Getting no reply, the director wrote another memo on Aug. 8 to his boss' boss.
Again, no reply.
A city councilman posed the same question to Andy in a letter Sept. 17. Nine days later, she told him it was being taken care of.
Today, more than 14 months after the first memo, there is still no Spanish- speaking van driver at the Mann Older Adult Center, Fifth Street and Allegheny Avenue.
Actually, there is no driver at all.
Although nearly everyone agreed that a driver who speaks Spanish makes good sense at Mann, it did not happen.
And it is not likely to happen soon.
What happened - or didn't happen - in this effort to fill one job is instructive in understanding why so few Latinos - 549 of 27,000 employees - have city jobs.
And why it is hard for City Hall to get the simplest things done.
Andy made her comments about the need for more Latinos at the city's 1990 Human Relations Commission hearings investigating the delivery of city services to Latinos.
Sam Scheiner, director at the Mann center for 31 years, read those comments.
Robert Kitchen, his van driver of 17 years, was retiring in August. Scheiner needed a replacement and wanted someone who spoke Spanish. More than 75 percent of the elderly using the center were Latinos.
The van took Milagros Serrano, 70, who uses a cane, to and from the center and Maria Hernandez, 86, to the doctor's office or supermarket. It brought the disabled and the frail to the center for lunch, dominoes and companionship.
The driver's job paid between $18,000 and $21,000 a year, 52 percent paid by the nonprofit Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.
So Scheiner wrote a memo in July 1990 to Julianna C. Anderson, director of older-adult services, and enclosed the paperwork needed for the job change.
This week, Anderson said that "she had no idea" what had happened to Scheiner's request. "I passed it on to my superiors. I'm in favor of them having everything Hispanic up there. I forwarded the memo with a favorable recommendation to recreation personnel," she said.
Frank Tyson, director of personnel at the Recreation Department, said this week that he was "not familiar with the memo. . . . I don't know anything about this."
Scheiner heard nothing back from Anderson, so he wrote another memo in August to her boss, Carol B. Rice, the department's director of special programs.
It said, in part: "The need for a bilingual driver is particularly acute when you consider the fact that the driver is usually the sole staff person present on van trips, and that his clients are overwhelmingly Latino and that they do not speak English . . .
"To succumb now to expediency by way of the appointment of a person without the additional language skill can only lead to complications later on."
Scheiner received no reply from Rice. She is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.
Linda Carroll, Commissioner Andy's assistant, said the department had no record of Councilman Angel L. Ortiz's letter or Andy's reply, nor any paperwork at all on Scheiner's original request for a bilingual driver.
Carroll said Tyson must have forwarded the request to central personnel - and that they probably misplaced it.
Because of a citywide job freeze announced last September, the question of follow-up on the request was moot, Carroll said.
"But I'm not saying that no follow-up was done," she added.
The job change Scheiner sought would have had to go first to one of two places: the Personnel Department or the Managing Director's Office. But both offices said they had never gotten such a request.
Nor has recreation ever asked for "selective certification," a process in which the list of available drivers can be scanned for someone who speaks Spanish, said James Kates, Personnel Department manager for management services.
Soon after Kitchen retired, Mayor Goode ordered the job freeze. Instead of hiring someone to replace him, the Recreation Department transferred someone
from another facility to Mann.
The new driver didn't work out. His driver's license expired. Last month, the department moved him from Mann. The job is now vacant.
"The bottom line is did we deliver a service?" Andy said yesterday. "We took an employee from another department. That's the best we can do. The status is we are not hiring anyone. What we have to do is move people back and forth. Whenever we get an employee, someone else loses a service.
"We are severely understaffed. I need electricians, plumbers, carpenters, program leaders. What is the priority? An electrician or a driver who speaks Spanish for one center? Or a maintenance person who can clean a facility five days a week? You need to be Solomon."
But why not get the classification changed anyway?
"We can put the paperwork in, but what good would it do?"
She said Tyson, of her staff, said he called someone in the Personnel Department last year asking about the possible submission of paperwork for a new job classification and was told that it was fruitless because of the freeze.
Whom Tyson spoke with is not known.
Andy said she was not certain whether her office did everything it could to get a bilingual driver at Mann. She added that if her office failed to seek selective certification of the driver's job last year, it will take that step now.
At Mann yesterday, there was no van driver - and no van. It's in the shop.
Milagros Serrano was there yesterday, having walked the four blocks from her home. She uses a cane. It's a long walk. She was mugged last month making that walk. She doesn't go to the center as often because there's no van.
"I can't walk. I can't go out and get groceries. I get bored at home."
She said her friend Eloisa was in worse shape. Eloisa could not get to the center yesterday.
Maria Hernandez, 86, said she had no way to get to the doctor without the van. She said: "I am by myself."