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to-day subject to that sort of rule. Did that scheme originate in the mind of some pestiferous legislator, who simply wanted to hamper Toledo ? Or did it originate in the mind of some successful business man who has put the city under tribute to him?
E. J. MURPHY, Evansville, Ind. : I was urged to state to this body how closely we have followed their recommendations in Evansville. In 1893 we obtained that Charter from the Indiana Legislature. We elect our Council and our Mayor biennially. We separate the powers, as under the Brooklyn charter. The Mayor appoints not only the ordinary administrative boards, but he appoints the waterworks trustees, the school trustees and the city judge. The Council elects its presiding officer and clerk, and that clerk becomes the City Clerk. We run closely along the lines recommended by the Committee all the way through, and I just want to state the results, after five or six years' experience under this form of government. The answer we now give is to point to results. We don't argue the efficiency of the Charter, but simply say results are the only answer we need to give.
When that Charter went into effect our tax-rate was $1.60 on the one hundred dollars ; now it is $1.07. This has been done without changing the assessment. The assessed valuation of the property is the same to-day virtually as it was in 1893– in round numbers about twenty-seven millions of dollars. That is what it was when the Charter went into effect, and although the city has grown, we have retained the original valuation of property. The results are most convincing . We have not in any way lacked efficiency in government. Our governme
Our government is more efficient under the present Charter than under the old regime. There is no trouble whatever in regard to that. We can say publicly to our Mayor, as we had occasion to say a few days ago, if there is anything contemplated that is contrary to morality or decency, any exposition of that kind coming to our city, “You cannot shirk that responsibility ; you appoint your Board of Public Safety; you appoint your Chief of Police; consequently, if they do not carry out your policy, all you have to do is to dismiss them. You cannot shirk the responsibility, nor
can you divide it; you must stand solely responsible to the people for good government." We jumped from the other extreme into this.
We came from a patched-up charter where the Council was the administrative and the legislative body, dividing itself up into committees. I wish to say to this body that we have had the experience, and I believe we are nearer the ideal charter in so far as those details are concerned than any other city in the country. We are ahead of Indianapolis in the fact that we appoint our judge, as the President of the United States appoints the judiciary, and we appoint the school trustees and the waterworks trustees. The whole appointing power has gone to the Mayor, and we hold him responsible.
A. V. S. LINDSLEY, Nashville, Tenn.: I happen to hail from a State whose policy for years has been “hands off the city government.” I hail from a city that has the very latest up-todate charter, and still we find that it does not work. Now what would you do in a case of this kind ?
I will instance the case of Springfield, Mass. It has an old-time charter, and in the city of Springfield the public debt is about 44-100 of one per cent. of the tax valuation. The tax rate is about 1272 mills. Then take Nashville, probably a little larger city, a city that has, as I say, this up-to-date charter, and in a State where the Legislature has kept hands off. We have a tax rate of 25 mills, and we have a city debt amounting to 10 per cent. of all the taxable property in it. It simply shows,
, after all is said, that the question comes down to whom you put in charge of your city. In Tennessee gambling is a felony; the city of Nashville to-day is run by the gamblers and the saloons openly and above board ; they appoint and elect and choose, and the citizens are powerless. The city don't help them and the State don't help them.
SAMUEL B. CAPEN, Boston: I want to pay my tribute of satisfaction to this paper, as so many others have, especially to its underlying thought of divorcing more and more the State from the city and putting us under home rule.
There are many difficulties; we have them in Massachusetts. We have been trying to get some changes in our Boston
charter, and some of them we have succeeded in securing. We have the policy now of single commissioners. We had a few years ago Boards of Commissioners, and it was a double shuffle to find out who was to blame. Now our fire department is run on the most perfect business system possible. We have been trying to get our legislative body into better shape ; it is very unsatisfactory as it is. We have tried again and again, and have always failed. Last year we thought sure we were going to do it, and it got into politics and a bad bill was passed, but our good Governor stepped in and vetoed it. The Municipal League brought in a bill asking for the prevention of special legislation. All our business men wanted it, the newspapers wanted it; and yet even that was thrown out, and thrown out by the politicians because they like the thing as it is, and they like to have all this sort of business coming up there every year. So we lost our bill and we have got to try it over, but I believe with all the difficulties in the way that the principle of this paper is right; give us home rule, and thereby create civic pride in our midst by compelling the citizens to face the day of judgment every year.
Adjourned to meet at 3.30 P. M.
Thursday, December 1, 1898, 3:30 P. M. SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT CAPEN called the session to order and presided.
The paper to be read at this meeting was by Dr. Frank J. Goodnow, on “The Place of the Council and of the Mayor in the Organization of Municipal Government–The Necessity of Distinguishing Legislation from Administration." Dr. Goodnow was not present, and the Chairman called upon George W. Guthrie, Esq., of Pittsburg, to read it.
MR. GUTHRIE: I wish to make one or two remarks regarding some things which were said in the discussion this morning. I think we cannot attach too much importance to the fact that we do not believe that it is possible that any system of municipal government has been or ever will be discovered which in and of itself will give a municipality good government. The ideal to
which we look forward is a form of government which will make the administration of city affairs quickly and easily responsible to the people and responsive to their will, and then the good government must be worked out by the people themselves. Without strong, honest, vigorous public sentiment in the community you cannot have good city government. No system of checks and balances will ever give it unless the people themselves want it and demand it.
These remarks are called out by what the gentleman from Nashville said, and while we sympathize with their troubles there, the remedy lies with the people themselves. Mayor Jones, speaking of the legislative interference with city governments, suggested a question : “What is the cause of this interference?" I believe, as he says, that it frequently comes from corrupt influences, and a deliberate purpose to promote private advantage at public expense. My own belief is that it generally springs from two motives. One is the desire of power to exert itself. The Legislature having the power, the members of the Legislature go there to use the power which belongs to the Legislature. The inherent human disposition of all human power to exert itself and aggrandize itself leads them to make these laws. I believe that it comes from an idea that the people are not able to govern themselves. The people from a district will think they have better capacity to administer the affairs of a. city than the people who live there, and they are afraid to entrust them with the power to administer their own affairs.
There is only one answer that comes to my mind, and it is radical, and that is, that in a democratic government you must trust the people; the salvation of the people depends upon themselves, and you will not become good by outside interfer
If the people themselves want good government, if they have the opportunity they will get it, and if they do not want good government you cannot put it on them.
Mr. Guthrie then read Dr. Goodnow's paper. (See pages 71 to 81.)
THE CHAIRMAN: The general discussion will be opened by Clarence S. Palmer, Esq., of Kansas City, Mo.
Mr. Palmer then read the following paper :
PAPER OF CLARENCE S. PALMER, ESQ.
In the organization of some country villages the President of the Board of Trustees is expected to personally perform more labor on the streets than any other citizen, and therefore to receive the largest amount from the village treasury. To-day, no student of municipal affairs believes this to be the desirable form for the organization of a city, yet in most American cities the legislative body, directly or indirectly, controls very largely the personnel of the administrative service, and thus indicates who shall draw the salaries for municipal offices. Not all the municipa! reformers are agreed that the widest practicable separation of legislation and administration is desirable. Some writers criticise this proposition, and predict for its adoption evils no less serious than those for which a remedy is sought. I am, however, in complete accord with the conclusions of Dr. Goodnow, that in the organization of municipal government legislation should be distinguished from administration, and should be committeed to different hands.
Some reasons have suggested themselves to me, which may be of interest. In the determination of policy affecting the interests of a city and its people, it is desirable that the issues shall be clearly presented, with as little distraction as possible. If our entire systein of government by the majority is not a failure, the judgment of the people upon questions of municipal policy like the ownership of waterworks and lighting plants, a progressive or conservative policy in regard to public improvements, a liberal or niggardly policy regarding parks, boulevards and libraries, and many otber questions arising in a modern rity, will, if directed to these questions alone, usually be right. These are matters largely in control of the Council, and in the election of this body the purposes and qualifications of the candidates on these lines ought to determine the preference of the voters. The issue is greatly complicated if, in addition to these questions of policy, there is the question of patronage to be considered.
If the election of certain men to the Council means desirable offices to a large number of voters, an army of applicants and their friends will make the question of policy simply secondary. The pay-roll is the controlling factor. Under these circumstances the successful candidates, knowing that the distribution of offices is the important issue in the election, promptly recognize their obligations, and efficient serrice in campaign work is recognized as a cardinal qualification for appointive office.
More than this. I believe it desirable to make it perfectly plain to the voters of a city that efficiency in the administrative departments depends almost entirely upon the election of an honest, faithful and capable Mayor; that his power for good or evil is almost unlimited.