Monday, December 08, 2008

The Orange County Grand Jury

A key duty of the Orange County Grand Jury is to act as a watchdog over "all aspects of county government, including special districts, to ensure the county is being governed honestly and efficiently..." (The photo above shows the 1954 Grand Jury in the Department 2 of the Old O.C. Courthouse.) Each year, they submit a report on their findings. Here are a few interesting quotes from early Grand Jury reports:

1900 – “We… recommend that a complete list of all county indigents, together with the amounts drawn from the county by them, be published in the weekly papers of the county each month.”

1901 – “The [Orange County Board of] Supervisors, we think, should receive special commenation for their manner in spending the public money for a new court house.”

1902 – “We recommend that the City of Santa Ana vote bonds and secure their own electric light service.”

1905 – “In regard to the county library, we recommend that an inventory be taken of all books, amounting to near four thousand volumes.”

1906 – “We recommend/demand the re-establishment of the county rock pile, with a penalty that any one who will not do a fair days work shall be confined to the dungeon upon a ration of bread and water.”

1908 – “At Fairview [School], the scholars have been allowed to dig a hole some ten or twelve feet deep on the playground,… offering an opportunity for serious injury.” (Fairview is now part of Costa Mesa.)

1909 – “[The] Serra School [is] situated in an old house and but for the flag we would have passed it by. It is in good condition.” (Serra is now called Capistrano Beach and is now part of Dana Point.)

1 comment: said...

I bet the 1900 and 1906 recommendations would be a little hard to get action on in our day and age. My do things change in a hundred years!