« PředchozíPokračovat »
layman can be made into an expert by giving him some technical title such as Commissioner of Public Safety. The situation is made worse, it is urged, by the "common though not universal failure of commission charters to provide an adequate civil service system without which there is no assurance of selection or advancement for merit nor for retention in office during worthy service and good behavior."
At the municipal election in Seattle on March 5, Mr. George F. Cotterill was elected mayor after an exciting campaign. His opponent was former Mayor H. C. Gill, who was removed from office by a recall election a year ago. Mayor Cotterill's plurality was less than a thousand (32,085 to 31,281), and it is generally conceded that his election was due to the influence of the women voters. The new mayor is a prohibitionist and a single taxer, but is pledged to carry on the chief policies which the city has been following since the recall of ex-Mayor Gill.
The ballot also contained twenty-seven questions submitted to the voters for their decision, most of them relating to proposed amendments to the city charter. Of these fifteen were adopted and twelve rejected. One of those accepted was a provision for the establishment of a municipal telephone plant. Two single tax amendments were among the propositions rejected.
The municipal election in Milwaukee on April 2 resulted in the defeat of the Socialist ticket which was elected to office by a large majority two years ago. The outcome does not seem to have been so much a repudiation of socialism as a victory for non-partisanship. Up to two years ago the administration of the city was absolutely under the domination of partisan machines and the citizens seem to have welcomed the incoming of a Socialist mayor as an effective blow to political partisanship. The local situation having been cleared by two years of a Socialist administration, the efforts of a non-partisan element have found the way to success at the polls more easy.
The 1912 meeting of the National Municipal League was held at Los Angeles, Cal., from July 8 to 12. In connection with this meeting a committee of Los Angeles citizens, appointed some time ago by the City Council, made public its draft of a new charter which is to be voted upon at the municipal elections of next November. The program of the League's meetings included papers on the following
topics: commission government for large cities, municipal finance and taxation, adequate civil service law, the expert in municipal affairs, honesty plus efficiency, how to work the university graduate into municipal government, excess condemnation, state versus municipal regulation of public utilities, street railway franchises, the actual operation of the initiative and recall in California, the actual operation of woman's suffrage on the Pacific Coast, home rule in California cities, socialism in municipalities, how to educate the people to demand better government, the boss' day in court, the elimination of the party boss in California cities, the work of the League of California Municipalities, an adequate housing program, a municipal health program, commercial value of city planning, civic education, the handling of the social evil.
The National Assembly of Civil Service Commissioners held its fifth annual meeting on June 21-22, 1912, at Spokane, Wash.
The annual convention of the American Water Works Association was held at Louisville, Ky., on June 2-8, and the National Electric Light Association held its annual meeting in Seattle, Wash., on June 9-14. The National Conference of Charities and Correction met in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 12-19.
The Fourth National Conference on City Planning was held at Boston on May 27-29. As at previous conferences the program included papers and discussions relating not only to the physical improvement of cities, but to the various general topics in municipal administration.
The International Congress of Chambers of Commerce will be held in Boston next September. This is the first time the congress has arranged to meet in the United States, previous meetings having been held at Liège, Milan, Prague, and London. Elaborate arrangements are being made to entertain the distinguished delegations which are expected to be present from every large city of Europe; the state of Massachusetts and the city of Boston have both made large appropriations to defray the expenses of the congress, and Congress has been asked to make a grant of $50,000 for the purpose of affording the delegates a tour through the chief cities of the United States.
The International Civic Bureau, with headquarters in New York City, has arranged for a European civic tour from June 27 to September 1. The arrangements for the tour are in charge of Mr. Frederick C. Howe. It is proposed to undertake a field study of such matters as
city planning, housing, civic centers, garden suburbs, welfare work, and similar undertakings, in the cities of England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria. Those who join the party will be afforded the opportunity of meeting many city officials, as the foreign arrangements are in the hands of local authorities in each of the cities to be visited.
The city of Düsseldorf in Prussia has established a municipal college for the education of higher city officials. For some years a few of the larger cities of the German Empire have maintained special training schools for the employees in certain departments of administration, as for example police and fire protection. The Düsseldorf institution, however, is the first to undertake education in every branch of the municipal service. The college year will consist of two semesters of about three months each, following the plan of the regular German universities. Only those who have graduated from a gymnasium of the first grade will be admitted, although this rule may be waived in the case of those who have already had active administrative service in the provincial or municipal employ. The curriculum covers such matters as administrative law and practice, the organization of city government, the powers and duties of municipal employees, public health and sanitation, poor relief, etc. Instruction will be given not only by a regular staff, but by professors from German universities and technical schools as well as from the higher official service of the city. The charge for tuition is fixed at one hundred marks (twenty-five dollars) per semester.
An interesting experiment in political education has been undertaken by the Chicago School of Civics which recently established a branch known as the Workers' School of Municipal Government. The professed object of the school is to train working men for intelligent citizenship, to give them some grasp of civic problems, and to make clear to them their opportunities for improving the general plane of municipal politics. Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from eight to ten, and at these meetings the first half-hour is devoted to a lecture. The remainder of the evening is given over to discussion by various groups into which the students are divided. During the past winter the average attendance has been about one hundred and the spirit displayed by the workingmen is believed to promise very well for the future success of the venture. No definite
curriculum has as yet been planned; the idea is that the school should work out for itself a satisfactory method of teaching municipal ethics to the rank and file of the community.
The New York Bureau of Municipal Research has published a booklet entitled "Six years of Municipal Research for New York City." The publication contains a resumé of the work undertaken and performed by the Bureau during the years 1906-1912. Since its establishment, the Bureau has received contributions amounting in all to over $650,000. Its staff of workers now numbers nearly fifty and its undertakings cover a wide field. For the most part, its work has been related to the finance of municipal government, and it has had a substantial share in the reorganization of New York's system of audit and accounting.
Arrangements have been made for a comprehensive investigation of municipal affairs in Atlanta, Ga., to be undertaken by the New York Bureau of Municipal Research as a preliminary to the establishment of a local bureau in the former city.
During the last three months the Milwaukee Bureau of Economy and Efficiency has issued Bulletins Nos. 11-15. Bulletin No. 11 is entitled "Water Works Efficiency" and contains a survey of the various sources of water waste. Bulletin No. 12 deals with the general question of garbage collection, and Bulletin 13 is devoted to the inspection of milk supply. Bulletin No. 14 contains a discussion of the present capacity and future possibility of the Milwaukee water supply, and Bulletin No. 15 deals with the work of the health department in the matter of popular education and hygiene.
Since the last issue of the Review the Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency has issued a report on the park administration of the city. Several special reports have also been printed embodying the results of investigation made by the Merriam Commission into the street, water, and special assessment departments of Chicago.
The Chicago Civil Service Commission has issued a report upon its recent investigation of the police system of the city of Chicago. The Civic League of St. Louis has published a pamphlet entitled "Proposed Ordinances for the Regulation of the Milk Supply of St. Louis."
Some recent publications relating to municipal government in America are the following:
A City Plan for Dallas, by George E. Kessler, (Dallas, Tex., 1912). Street Lighting, by J. M. Bryant and H. G. Hake. (Bulletin No. 51 of the University of Illinois.)
Replanning Small Cities, by John Nolen. (New York, 1912). Modern Baths and Bath Houses, by W. P. Gerhard. (New York, 1912.) Water Works for Small Cities and Towns by John Goodell. York. 1912.)
The Debaters' Handbook Series, published by the H. W. Wilson Co. of Minneapolis, has issued a revised and enlarged edition of its Selected Articles on Commission Government. Revised editions of the Handbooks on Direct Primaries and on the Initiative and Referendum have also been published. New volumes have recently appeared on Municipal Ownership, on Woman's Suffrage, and on Child Labor. Each of these volumes is provided with a selected bibliography.
Messrs. D. Appleton & Co. have published, in the National Muncipal League series, a volume of selected articles on the Initiative, Referendum and Recall and one on Municipal Franchises, edited by Clyde L. King. Announcement is made of a volume on City Planning, edited by Mr. George E. Hooker, to be issued in May. A volume on Excess Condemnation under the editorship of Mr. H. S. Swan and Mr. R. S. Binkerd is in preparation and will appear within a few months.
The proprietors of the Canadian Municipal Journal have arranged to publish a Municipal Year Book of Canada. It is intended that the volume shall be an annual publication.
Two comprehensive and informing reports on municipal sewage disposal have recently appeared in printed form. One is issued by the city of Milwaukee and was prepared by Messrs. Alvord, Eddy and Whipple, the other, which deals with the sewage problems of Pittsburgh, is the work of Messrs. Hazen, Whipple, Stearns, and Eddy.
Announcement is made that owing to the limited appropriation made by Congress for the United States Bureau of the Census, it will not be possible to publish until next autumn the 1909 volume of Statistics of Cities containing 30,000 population or more. This annual