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New York City Government
ARTHUR W. MACMAHON
Department of Public Law, Columbia University
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Science, Columbia University.
NEW YORK CITY
19 2 3
PREFATORY NOTE Although I am well aware of the restricted appeal of this monograph, I leave it with a vivid sense of the wide, practical consequences of the problem that it treats. A deplorable wastage of effort results from the century-old tangle of laws that surround the government of New York City. I do not refer to the several miscarried attempts at charter revision in the past, although no one can read without depression the story of the five years of continuous but largely fruitless work after 1907; I am thinking rather of the constant inconvenience, delay and burden upon both city and state authorities implied in the nearly sixteen hundred changes in the laws affecting New York City that have been made since the last reorganization of the charter in 1901 ; I am thinking even more of the effect of prolixity and uncertainty in the statutory sources of New York City government in causing an unseen drain of time and energy in countless administrative decisions, public actions, and even in uncounted wholly private affairs. I shall be satisfied if this monograph aids slightly in disclosing the problem.
My treatment confines itself to statutory remedies. The fact that I have referred only incidentally to what is called constitutional home rule is not due to neglect but to a recognition of the magnitude of that complicated and separate problem. Regardless of any readjustment of the constitutional relations of state and city, the condition of the legal sources of New York City government would still present a problem and demand a remedy.
A. W. M.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
The Usual Rule of Adjustment
Its Application in New York State