August 23, 1966

Honorable Board of Supervisors
County of Los Angeles
383 Hall of Administration
Los Angeles, California



At the Board meeting on August 11, the Civil Service Commission and a number of union representatives expressed disagreement with the proposed Charter amendment covering reorganization of County personnel functions. As a consequence, your Board directed the County Counsel and the Chief Administrative Officer to meet with the Civil Service Commissioners, union and employee representatives, and members of our Committee to determine if changes could be made in the proposed amendment to which all interested parties could agree. Accordingly, the Chief Administrative Officer invited the concerned parties to such a meeting, which was held on Tuesday, August 16.

The result of this meeting is the revised draft of the Charter amendment prepared by the County Counsel for your Board’s consideration today. We believe that this draft accurately reflects the agreements reached at the meeting on the changes which should be made in the amendment.

At that meeting Mr. 0. Richard Capen, President of the Civil Service Commission, announced that the Commission intended the next day to appoint Mr. Gordon T. Nesvig as interim Secretary and Chief Examiner. Mr. Capen stated that the Commission in accordance with the Economy and Efficiency Committee's report on Civil Service Operations, was prepared to give Mr. Nesvig full responsibility for daily administration of the Civil Service Department with the direction to implement the other recommendations contained in the Committee's report.

Following Mr. Capen's statement, it was agreed that the Charter amendment should set forth a similar delegation of responsibility by the Civil Service Commission to the new position of Director of Personnel. The Director of Personnel would be established as a Charter officer with full responsibility to appoint all subordinates in the department.

With agreement reached on this issue, it was then agreed that the Civil Service Commission should appoint the Director of Personnel and that the Director of Personnel would work under its general direction on all matters involving the Civil Service system, as is now the case with the Secretary and Chief Examiner. This is the principal change from the previous draft of the Charter amendment which provided that your Board appoint the Director of Personnel.

The representatives at the meeting further agreed that the Charter amendment should contain a section enabling your Board to consolidate all personnel functions, except those properly decentralized, under the new Director of Personnel. This was the major recommendation in our Committee's report on Personnel Organization and Administration. We believe this is a key provision in the proposed amendment.

The amendment prescribes that your Board may assign to the Director of Personnel such other functions as it may see fit including the making of recommendations on County salaries and the administration of the employer-employee relations function. In the management of these functions the Director of Personnel will report directly to your Board. The Civil Service Commission will not be involved.

In our reports on Civil Service Operations and County Personnel Organization and Administration, the Committee set forth a number of objectives which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Appoint an interim Secretary and Chief Examiner from outside the Civil Service Department with responsibility for initiating the reforms necessary in the Civil Service system.

  2. Delegate to the Secretary and Chief Examiner, or to the Personnel Director of Personnel if the Charter amendment passes, clear and complete responsibility for the daily administration of the department.

  3. Consolidate all personnel functions, except those properly decentralized, within a unified personnel department under a Director of Personnel.

  4. Establish an employee relations division in a unified personnel department with responsibility for management-employee relations.

We believe that these key objectives will be met if your Board and the voters approve the changes contained in this revised draft of the Charter amendment and if the Civil Service Commission delegates to Mr. Nesvig full responsibility for administration of the department, as Mr. Capen has announced it will.


We therefore recommend:

  1. That your Board approve the proposed draft of the Charter amendment covering the reorganization of County personnel functions.

  2. That to the extent possible under the present Charter, the responsible County officers should begin immediately to lay the ground work for consolidation of the County's personnel functions.

Very truly yours,

A.C. Rubel, Chairman
Economy and Efficiency Committee