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CONGESTION AND CITY PLAN. By taking the control of the city map out of the hands of the Borough Presidents, and by vesting the Board of Estimate and Apportionment with the power to perfect it not only, but by imposing upon that Board the duty of perfecting the map and conducting all future improvements consistently with a comprehensive scheme for the physical development of the city, intelligently and harmoniously, it will be possible for the first time to provide the administrative means whereby the cure for the existing congestion of population may be accomplished. It is impossible, consistently with the welfare of the city, that present conditions should continue, or that the city should longer be menaced with an intensification of the evil. The first remedial step is to impose upon some competent body the duty to study and investigate and the power to prepare such a stable and comprehensive plan as present and future necessities may dictate, and this we believe we have done in the grant of powers to the Board of Estimate and Apporment. This should also be of the greatest value to the Public Service Commission in connection with its work of devising a comprehensive plan for the development of the transportation facilities in the City.

CONCLUSION. The diversity and importance of the subjects treated in this report and codified in the proposed charter will enable the legislature to assess the magnitude of the labor of this Commission. It has attempted to formulate a comparatively brief charter out of a body of law reaching back to colonial days, and, since 1830, covering a number of municipal charters and numerous statutes. The charter of Greater New York, as its creators admitted, was not “a charter in general terms with concise sections comprehensive in character," but was an aggregation, more or less symmetrically arranged, of all provisions of law relative to the newly constituted municipality. The Charter Revision Commission of 1900 at the outset of its report declared that it had debated whether it would undertake the preparation of a charter “different in form from the existing charter, or whether it would embody its recommendations in the form of amendments to that charter." It decided that “the limited amount of time at the command of the Commission " rendered it impossible for it to enter upon an enterprise so vast. This work has devolved by law upon the present Commission. It has endeavored to obey the legislative

mandate making it obligatory to present its report before the close of the existing session. This mandate has recently been emphasized by request from the Cities Committees of the Senate and of the Assembly that a report be presented by the Commission not later than March Obedient thereto, the Commission submits its results.

Mr. Madison in the summer of 1823 wrote in reference to the work of the great federal convention of 1787 that in the latter stages of its session “it was not exempt from a degree of the hurrying influence produced by fatigue and impatience in all such bodies.” The Commission has no sense of impatience beyond the realization that a truly fit charter and administrative code would be the product of work upon which no time limit is set.

The Commission has been sustained in its labors by the conviction that they cannot prove futile, but must contribute to the foundation upon which a satisfactory organic law and administrative code for the city may be established.

With the administrative code will be submitted special bills in reference to the various sections of the present charter and of other statutes either repealed, modified or left in full force.

We cannot too highly testify our appreciation of the valuable assistance which various heads of departments and bureaus have cheerfully and courteously rendered.

Respectfully submitted,

WM. M IVINS, Chairman.
E. R. L. GOULD, Vice-Chairman.

While we have signed the foregoing as the report of the Commission, we have done so with the express reservation that we favor the election of a borough executive in each borough who shall be charged with local administrative functions similar to those now vested in the borough presidents in each borough, and a separate member of the board of estimate and apportionment, and we dissent from the conclusions of the majority in that regard.


To indicate our concurrence in the main with the views of our associates, we have signed the foregoing report but desire to note our dissent from the conclusions of the majority of the Commission in the matter of the administration of borough affairs, for the reason that we do not believe that the charter as proposed recognizes the principle of substantial home rule in local affairs.


The recommendations of the Commission as a whole, acting through its majority, are contained in the foregoing report, which I have signed, yet I am constrained to dissent from its conclusions in certain particulars.

1. Borough Government. The wisdom of divorcing the legislative functions of the borough president from the administrative duties now exercised by that officer is conceded. It is equally apparent that there should be vested in the mayor that degree of centralization which would enable him to exact the proper administration of government in each borough. On the other hand, an appropriate measure of borough autonomy should be preserved and the danger of complete domination or permanent intrenchment by any one political party should be averted. Under the proposed plan the borough president is retained, his functions limited to a seat in the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, while the administrative or executive functions now exercised by the five borough presidents are transferred to a single commissioner appointed by the mayor. As a substitute for this plan, I recommend :

a. That the elective offiee of borough president be retained, the incumbent to be vested with the present administrative functions of that officer only.

6. That there be elected in each borough a representative to be known as “Member of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment,” and that the present system of plural voting be preserved.

c. That the mayor be vested with power of removal over the borough president, for cause, with power of appointment to fill the vacancy created, the person chosen to be a member of the same political party as the last incumbent of the office.

2. Police.-So far as practicable the various departments should be administered in the borough of Brooklyn by officials of the same grade as those who administer the departments in the borough of Manhattan. This is particularly true of the Police Department. Under the recommendations of this report, while provision is made for the maintenance of a branch office in the borough of Brooklyn, the police commissioner is vested with discretion in the de termination of the extent to which the police force assigned to that borough shall be commanded by a resident official. A mandatory provision should be substituted. The creation of a superintendent of police selected from the uniformed force meets with my hearty approval, but if provision were made that he in turn

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