office Edmond P. Bergerot

Civil Service Commission James J. Maher

Civil Service Association Edward M. Coffey

Coroner's Office Jane Walsh

County Clerk Howard Gudelj

Dept. of Electricity Joseph P. Murphy

District Attorney Henry Goldman

Engineers' Union J. L. Slater, Jr.

Exposition Auditorium James L. Foley

Fire Department Lieut. Fred Jones

Justice Courts Robert W. Dennis

Mayor's Office Edward Rainey

Municipal Railway Eugene W. Clisbee

Municipal Carmen's Union Edward D. Vandeleur

Office Employees' Assn William T. Bonsor

Parks and Museums W. M. Strother

Per Diem Men's Assn F. J. Ferguson

Playground Commission Veda B. Young

Principals' Association Susie A. Ward

Public Library Anne M. Farrell

Public Administrator Henry Boyen

Recorder's Office Daniel McGloin

Registrar's Office George L. Sharp

Retirement Board John W. Rogers

San Francisco Hospital Mrs. Mae H. Noonan

Sealer of Weights and Measures Mrs. M. Dolan

Sheriff's Office W. J. Martenson

Superior Courts Henry J. McGrath

Tax Collector's Office Homer Warren

Treasurer's Office L A. Richardson

In This Issue


Editorials 5

The Fire Department's Corporation Yard 6

By George S. Sullivan

Tree Planting in Dr. Hassler's Honor 8

San Francisco's Municipal Airport 10

By J/. AI. O'Shaughnessy

Stud\ing a Citv's Fire Hazards 13

By Robert Lee St. Clair

Mills Field, Pickwick's New Air Terminal 15

Hunter's Point to Become San Francisco's

Greatest Industrial Center 16

Jeanne d'Arc Pageant May 21 18


Two Powerful Floodlighting Units Added to
Fire Department Equipment 19

Pallone. New Playground Game 22

By Ralph Mtllnaine
Salada Beach Golf Course 24

By Jf'alter Gaines Suanson

Technical Engineers' Union..
By J. L. Slater Jr.

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Go Out to the Park and Play

CHILDREN, grown up and little, capitalists or
indigents, honeymooners or hikers, dudes or
flappers, grandmothers or granddads, San Fran-
cisco is calling to you —

Go out to the Park and play!

Go in a limousine or a flivver, on street car or
scooter, on bicycle or afoot —

Go out to the Park and play!

Get away from the grind and the worry, the
hurry and flurry; shut the door of your office,
close your home, turn your back on trouble, get
out and roam —

Go out to the Park and play!

Get away from the club, the stock market and
ticker, get awav from the mail and the 'phone —

Go out to the Park and play!

Abandon profession, your trade and your
learning, make recreation among the rhododen-
drons in De Laveaga Dell your line of business
for a day —

Go out to the Park and play!

Get out of the crowds and into the cool and
open. Let the peace and the silence of Stow
Lake heal the wounds of the day's noise —

Go out to the Park and play!

Get away from the things that jar and disturb
you. Leave behind the folk who annoy and who
hurt you —

Go out to the Park and play!

Go visit the masses of sweet, stunning bloom.
breathe deep of the waft of nature's perfume and,
with song in your heart, lift up your voice in
supplication to God; thank Him for all of His
loveliness —

Go out to the Park and play!
* * *

Junipero Serra Boulevard

A contract calling for an e.xpenditure of
$412,000 for construction of the Junipero Serra
Boulevard from St. Francis Circle to the San
Mateo County line, is another step forward in
San Francisco's program of civic beautification.
When completed, the new road will throw open
to San Franciscans and their visitors a highway
that will be one of the most picturesque in the
city. With a width of 100 feet it easily should
take care of the heavy traffic that now congests
that district.

Honoring a Friend

IT WAS fitting, indeed, that the good people of
the San Francisco Health Farm selected
Mother's Day — celebrated jointly with National
Hospital Day — to pay tribute to their worthy
friend. Dr. William C. Hassler, San Francisco
Health Officer.

Instead of assisting in the National Hospital
Day program, as he had intended, the doctor
found himself listening to touching tributes to
the memory of his loving mother and to eulogies
of himself as a man, kindly phvsician and com-
petent health officer. And, added to the spirit
of the day, there was presented to him by the
people of the Health Farm, a tree that he ten-
derly planted and which will stand as a living
monument to the memory of his departed mother.
It was a beautiful outpouring of the love and
esteem in which Dr. Hassler is held. It was a
fine tribute to a splendid man.

* * *

Visit This Exhibition

THE greatest sculpture exhibition ever seen in
America is now open to the public at the
California Palace of the Legion of Honor. San
Francisco was chosen for this signal honor
through the untiring efforts of Herbert Fleish-
hacker, Wm. F. Humphrev, William Sproule,
M. Earl Cummings, George Tourny, Mrs. A. B.
Spreckels, Paul Shoup, Walter D. K. Gibson and
Mrs. Cornelia B. Sage Quinton, the board of
trustees of the California Palace of the Legion
of Honor. This is an opportunity for San Fran-
cisco to appear to advantage in the eyes of the
art world — an opportunity for this cit>- to be-
come one of the art centers of the world. Every
San Franciscan should make an effort to visit

the exhibition during its six months' duration.

* * *

San Francisco's Fire Department

THIS number of the Municipal Employee
is devoted, in part, to San Francisco's Fire
Department. We say without fear of contradic-
tion that, from a standpoint of efficiency, this
cir\- boasts the finest fire department of any city
in the world. That efficiency clearly was demon-
strated in two recent fires, both of which might
have become more serious than they were, with
resultant loss of life, had it not been for the
heroic work of the fire department.



PiU'sidrnl, Fire Commission

The Fire




// Is an Immense Job to
Care for the Needs of the
Many Firehouses Scat-
tered Throughout This
Great City

By George S. Sullivan

IN a well-lig-hted, moderately fur-
nished office on the second floor
of the Fire Department's Corpora-
tion Yard, Francisco and Stockton
Streets, surrounded by constantly
ringing telephones, an occasional
loud-ringing fire alarm signal and a
Corps of workers eager to "jump at
a moment's notice," may be found
the man who daily safeguards San
Francisco's unequaled fire-fighting
army. Carved in steel and upon a
desk is a neat sign with the name :
"Mr. S. Bermingham."

On the shoulders of Sam Ber-
mingham. genial yard superintend-
ent, and his capable assistant, Har-
old M. Jones, general foreman, rests
continuous responsibility of seeing
that San Francisco's fire department,
from the standpoint of fire-fighting
apparatus and e(|uipment, is kept at
a maximum of efficiency.

An Immense Job
Looking over the corporation yard
gives one an idea that it is an
immense job to care for the needs
of the many firehouses scattered
throughout this great city. At first
glance, the big building that houses
the yard appears to be a huge ware-

house. Everything from needles to
fully equipped fire-fighting appara-
tus may be found under its busy
roof. Aside from the vast stores of
equipment — hose, fire trucks, life
nets, ladders, chemical engine parts
and whatnot — there is seen spacious
blacksmith, machine, wood-working
and paint shops, and scores of skilled
mechanics turning out jobs, some of
them emergent, others "time" jobs.
A very important department is
that of hose, coupling and nozzle
testing. In the yard may be seen
crews of men stationed at various
firehouses testing out the hose
ec|uipment used at fires. Five lengths
of hose are tested simultaneously
under 400 pounds water pressure.
At such great pressure the hose
wriggles in agony, figuratively; and
if it does not stand up under such
terrific pressure it is relegated for
uses other than fighting serious fires.
It is all in the day's work for the
firemen from the different stations
to test 8000 feet of hose. Some of
the tested hose has been in constant
use for more than ten years and still
stands up under the required water
pressure, due in great measure to
the fact that the hose for San Fran-

cisco's fire department is made un-
der the department's special speci-
fications and is known as two-jack-
eted hose.

Hose Testing

Hose testing, including the test-
ing of couplings and nozzles, is a
very important duty at the yard, Mr.
Bermingham pointed out. "If a
coupling should break during a fire,"
he said, "and start to swish back
and forth, there is no telling how
many firemen or spectators might be
killed. Our hose is used under high
pressure and we take no chances. An
army general goes into battle know-
ing that the equipment in the hands
of his men is perfect. So with our
army of fire fighters — their equip-
ment is kept in perfect condition."

Combined, the blacksmith and
machine shops may be properly
called the yard's "hospital," for it is
in those departments that the re-
pairs for "sick" and "crippled"
aquipment are made. This includes
all equipment used by firemen, and
ill would require several columns to
enumerate the many jobs turned out
in the sho]is. During April the yard
completed seventy-five jobs. A num-



ber were big ones and many were
little ones, but all were important to
the department.

Relief Service

The Relief Service is one of the
outstanding features of the yard.

No matter at what time of day or
night fire-fighting apparatus may
break down, or equipment become
disabled, there is on hand, and ready
to be supplied by these men who
'•jump at a moment's notice," sufti-
cient apparatus and equipment to re-
place that which is affected.

Chief Murphy's fast-whizzing per-
sonal fire-going car may break down
on the way to a fire. A signal is
dispatched to the yard and, pronto,
there comes a little red car to take
the place of the disabled one. Two
or three, or perhaps ten companies
might pile up in collision or be
wrecked by crumbling buildings and
all be put out of commission. A sig-
nal to the yard and relief is immedi-
ately on the way to replace the dam-
aged equipment.

In quaint corners of the yard's
warehouse may be seen historic re-
minders of other days, the days
when fire fighting was more hazar-
dous to the "old boys" than it is to
the men of today. In those corners
are old helmets, old hand-wound
hose reels, odd-shaped picks and
axes and twisted bits of corroded
hose. A few feet away, resting
snugly against the wall, may be seen
a stock of huge life nets, one of the
modern means of life saving in big

In the yard, and in the building,
too, may be seen the trucks of other
days — the days when automobiles
first came into use. Some of the
parts of those old trucks are made
over for parts of machines now in
use. For instance, here may be seen
the old Engine Pumper Xo. 1. Sev-
enteenth and Harrison streets, which
is now being reconditioned for ser-
vice. This was the first gasoline
pumper ever put into service and
came out in 1914.

Where Ladders Are Made
In the woodwork and paint shops
there is also much activity. Work-
ers are kept busy turning out rounds,
sides and braces for ladders — all the
department's ladders are made in
that shop. Some of the ladders are
short, but the regulation length of
the department's ladders is sixty-
five feet. When the painters have
finished a job the repaired truck or
automobile is "just brand new from
the shop.'"

The personnel of the yard includes
the superintendent, the general fore-
man, blacksmiths and blacksmiths'
helpers, machinists and machinists'


Tot>: Corporation Yard Maihine Shop. L.n to right: Thomas McLaughlan. brass
finisher; Howard Red and Roy Baker, automotive machinists. Center: Another 'viev; of

Online LibrarySan Francisco (Calif.). Board of SupervisorsThe municipal employee (Volume v.3 (Jan. - Sept. 1929)) → online text (page 18 of 84)