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National Educational radio in cooperation with the Institute on man and science presents a series of talks drawn from the institute's annual conference held recently in Rensselaer Vale New York. The Institute on man and science is a nonprofit educational institution chartered by the New York State Board of Regions. The annual assembly of the institute is designed to focus attention on 20th century technology and the human relationships resulting from its application. The speaker for this program is Timothy Costelloe deputy mayor and city administrator of the city of New York. Mr. Costello's topic is Can man manage the city. I came in here most of Doc. this is talk and that's what's allowed. So one thing I took from it was a shop our awareness of the role that I might play. Which is to take some short term experiences perhaps some experiences that might be described as immediate experiences largely on
digested. Certainly not subject to any philosophical analysis and describe them as specifically as I can so that you might then examine them in terms of the very thoughtful perspective you are being given in the philosophical lectures that surround the ad hoc lectures that you built into your program. I suppose I might do this by taking only two experiences one I had last weekend when dealing with the threatened strike among some 17 hospitals in the city of New York Dr. Clancy referred to that earlier. I spent my weekend in the hotel Roosevelt and at 2 AM Monday morning with a strike deadline at 6 when Leon Browne the union president stalked out of a negotiating session and it was indeed an instance of the conflict that you're talking about.
The fact that by 7:30 we had achieved the synthesis which made it possible for the hospitals to continue functioning. Would make a good subject for analysis and scientific documentation I can't tell you how it was accomplished I was there. I participated in it. It was successful in as much as the hospitals and all functioning and people are being better paid and have been given a pension. Something they hadn't had. I might take the sanitation crisis which is also in the labor relations field and describing it in detail I think it would make first class material for applying some of the conceptual material that you are developing here. As I experienced it it seemed to me that rationality and decision making is difficult for a man largely because it is totally impossible to identify the unanticipated consequences of any decision that you make each decision serving as an event in its own right and stimulating an
entirely new series of factors. I think maybe I have chosen a little unwisely however. Preparing for today's talk I have tried a little bit to conceptualize the the items on the topic assigned me and to give them some kind of aura. So let's decide that you will allow me my meager effort at conceptualization in my formal presentation and you will pin me down to specifics and challenges and the nitty gritty of city problems in the discussion that will follow. I would like to preliminary comments however before I devote myself to trying to answer the question that you have posed for me. One of them has to do it with a proper recognition of the role of the civil rights revolution in our society. I have sometimes been surprised and indeed appalled. I've taken note of the fact that so many of our advances in the hard sciences have come out of war as
we have certainly living a much better life from a physical point of view as a result of the scientific discoveries in well what two and I can't find any great value in the Vietnam War but I suppose that there are scientists now working there whose peaceful applications of this scientific endeavor will make the life better after the Vietnam War. But for social advances I think not as much attention has been paid. We don't know the sauces in a society from which great social advances come. I'm going to make a small contribution by suggesting that social advances that change the psychological climate the way people have often relating to themselves may indeed come out of the less powerful segments of the society and I'm using the contributions of the civil rights revolution which began in southern states among the most deprived members of our society for the attention we are now paying to very very difficult
problems of our society one being poverty and the other the problems associated with our large urban complexes the society prior to 1950 was literally giving no attention to either one of these problems. But as a result of the Freedom Riders who began their rides during the early period of the 50s largely to implement this civil rights we are today concerned with that one third or one fourth of the nation who live below the poverty line and the urban problem has been identified as the principal problem of our society. It's one general comment to give a little perspective to what I might say later on another general comment has to do with the. Historical place of the Lindsay administration in the history of the city of New York. When Lindsay came in a lot of people compared him with an early a mayor of New York City male Aquatica was elected during a crisis in the oxidant back in the period of the depression during the 30s. Indeed when the mayor did come in
he moved a very large picture of LaGuardia from one place and city hall to his own office and he is fond of getting himself photographed immediately under it so I have a notion that maybe he himself pictures himself as another like what here I see things a little bit differently. I see the Lindsay administration as a matter of fact having as its contribution bringing an end to the LaGuardia era and creating its own new era. And I'm speculating a little bit here but it seems to me that in the city of The OC every once in a while a strong leader. And I don't necessarily mean a good leader but a strong leader comes along who shakes up whatever has existed and leaves behind a mold that is filled out by subsequent mayors for several administrations after him. And I think this is what LaGuardia did I take nothing away from the mayors who followed him. But I think logically they were fleshing out the mold of the skeleton that was left behind by LaGuardia
to good advantage for New York City. But Lindsay has come to give New York City a different mold and I think we can find several specific examples of that. One example would be that look Wadia largely was brought in as a rebellion against corruption dishonesty and graft and and venality among public officials. Our charge is not that at all. If you disregard the Marcus squabble OP problem in the city of The OC is not really with corruption of graft of anality but our mandate was to bring a totally new style of management to the city and the OC itself. LaGuardia came in and. Created his own establishment an establishment that was rooted in the good government units in the city of New Yok Citizens Union for example the citizens budget commission and he established very strong relationships with the principal
religious philanthropic organizations in the city Federation of Jewish for month peace and Protestant Federation Catholic Charities. We are creating a new establishment. We are bringing in people in the city of New York who have not previously had the key to the back door of City Hall whose ideas have not very much impressed what took place in city hall and the old establishment is being displaced and perhaps downgraded in its influence on city affairs. LaGuardia was able to talk about driving the team home on the criminal mugger out of the city of New York I think it's a tremendous advance that Malins would never think of talking not way about crime in the city controlling it yes but giving due recognition to the conditions that create crime rather than thinking that you can control crime by driving criminals out of the city at the yacht. So that from a. Long range point of view the
city of New York has reached a a might be a node in its in its total history. Whether you agree or disagree with the Lindsay administration it is certainly true that a new mold is being created that will pretty much control the behavior of mayors for another 20 years to come. So much for some attempt to give perspective to what I have to say. Can the city be managed. Well let me begin by trying to define if you will the management process in terms of its components and we talk about management we have class talk about the fact that there are a number of plots that have to be assembled together into organization. Dr. Sears was talking earlier about the arrival of language in the history of mankind I suppose another great arrival was the moment in mans history when he discovered that if
you put three or four people together and organized their efforts in some fashion you were able to accomplish much more than the efforts of any single man could accomplish. And of course we have refined organization in our age the 20th century organization the putting into productivity of the efforts of large numbers of people has become almost a science and the Ark City has a very very large number of people working for it. We are next to the federal government in General Motors the largest employer in the country. There are some 300000 people who work for us. So we are indeed a very complex heterogeneous organization pluralistic oddness Asian if you will. Now given an organization there are certain essential activities over which it is necessary to have control. If you are going to deal with the management of those heterogeneous
plots and so I would like you in a preliminary way to kind of build with me a hexagon which ties together the several management processes and then we can examine what takes place in the city of the arc in relation to those problems and then you will be able to answer for yourself the question as to whether or not a city can be managed. Of course organization begins with goal setting and so at the top of your hexagon if you will setting objectively setting goals which you ought to be as specific as possible. If you can quantify them so much the better. The process of locking is ation then becomes simply a process of organizing efforts to accomplish those goals. And on the left hand side of your hexagon there are two management processes which a basic and which encompass most of the things that managers in business do and most of the things that managers in cities do. The first thing of cost is
the allocation activity. You've got four people you've got 300000 people you've got $10 if you or you've got six billion dollars and that's got to be some allocation of these results is around the goals that have been set up. This is a process of differentiating the agunah zation making pots of something that doesn't have plots to begin with allocation around goals that have been set. But as soon as you differentiate an organization into pots as soon as you make allocation decisions you create the second problem for yourself which is the problem of coordinating the plots around the goals that have been set. So we're dealing now with goal setting allocation. The second lefthand on that hexagon is the activity of coordination pulling the plots together so that they. Maximize the leverage against any of the problems that keep you from achieving your goals. On the right hand om of your
hexagon coming Don. There are two psychological mechanisms or activities which also constitute a principal part of the manages. Day one is the choice mechanism making choices among alternatives it's vulgar to speak of this was folkish I guess I should say to speak of this as the decision making activity. Identifying all of the alternatives. Tracing out the consequences of those alternatives and then selecting one to implement. And you can see the relationship between choice behavior and the allocation function. Second psychological mechanism coming down the right hand side is the influence mechanism. Once choices are made once decisions and aid the members of the organisation have to have that behavior influenced taught the decisions that have been made which of course are related to the goals that have been chosen in the first place. If you will close
off your hexagon at the bottom by the last function of management which begins the process all over again and this is the measurement function measuring performance against goals in terms of actions that have been taken and then re setting goals raising the goals lowering them in relation to measured performance. And this is the way I define the management process. The question can a city be managed. Can be answered at two levels. One can deal with the larger array of symptoms that constitute the headlines in our newspapers and I prefer today to leave those problems to your questions. One can be concerned for example with such symptoms as the existence of a waiting list of 100000 families seeking public housing. It will be five years before we are able to build five 100000 units of public housing in the mean time one wonders what has happened to the families. Jason Nathan our housing administrator was quoted
in The New York Times today as saying that we need 800000 new housing units to eliminate the slums and the inadequate housing. Some people are forced to live in. One can deal with educational problems where our school system has not discovered how to motivate children who have not been exposed to home environments where the role of learning is easily learnt. Where we are able to teach children effectively when they are present in the school system ought to hold them long enough so that they will learn. Our dropout rate in cities is of course extremely high. One can deal with the problem of crime. City of new yacht by polls that have been taken it is widely recognized that at least in the popular mind the big problem is safety in the streets and even adjusting for statistics New York City has experienced a 14 percent increase in its crime rate and
increase I hasten to point out. Out of loyalty which is lower than that experienced by other large cities but it is remains a very important symptom of the problems that we have when we talk about drug addiction 100000 people in the auction who are unable to adjust to reality because they are hooked. Only a relatively small percentage of these in treatment now. But these are symptoms and I have no doubt in my mind at all that given effective organization given the operation of the management process itself all of these problems can be solved and so I'm not going to deal with them I'm rather going to deal with some of the problems that I think keep us. From carrying out the management process itself keep us from organizing the resources the capacities the talents which do reside in the city to deal with the symptoms which characterize me York City and most other large cities as well. And I'll tick these off in rather systematic fashion and identify at
least seven conditions that interfere with the management process in the city of New York and then suggest hopefully some things that can be done about this and then I will have completed Dr clenching my twenty seven and a half minute speech I believe. One of the problems that we've got to recognize in the city of New Yok is that no set of public officials ever. Manage the city on their own. Ever really change things on their own in so large an organization as the city of New Yok it is necessary to deal through the power structure currently in the city of New Yok. There is a dissolution of the old power structure and the new power structure and the power establishment has not yet been created. It's very difficult to influence the behavior of the city in the OC unless you have certain power think is through
whom you can do business. Malins you came in Indeed he did speak of the power brokers and eliminating their influence but he was referring of course to the power brokers of the past and desirous of creating a new establishment a new set of the power elite that set that new set of power brokers has not yet been created. And so it is impossible to find someone who speaks for hollow or the South Bronx or Bedford-Stuyvesant or the North Bronx for that matter. And until a new power structure is created it will not be possible effectively and efficiently to conduct the influence effet which is part of management. One can deploy are the days of the ward heeler the local political clubhouse but the one virtue that such a system had was you knew the sauces of power in the community and if you wanted to build something or to change something you
could change the community by working through your pollen network. This is one condition. That keeps us from managing effectively. It took us months to be able to find someone who could head up the model cities program in Harlem simply because there was no power group single pala group who could approve this appointment. We had conflict. We had proliferation. There is a second condition which exists that sets all of our cities. And so does the power crisis beset Cleveland Los Angeles San Francisco and Detroit as well as we are city. The second condition is a lack of Congo ence between the resource space of the cities and the service space of the cities. The Ark City has at its direct command 8 million people who pay taxes and who live in the city and in a sense therefore what kefir the city. This is its result space its service space
is that eight million people plus eight million watt who surround the city. The point I'm making of course is that all of the suburban communities surrounding New York City are wealthier happier function better for New York City's existence but do not involve themself in a fully responsible way in providing the resources necessary for maintaining the services and solving the problems that they create. Until we are able to. Make Congo in the resource space and the service space of all large cities. We will not be able to make proper decisions on allocation. One cannot out of a pot fed by 8 million people. Allocate resources to feed 16 million people and until some kind of blend exists allocation decisions will indeed be very very difficult decisions to make for the
city of new yacht. The Mayor. Has achieved a major breakthrough in this area. Some of our suburban people do not look on it this way but forcing them to pay some kind of a partial income tax if they work in the city of New Yok is clearly one step in the right direction. This is a second hurdle. The second aspect of the underbrush that makes it difficult for us to manage the city. There is a third aspect which has to do with the civil service system itself and all of us understand that civil service was designed to provide highly qualified talent to make it possible for that highly qualified talent to be promoted on the basis of merit. Civil Service has now become so rigid and hardened in its functioning that it is producing the very opposite effect for the. Then the one it was designed to produce civil service is largely a means of
protecting the status quo. It serves rather effectively I'm afraid to disengage the reward system for employment in the city of The OC. From a performance and of cause it is very difficult to carry out the influence function in management. If you have performance that is unrelated to reward and there are several reasons for this. One of the tests that we now use are not very predictive of performance and they exclude large segments of our population. They are white middle class tests that do not as say properly the talents and the potential of members of the non middle class who are not white. Promotion is largely based upon promotion tests and there are people who are successful test take is
independently of their performance on the job. So as a manager in New York City you are likely to find yourself having to promote someone whose past performance has been on satisfactory for you simply because he took a test and was one of the top three on the list with collective bargaining. The city's ability to raise salaries has been taken from the commission is an assigned to union leaders lest there be any misunderstanding I should tell you that I'm a dues paying member of the United Federation of Teachers and I am generally pro union but at the same time I point out a problem with the arrival in strength of unions among public employees. The reward system in the city looked upon as salary increases is more likely to come from effective union leadership than from effective management leadership and where the reward system is tied into the Union. The employee looks toward the union rather than to the commissioner
and worries less about performance. Of course in any city also there is the whole question of political appointees. You have people working for the city of the OT for 20 years hoping to move up to the top and the Lindsay administration come in and appoint someone like me for example who has never worked for the city before right on the top to serve as a kind of low level ceiling keeping high performers from maximizing their gains in the situation. Some other hurdles to keep us from managing effectively the end adequacy of the financial results is available to cities themselves. Cities have inadequate tax policies. Federal government has not properly assessed the dimensions of the problem and until we find adequate financial resources we are certainly not going to be able to allocate effectively nor are we free to make choices among alternatives that are required by the
management process because we are subject to laws federal and state that are rigid and undependable. Some of you reading the paper today will discover that only now are we able to assess how much money we'll have for some a program. Now what kinds of alternatives can you choose among When you know what the pot is only after the 4th of July. Many federal laws offer programs on an annual basis so that you plan and build the program only to have that program withdrawn after a year. Sometimes the programs are so written up as to force you to apply the program almost in a universal way across all of the cities of the country. While there are many notes that are common among these cities New York is different from Los Angeles and Detroit and it ought to have freedom to apply federal legislation in its own way. There are several other hurdles I could have mentioned but
let me now move toward the positive side. Despite the hurdles that exist in the underbrush suppose surrounding the management process I do think the answer to the question must be a yes and I think I draw that conclusion largely on the basis of the past two and a half years and largely on the basis of a single accomplishment. I'm ready to state right now that there is no problem in the city of New York that has been totally solved by the Lindsay administration and I don't consider that admission of defeat at all. What I think has happened is that the attitude and the spirit of people in the city has been changed so that today there is a feeling that the city can be managed during the coffee break. All of us who are. In an informal conversation agree that the first essential step to managing anything is a sense of optimism a sense of your capacity to manage that
talking to citizens in the York City today. Well may complain about dirty streets and unsafe streets and a welfare problem and inadequate housing. You will at the same time get them to say that it is possible to do something about these things with energy dedication openness to suggestions from the outside. I think we have created a climate where it is possible to move from New York City and to manage it in terms of something that resembles the rational process of management that I have just described. You heard Timothy Costelloe deputy mayor of the city of New York as he spoke on the topic. Can man manage the city. Mr Costello spoke at the annual conference of the Institute on man in science held in Rensselaer bill New York on our next programme is bigger will be Christian Aid Herter Jr. vice president of the Mobile Oil Company and chairman of the New York urban
coalition Mr. Herder's topic will be. The role of the urban coalition. These lectures are recorded by the Institute on man and science. The programmes are prepared for broadcast and distributed by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives
Politics and the Labor Movement in Latin America
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on "Politics and the Labor Movement in Latin America" by Victor Alba.
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A series of comment and analysis about current affairs in Latin American countries.
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-3-33 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:13:33
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; Politics and the Labor Movement in Latin America,” 1968-05-13, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 9, 2023,
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APA: Latin American perspectives; Politics and the Labor Movement in Latin America. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from