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Title Organization Reports on a Study of the City of Hoboken. By Charles P. Messick & Associates, Trenton, N.J. May 1,1952.
Object Name Report
Catalog Number 2005.062.0002
MULTIMEDIA LINKS CLICK HERE to view the PDF; note - please be patient while file opens.
Collection Hoboken Government & Politics Collection
Credit Gift of the City of Hoboken, Office of the City Clerk
Scope & Content Organization Reports on a Study of the City of Hoboken. By Charles P. Messick & Associates, Trenton, N.J. May 1, 1952.

PDF on file (with enhanced pages images; text searchable.)

Carbon typescript, 8-1/2" x 11" high. pp. [2], 1-50. Plus transmittal letter, signed, from Charles P. Messick to Arthur Malone, City Clerk.
Twelve studies on various aspects of City operations and services with specific recommendations about actions to take or not take. This report refers to another study that this form did in 1952: Proposals of the Classification of Existing Positions in Hoboken City Service (archives 2005.062.0003).
Table of Contents:

Number Title Pages

1.General Appraisal of the City Services 1-4
2.Relations with the State Department of Civil Service 5-9
3.The Free Public Library 10-12
4.Child Hygiene Work and Staff... 13-14
5.Welfare Work and Staff15-16
6.Building Maintenance and Cleaning 17-23
7.Ambulance Services 24
8.Street Maintenance and Cleaning 25-27
9.Police and Fire Personnel 28-34
10.Parks 35-36
11.The Engineering and Related Services of the City 37-40
12.The Organization and Handling of Budget, Accounting, Personnel, Payroll and Purchasing Operations 41-50
See notes for full text of report 1.
Related Records Show Related Records...
Notes Full text of Organization Report No. 1
page 1

Organization Report #1

In preparing a proposed classification plan, heretofore submitted, for the Hoboken City Service, based upon the work performed or expected to be performed and the responsibilities carried by the working forces of the City, it was necessary to examine in detail the organization of personnel and the operating procedures of the five major departments of the city government and their several sub-divisions. In the course of the classification studies, an appraisal was made of the number and kinds of positions now existing, of the need for these positions, and of the possibility of maintaining the present services or of improving them at the same or less cost to the City by changes in the numbers or kinds of positions and in the internal organization and operating procedures of the several operating units.

In this first of a series of brief reports dealing with these matters, it would seem to be helpful to call attention to the effective work being done in some of the departments and agencies as well as to the conditions found in others where it would appear that improvements can be made.

It is believed that administrative practices can be improved and total operating costs reduced by establishing a few new positions. More economies, however, can be realized by making some changes in existing organization and by improving the day to day supervision, thus making possible the discontinuous of a number of existing positions.

It should be said at the outset that Hoboken it not unusual among the cities of this state or of other states in its population group. Like other comparable municipalities, some of its services are well organized and effectively operated.


page 2

Some of its services are carried on at what may be considered an average level. Still others are maintained at a level which cannot be said to be satisfactory. The City, like many others, does not always get the maximum possible return for each tax dollar spent. But it has not loaded down its citizens with a maximum debt. Some of its essential services are carried on at a conservative cost and in a highly creditable way, and it has a considerable number of skilled employees who take pride in their work and who are zealously serving the people's interest. There is much to commend in the City government. But it can be made better, and moneys can be saved by extending the same or comparable practices and procedures which are now being applied in the most effective units.

An outstanding example of effective operation in the City government is the fire division of the Department of Public Safety. The fire hazards in Hoboken are considerably greater than in most cities of comparable size. The problems of maintaining adequate fire prevention and fire fighting strength are complicated by a crowded population, narrow streets, the types of buildings in a large proportion of the City, the extensive parking of automobiles on the streets for lack of adequate parking areas, and the peculiar hazards of the water front. The fire houses are old and far below present day standards.

The equipment is not above average. Yet the fire losses, year after year, have been low when judged by the experience of other cities. It can be said, of course, that Hoboken has been lucky in that there have been no large and disastrous fires in recent years. But the prevention of fires and the effective extinguishing of those which do occur must be attributed in a considerable degree to the existence and effective operation of a well manned, well managed, and reasonably equipped fire unit. Both the management and the men of this unit of the City government deserve the approval and the appreciation of the people.


page 3

A second outstanding activity of the City of Hoboken is its recreation programs. The recreation activities carried on by the Recreation unit of the Department of Revenue and Finance by the Police Athletic League of the Department of Public Safety, and by the Board of Education, while not coordinated as well as they should be, provide healthful recreation outlets and activities for a very large proportion of the young people of the City and for a substantial number of older people. Those who have been responsible for this work have not permitted old buildings, limited equipment, and very inadequate playground space to discourage them. They have gone ahead with what they have so effectively that there has been built up an interest and participation that are unusual in scope and that do accomplish in very large measure the main social objectives for which recreation programs are intended. The incidence of juvenile delinquency in the City, as compared with that of other populous areas, is evidence of the value of Hoboken’s recreational activities. The foregoing examples are not all that fall on the credit side of the City’s activities. The cleanliness of the streets, considering the problems involved, is well above the average. The water and sewer systems are old and must be reconstructed for the most part in the not too distant future; yet pending the time when extensive rebuilding is undertaken, they are being maintained in usable condition with a surprisingly small number of day to day failures. The welfare load is being kept at the minimum or near it. A considerable part of the health services are on a creditable level. The percentage of delinquency in tax collections is noticeably low, and the official records of the City are unusually well maintained and are readily accessible to the public.


page 4

The centering of attention, in later reports in this series, on conditions in certain units which can and should be better should not be interpreted to mean that all - or most - of the City services are poorly handled. Rather these later reports should serve to emphasize the fact that in many respects the City government is now operating with reasonable effectiveness and that the responsible municipal officers are displaying a serious and continuing interest in discovering and correcting whatever weaknesses which may be found to exist.

[end of report 1]
People Messick, Charles P.
Malone, Arthur C.
Date 1952
Year Range from 1952
Year Range to 1952
Caption letter
Imagefile 037\20050620002.JPG
Classification Government & Politics