San Francisco (Calif.). Board of Supervisors.

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

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tion, the accuracy of the result, and the
generally improved appearance of the
roll are of minor importance. The
vital point is that the time and labor
thus saved can be diverted to other
matters in the office — matters which, in
the past, because of time limit set for
completion of certain acts relating to
assessment and taxation, it has not
been possible to give the attention to
that revenue possibilities justified.

The details of a triplicate receipt
system were perfected in this office,
which has simplified certain of our own
f.dministrative problems, and other mu-
nicipal departments have been quick to
realize its advantages and adopt the
same method.

Personal Property

A minor matter — but one which will
ultimately result in consequential sav-
ing to the city — has been the reduction
in size of the personal property dec-
laration form. For years past this
form has measured 17x11 inches.
The 1929 form measures 8>^ x 13
inches, and has met with enthusiastic
support of all the taxpayers, particu-
larly the business houses.


Aside from the statutory enactments
relating to taxation of intangible se-
curities the 1929 session of the Legis-
lature passed two measures of vital im-
portance to San Francisco.

The first of these was a Constitu-
tional Amendment, which will be sul)-
mitted to the voters in 1930, relating
to the taxation of mott)r vehicles. This

measure, known as Senate Constitu-
tional Amendment No. 18, was intro-
duced by Senator Daniel C. Murphy of
San Francisco. Approval of this
amendment was vitally necessary be-
cause of another measure that was
urged in competition with Senator
Murphy's bill. Had the competing
measure been passed San Francisco
would have faced the loss of practically
$1,000,000 annually in county revenue
now derived from taxation of motor
vehicles. Such a revenue curtailment
would have added to the burden of
property owners.

A statutory revision, the need of
which has long been recognized, was
eflfected by the Legislature of 1929 in
making it possible for the Assessors of
every county to submit at the close of
the assessment period a complete roll
of unsecured personal property on
which taxes have not been collected by
the Assessor. The Assessment Roll of
1929-30 includes this new feature, and,
judged by results obtained in the past
when the Assessor's office completed
these collections "out of season" conse-
quential revenue should accrue from
this "uncollected roll." The collections
last year by this office under this head-
ing totaled $127,000.

Prospects and Problems

The budget allowance granted the
Assessor's office for the coming year is
such that it is unlikely that 1929-30
results will equal the 1928-29 accom-
plishments. It cannot be denied that
the Board of Supervisors, in view of
the financial problems of the day —
problems which are national in scope —
were forced to caution in their
ajjpropriations. Every eiTort will be
made to function as efficiently as funds
allocated will permit. More than 80
per cent of the gross revenue of San
Francisco originates in the Assessment
Roll — and the Assessment Roll orig-
inates in the Assessor's office — the
fund-finding branch of the municipal
structure. Whenever the functioning
of this office is handicapped by insuf-
ficient appropriation every municipal
development is retarded, and the people
of San Francisco, taxpayer and non-
taxpayer alike, are penalzied.

Viewing the matter from a wholly
impersonal standpoint one comes to
realize that no other department in the
nnuiicipal organization has the prob-
lems, the obligations, and the responsi-
bilities that this office has. and in the
last analysis, the potential scope of
operations are determined by operating
funds allocated to the office.



The City's Street Car System

By Frederick Boeken

Superintendent, Municipal Street Railtvay

THE Municipal Railway in the
work of "conducting transporta-
tion," requires the services of 980 plat-
form men — including thirty bus driv-
ers, thirty-six inspectors (which class
includes car dispatchers, line inspectors,
receivers and car starters), one Chief
.Assistant Superintendent and two As-
sistant Superintendents.

The inspectors are recruited through
p. promotional examination from the
ranks of the conductors and motormen,
and in turn from the rank of inspectors
are obtained the men in charge of the
instruction and timetable departments.

Instruction Department

The instruction department is in
charge of one chief and one assistant
instructor whose duty it is to see that
all men received for platform work are
properly trained and competent to per-
form those duties. \\'hen new men are
employed they are first referred to the
Chief Instructor, who places them on
cars with experienced conductors and
motormen for the purpose of "break-
ing in." The conductors and motor-
men selected by the instructors for this
work on the different lines of the sys-
tem, are men whose record for safety,
care and attention, not only of the pub-
lic but of the property of the Munic-
ipal Railway, is of the best.


Chiff Assistant Superintendent,

Municipal RaiI'v.ay

It is necessary that men qualify for
duty on all lines. Ordinarily this re-
quires about twelve to fifteen days for
conductors and eighteen to twenty-two

for motormen who are inexperienced,
and seven days for men with previous
street railwaj' experience, to become
competent to operate a car safely on all
ot the twelve lines of the system. This
instruction includes also a thorough
knowledge of equipment and requires
of a student the ability to locate and
adjust minor car failures, etc. After
new men satisfactorily have qualified
for duty, their work for a period of six
months or so carefully is checked bv
both line inspectors and the instruction
department, and occasionally it is
found necessary to send men back for
further coaching and instruction.

High Record Maintained

The Municipal Railway has always
maintained a very high record, if not
the highest record for safety in the
United States as shown by the record
covering seventeen years of operation,
^luch of this has been due to the high

THIS is the third of a series
of five articles by Mr.
Boeken that are dealing in
detail with the various depart-
ments connected with the oper-
ation of a street railway system
in general and the Municipal
Street Railway of San Fran-
cisco in particular. This and
the subsequent articles by Mr.
Boeken are intended to give
our readers an idea of the
nature of the inner workings
of a street railway organiza-
tion. — The Editor.

class of men procured and the care
used in training these men during their
probationary period.

As the men procured through Civil
Service examinations must be citizens
ot the City and County of San Fran-
cisco for a period of one year prior to
the taking of an examination, the float-
ing element, which is so detrimental to
any enterprise, is eliminated from con-

Examinations Are Rigid
Examinations are rigid, the physical
tests being practically the same as are
given to applicants for police and fire
department positions and while there is
no age limit for platform men. it is
rare that any one over 40 )ears of age
is able successfully to pass these tests.
Dishonesty on the part of conductors
is almost unknown, only eighteen hav-

SuperinlendenI Municipal Railiiay

ing been discharged for dishonesty in
tlie last seventeen years. Much of the
high percentage of honesty and effici-
ency of employees is due to the elimina-
tion of the floating class above men-
tioned, the high rate of pay. etc.

One of the most difficult tasks in the
transportation department is the mak-
ing up of the time schedules. Many
things must be taken into consideration
by the men in charge of this work.

Needs of the Public
The needs of the public, of course.
is the most important thing to be con-
sidered. Other important matters are,
fixing of headways as near equal on
the various lines in accordance with
number of passengers carried with due
regard given to uniformity of service,
establishing time points with proper
running time allowed which must be
sufficient to permit of complying with
the ordinances regulating speed, to al-
low the crews time necessarv to cojie
with traffic delays which are constantly
increasing, more autos being in use
e.ich year and more automatic traffic
signals being installed.

In addition, there are numerous re-
c|uirements in connection with the
working conditions of the employees
such as over-time, restrictions, one day
cf rest in seven and length of the dav's
work. Proper regard must be given to
adjust the service, particularly in non-
rush periods to allow of economical
operation and elimination of waste at
the terminals.

Timetables are constantly being
changed to meet varying conditions of
travel and seasonal requirements, va-
cational periods, and other conditions.
Estimates of costs of operation of pro-
posed new lines and re-routing are



based on tentative schedules prepared
in ' this department of the railway.
Emergency schedules must also be
gotten out on short notice to meet the
demands of convention crowds, special
events, parades and various other de-
viations from the regular routine. In
all, thirty-five timetables are in use on
the system including weekdavs. Sun-
days and Saturdays, with a total of
2875 trips and 28.750 miles run daily.
Passengers' Welfare
^^'hile there are complaints and sug-
gestions made from time to time re-
garding equipment or condition in
which street repairs and tracks are
kept, by far the main thing the travel-
ing public seems to be concerned in is
the manner in which service is main-
tained and the attention to their wel-


fare by the men responsible for the
actual operation of the cars.

A large amount of detail is con-
nected with this branch of the busi-
ness : the preparing of time schedules,
the work of line inspectors on the
streets in looking after the ser\'ice, the
assignment of runs bv car dispatchers,
mcludmg the daily work of 250 plat-
form men. vacations, leaves of absence,
sickness, etc., in addition to which is
the work in connection with the han-
dhng of the public during special
events. Much confusion and annoy-
ance to the public is caused bv parades
and m some cities thev are banned
trom the principal streets and rightlv

Leader in Mileage
Due to the co-operation and good
work of the men responsible for the
repair and upkeep of the cars and the

ability of the platform men and in-
spectors to adjust minor car troubles,
the Municipal Railway is one of the
leaders in regard to mileage per car
failure, averaging more than 10.000
miles per car failure or turn-in, other
than turn-ins due to accidents, in
which car becomes disabled. Two
hundred and ten cars are operated
daily in the rush hour.

Chief Assistant Superintendent Eu-
gene W. Clisbee is in charge of trans-
portation. Mr. Clisbee entered the
service of the Alunicipal Railway in
December 1912 as an experienced mo-
torman, was promoted to position of
inspector in July 1913. Assistant Su-
perintendent in May 1918, and Chief
Assistant Superintendent in May 1925.
and has had. in all. twenty-six years
experience in street railway work.

Playground Commission Activities

By \^EDA Beresford Young, Secretary

THE Playground children of San
Francisco have forgotten their
school program of "Reading, writing

and arithmetic" during the
eventful vacation season.

Haseball. swimming, picnics.

No^, l.ere-s a real -Unjy" Plane Pa,,, center, is >e„in, Colin Fraser, Ufr.

and Thomas Fraser, right.

busy and craft, aviation, story-plays, dramatics
and numerous activities have been in
hand- the arena these past eight weeks.

One of the foremost activities was
the picnic schedule which made it pos-
.-sible for the directors to take eighty
groups of from twenty to fortv-fiv'e
children to points of interest in the
Bay Region. :\Iission. James Rolph,
Jr., and Richmond Playgrounds each
had two very successful trips down
the Peninsula, and took large groups
on each occasion.

Baseball Tournaments

Eight hundred and one boys entered
the two baseball tournaments. James
Lick Playground won in one of the
Junior Divisions, while Funston Play-
ground won the Intermediate and
Senior Divisions,

I nder i\Hss Georgine Fink's expert
guidance many story-plavs were pre-
sented by the children on a number of
the playgrounds. The children took
such perfect delight in presenting just
such stories as "Jack and the Bean-
stalk," "Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs" and "Red Riding Hood."

Hundreds of boys entered the third
annual "Lindy" League miniature air-
craft meet and exhibitiori^aof scale
models. Forty carefully designed min-
iature airships made by the skillful
hands of the playground boys were on
exhibition in the Civic Auditorium on
I^riday, August 9. 1929.

Contest Winners

The following are the winners
this contest :

Junior division. — 1. Albert On



1' H E M LI 'N I C I I' A I . F M I" ^.^)\ [■ l"


Chinese Playground. 10 years. 2.
James Richards. Presidio ilciijhts
PlaYt,fround. 12 years. ,i. Williani
(loiiien, Mission I'laygromid, 12 years.
4. Raymond Ramsey, -Mission i'lay-
ground. 11 years. 5. Arthur Klang.
Mission Playground, 11 years.

Intermediate division. — 1. Samuel
Jong, Chinese Playground, 15 years.
2. Horatio Randall, Richmond Play-
ground, 14 years. 3. Kenneth Miller,
Richmond Playground, 14 years, 4.
Evans Klingner. Richmond Play-
ground, 15 years. 5. Joe Cazesus,
Hamilton Playground, 15 years.

Senior division. — 1. Richard Hirsch,
M. S, Hayward Playground, 16 years.
2. Ray Johnson, Southside Playground.
18 years. 3. Ouong Gin Cheong, Chi-
nese Playground, 16 years. 4. Eldreu
Segal, Richmond Playground, 18
years. 5. Tong Fly Wing, Chinese
Playground, 16 years.

The finals of the Indoor Meet were
held in the Civic Auditorium Friday
evening, August 9, at which time a
large audience witnessed a very inter-
esting program. Supervisor Alilo 1-".
Kent, Chairman of the Airport Com-
mittee, was chairman for the evening,
Uda Waldrop, City organist, played
several numbers which were especially
appreciated. Captain Stanford E.
Moses. Aeronautical consultant, and


associate editor, "Pacific Flyer," and
Captain William Royle, of the Royle
Air Lines, each gave an interesting
aviation talk. Pictures showing some
of Colonel Qiarles A. Lindbergh's
famous flights, also gliders, and
"Knights of the Air" added a great
deal to the evening's program. The
sensational part of the program was
unquestionably the actual flights of the
indoor models, particularly those re-
maining almost five minutes in the air
by circling around an indefinite num-

iniliam and Evelyn Rozihiry of the Laijuna Honda Playground, Iffl, al lop.
'with pietiire of their ai'ialion hero. "Lindy." Riijhl, top: Aviation models ready
to rise off vialer al Ci-vie A uditorium "Lindy" League contest. Standing — Ed
Norman; Kneeling — Ralph Holflieh; Sitting — Robert Kretz. Samuel Jong
Chinese Playground, bottom left, dinner of the scale model contest, "Lindy"
League. And, little Anita Lloyd, holding one of the scale models exhibited at the
Civic Auditorium.

her of times. The planes which "took
off" the water also proved of especial

interest to the spectators.

Outdoor Meet

At the Outdoor Meet great interest
was shown in the models rising off
Spreckels Lake. The other events in-
cluding hand-launched models, those
rising oft' land, and models furnished
with power other than rubber, were
held in the large stadium near by.
Several boys employed powder and fire
crackers to send their planes into the
air — it was inten.sely interesting.

The winners of the Indoor and Out-
door events are as follows :

Indoor meet :

Junior division, FZ\ent I, Hand
Launched. — 1. Kenneth Miller. Rich-
mond Playground, 3 minutes Tii Svt-
onds duration, 2. Paul Tescher, Fun-
ston Playground, 3 nnnutes 43 seconds

Senior division. Event II. Hand
Launched. — 1. Glenn Hainer, Hamil-
ton Playground, 4 minutes 54 seconds
duration. 2. Arthur Johnson. James
Rolph Jr. Playground. 4 minutes 53J/2
seconds duration.

Junior Division, Event III, Fusel-
age models rising off ground. — 1. Paul
Tescher, Funston Playground, 1 min-
ute a seconds duration. 2. Ed Xor-
man. Folsom Playground. 46 seconds

Senior Division

Senior division, F^vent IV, Fuselage
models rising off ground. — 1. Peter
Stackpole. Chinese Playground, 2 min-
utes 21 "-^ seconds duration. 2. Arthur
Johnson, James Roljih Jr. Playground,
41 seconds duration.

Junior division. Event \', Rising off
water. — 1. Paul Tescher Funston
Plaxground. 44 seconds duration. 2.
VA Xorman. I'olsom Playground, 41
.seconds duration.




A group of happy Mission Playground children leaving for a picnic donvn the Peninsula

Senior division. Event \'I, Rising
off water. — 1. Peter Stackpole. Oii-
nese Playground, 1 minute 19 seconds
duration. 2. Ivo Qiasseur, Folsom
Playground. 13 seconds duration.

Outdoor meet :

Junior division. Event I, Hand
Launched. — L Paul Tescher, Funston
Playground, .S6 4/5 seconds duration.
2. John Sisich. Spring \'alley Play-
ground, 46 seconds duration.

Senior division, Event II, Hand
Launched. — 1. Wing Tong, Chinese
Playground, 61 seconds duration. 2.
.\rthur Jacobs, Richmond Playground,
41 seconds duration.

Junior Division, Event III, Fuselage
models. — 1. Paul Tescher. Funston
Playground. 15 2/5 seconds duration.
2. Evans Klinger. Richmond Play-
ground, 4 seconds duration.

Senior division. Event IV, Fuselage
models. — 1. Arthur Johnson, James
Rolph Jr. Playground, 7 seconds dura-
tion. 2. Peter Stackpole, Chinese
Playground, 5 seconds duration.

Senior Division, Event \I, Rising
off water. — 1. Arthur Johnson, James
Rolph Jr. Playground, 17 2/5 seconds

Junior division, Event \'II, Motive
power other than rubber. — 1. Paul
Tescher, Funston Playground, 2
seconds duration. 2. Evans Klingner,
Richmond Playground, 1 1/5 seconds

Senior division. Event VIII, Motive
power other than rubber. — 1. Arthur
Johnson. James Rolph Jr. Playground.
?i seconds duration. 2. Ivo Chasseur,
I-"olsom Playground, 2 seconds dura-

The following were of great assist-
ance in making the meets the success
they were : Earl Vivell ; Captain F. M.
I'artlett, General ^lanager Curtis Fly-
ing Service : D. H. Hughes, Secretary-
Manager Junior Junior Chamber of

Commerce ; E. W. Davies ; I Jlair Pos-
ter : Frank Flvnn, Acting-Secretary
N. A. A.: Allen Bonnalie : Mr. Gil-
more. Acting Chief, Air Corps, \\'ash-
ington, D. C. ; Captain Ferguson :
Lieutenant-Colonel Gerald C. Brant,
Crissy Field Air Corps ; Bart Steph-
ens, acting Superintendent Mills
Field : Eugene Dunivant, Assistant to
Superintendent of Mills Field ; Ed-
ward Pike and J. McFadden, Boy
Scout Headquarters.

Ships of every conceivable type were
made by the playground children in

anticipation of the Harbor Day pro-
gram sponsored by the Junior Cham-
ber of Commerce. Spanish galleons,
Chinese junks, .steam boats, yachts,
and numerous boats varying in size
from a few inches to over three feet
were on display in the Merchants Ex-
change Building for Harbor Day.

The summer program has certainly
been a very busy and interesting one
on the playgrounds, and as a result
the return to school for many children
was met with great reluctance.

County Clerk s Office

County Clerk under Count}- Clerk
Harry I. Mulcrevy for several years —
ever since Hallinan quit professional
baseball — has been promoted by ]Mul-
crevy to the position of Superintend-
ent. He succeeds Robert Munson,
who has been promoted to Chief Dep-
uty County Clerk. Hallinan was a
star third baseman for the Sacramento
Club of the Pacific Coast League and
played also with other Pacific Coast
clubs, including the San Francisco
Seals. Hallinan once was with the St.
Louis Nationals. An injured arm
compelled him to quit baseball while
still a young man.

James A. \\'ilson. Deputy County
Clerk, and Past Grand President of
the Native Sons of the Golden West,
has notified Registrar of Voters
Charles J. Collins that he intends to be
a candidate for City Treasurer when
the time for filing nomination papers
arrive, September 16. Mr. Wilson re-
cently retired from the grand presi-
dtncv of the Native Sons at their an-

nual state convention in this city. He
has been active in municipal affairs for
many years.

* * *

Ed. Gilson. in charge of the Pro-
bate desk in Mr. Mulcrevy 's office,
spent most of his two weeks' vacation
in Marin Coimty searching for a lost
treasure. Two years ago he lost a
valuable package and every year he
searches for it.

Al. J. Walcott, Deputy County
Clerk, is back at his desk in City Hall
tliinking with mingled joy and sadness
of his vacation spent in Mexico. With
three other adventurers, Walcott set
out for Tia Juana. Everything went
as merrily as the traditional wedding
bells until one member of the party de-
cided it was time to break up a craps
game. The vacation was curtailed be-
cause of the financial stringency that
developed in the party. The vacation-
ist that tried to break the bank was far
from popular on the hurried trip back.





A Fireman That Knew No Danger

By Charles R. Boden

THE British steamer "Tahiti"
was lying off Pier 33 on the San
Francisco seawall on February 28.
1922. getting ready to load cargo
and pull off in a few days for Liver-

The ship had been thoroughly fu-
migated that day. the deadly fumes
of cyanide had been wafted through
all parts of the boat below decks,
so that everything might be spick
and span when the stevedores were
ready to load the cargo.

At 5:30 o'clock in the afternoon,
thinking the poisonous gas had dis-
appeared by ventilation. L. Frech-
elli. a seaman, went below to pre-
pare for the reception of cargo. He
hardly reached the bottom of the
ladder, when he toppled to the
ground, unconscious. George Arch-
bold, another seaman, seeing the
awful predicament of his comrade,
rushed to his rescue. He had time
to reach the form of Frechelli, when
he. too. fell helpless to the deck.

A third seaman. J. Xewton. also
braved the murderous fumes in an
endeavor to aid the stricken sailors,
and he was also knocked out by the
deadly gas.

By this time all the officers and
crew of the "Tahiti" had gathered,
but no one seemed able to suggest
a means of rescue. Driven to des-
peration, several sailors made quick
rushes into the death chamber, but
returned hurriedly, only to drop un-
conscious to the upper deck. They
were brought to a hospital, and Cap-
tain G. H. S. Brown, deciding that
three men were enough to sacrifice
for one day. ordered the other mem-
bers of the crew to desist from fur-
ther attempts to rescue their

By this time officials of the Police
and Health Departments of San
Francisco arrived on the scene, but
they confessed inability to get the
men safely to the upper deck.

Finally a still alarm was turned
in for the Fire Department, and
Captain John F. Kearney, acting
Battalion Chief for that day. and
Truck No. 13 came on the scene.

As Captain Kearney stepped down
from his Chief's automobile, he was
warned by Dr. R. L. Thompson of
the Emergency Hospital Service
that the three men were dead and
that it was sure death for anyone
to go into the hold.

Disregarding the physician's ad-
vice, Kearney immediately realized
that a smoke helmet or gas mask

Battalion Cliirf

THIS interesting narrative
of a fireman's bravery in
the face of imminent death was
furnished The ^Icxicipal Em-
ployee through the courtesy of
Attorney Charles R. Boden,
former well-known San Fran-
cisco newspaperman and son
of the late First Assistant
Chief Michael Boden of the
Fire Department. For many
years Mr. Boden has been ac-
tive in helping and befriending
the firemen of San Francisco.
Since November, 1927, he has

Online LibrarySan Francisco (Calif.). Board of SupervisorsThe municipal employee (Volume v.3 (Jan. - Sept. 1929)) → online text (page 35 of 84)