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Without constitutional amend.

the needed


many important results can be effected and the efforts to accomplish them will not only aid the ultimate adoption of the amendment, but will help to create an alert and intelligent public opinion, which is a surer safeguard of popular liberties than any written constitution.

No constitutional amendment is needed to enable the Legis

lature to grant to the city all the governmental powers requisite ment, the Legislature can grant to determine for itself all questions of local public policy. No

city in the United States has all the governmental powers requiernmental powers to municipal site for healthy, vigorous, complete self-development, but there ocrporations;

is not one of these powers that is not now possessed through legislative grant by many cities. Why should not the Legislature grant to each city all the powers? The minds of our fellowcitizens are already turned in this direction, and in our efforts to secure the legislative grant to cities of more and larger powers of self-government there is not one of the powers requisite for this purpose for which we cannot find a precedent in its actual grant to many cities. And the more recent the legislative charter the more liberal and the more comprehensive have been the terms of the legislative grant of power. In New York no city for many years has been granted so many of the fundamental powers of

government as the recently enlarged city of New York. Also the requisite The leaven is working, and public opinion rightly directed liberty freely to will yet compel not only the legislative grant of these powers, but

the requisite liberty freely to exercise them. This means the right of the citizens of a municipality subject to limitations applicable to all cities to frame their own scheme of local government, to carry their local public policy into practical effect by their own self-selected methods of administration, subject, to the extent that the local policy occupies the same field as the general State policy, to State administrative supervision. Why should not the Legislature, under a properly-devised law, permit the city's own citizens to select from themselves a local convention to frame the local government? Why should not the Legislature be as willing to enact the result of the deliberations of such a convention into a statute as the recommendations of its own appointees or of a charter commission named by the Governor? No constitutional amendment is needed for either of these purposes.

To refer again to the recent charter experience of New York

exercise these


city, what constitutional difficulty prevented the Legislature of the State of New York from authorizing the citizens of the territory to be included in the new municipality from holding an election for members of a charter convention which should prepare a scheme of local government? What constitutional difficulty need have prevented the Legislature from ratifying the scheme so prepared? Why could not the Pennsylvania Legislature grant free government, self-government, to Philadelphia, if it chose, or to Pittsburg? The Legislature of Ohio to Cleveland? The successful results already achieved in St. Louis and Kansas City, whose citizens have to some extent the freedom to frame their own city charters and the substantial progress in the same direction made

the cities of California and Washington, show how much mo could be accomplished and how much better results with more freedom.

The much-needed change from legislative to State adminis-And can substitrative supervision of the local administration of general State

tute State admin

istrative instead policy can be accomplished by statute without any change in the of legislative suconstitution. We already have such State administrative depart-pervision of local ments in successful operation. They are not an innovation. The general State State policy as to any public matter, e. g., education, health, police, policy. excise, the care of the insane, of paupers, can be, and in many States is, carried out very easily or its administration supervised by the appropriate State administrative department if the Legislature will permit.

ment necessary:

tions should be

There is one needed grant of power to cities, however, that One constitucan only be made through a constitutional amendment. Our tional amendpresent nomination and election methods in city, State and na- The method of tion are the subject of just criticism. They have shown them- the exercise of

municipal sufselves inadequate to the requirements of a Democratic Republic frage in purely under the complex conditions of modern industrial civilization. municipal elecThe characteristics of that civilization both for good and ill are absolutely within most marked in our cities and naturally in our largest cities most

the control of the

municipality. of all. Many thoughtful men are as firmly convinced that present electoral methods are as outgrown and have been proved to be as ill suited to existing needs as the device of an electoral college for the choice of President; some are strong advocates of minority or proportional representation; many others, while not convinced

that the remedies for the evils in our electoral methods have yet been found, are no less convinced of the existence of the evils, and all can agree that the last word has not been said on the proper solution of the grave questions involved in determining the proper methods of nomination and election to public office in a Democratic-Republic.

That some remedy will be found is certain. To think otherwise would be to despair of the Republic. But to discover and apply remedies, to demonstrate by actual experience which is the better or the best remedy, there must be freedom to act. The highest public good requires that the Constitution should guarantee to each city, subject alone to the restriction that a Democratic Republican form of government be preserved, complete freedom to control the methods of the exercise of municipal suffrage in purely municipal elections.

If the faith of our fathers still lives in us, if we believe in the underlying principles of Democratic-Republican government we shall never cease our efforts till some practicable and adequate method for the complete application of those principles finds fair opportunity in the conduct of municipal government.




It is possible to distinguish in all forms and grades of government two ultimate or primary functions: The one consists in the determination of the public policy; the other in the execution of that policy after it has been once determined. The one function is legislation; the other administration. This distinction of governmental functions has been made from an early time and is at the basis of that fundamental principle of American constitutional law usually referred to as the principle of the separation of powers. It is a distinction based upon a sound psychology. In the case of a single sentient being the will must be formulated, if not expressed, before its execution is possible. In the case of political bodies, which are more and more coming to be recognized as subject to psychological law, not only must the will or policy be formulated before it can be executed, but also the very complexity of their operations makes it almost impossible to entrust the same authority as well with the execution as with the determination of the public policy. This is so not merely because the function of determining the public policy requires deliberation while the function of its execution requires quickness of action, but also because the burden of government is too great to permit of its being borne by any one authority.

It is, of course, true that the absolute separation of the two public authorities which may be respectively intrusted with the discharge of these two governmental functions is not always possible. Conflict might ensue, resulting in governmental paralysis. At the same time, unless these functions are clearly distinguished, efficient administration is too apt to be sacrificed in order to secure

the adoption of a desired legislative policy. “Politics” will of necessity affect administration, not only in its action, but also the organization of the public administrative service, with the result that qualifications for even clerical and technical positions will become political questions. The consequent administrative inefficiency is not the only evil; the treatment of purely administrative officers as political in character renders difficult the discharge of the function of legislation in such a way that the policy determined upon will reflect the wishes of the people. The treatment of the administrative service as political patronage renders both administration inefficient and legislation corrupt.

These considerations are true of all government. They are, however, particularly applicable to municipal government since municipal government is peculiarly a matter of administration. Municipal government has of recent years been frequently characterized by those interested in its improvement as a matter of business and not of government. What is meant by this characterization is really not that the criteria of municipal government are the criteria of business, industry or commerce-not, e. g., that the determination of a policy of sewerage or water supply or clean streets is to depend upon the question whether the adoption of such a policy will bring in an adequate pecuniary return—but that success in city government is to be expected only where the officers of that government, whose duty it is to carry out an adopted policy, are efficient. In other words, what people mean, when they say that municipal government is business, is that municipal government is administration.

In State and national government new questions of policy are continually coming up, upon whose solution the very existence of modern society depends; in municipal government the appearance of such questions is rare. The work of the city and its officers is rather the consistent, continuous administration of policies which have been determined upon and which should remain for a comparatively long time unchanged. The efficient carrying on of this work of administration demands under modern municipal conditions, not merely great technical knowledge of the arts and sciences which every city must apply, but as well an intimate knowledge of the local conditions to which these arts

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