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mind can overcome the forces that cause bad government. Accounting reforms, model charters, government by commission, the initiative, referendum and recall will be but instruments of evil if taxpayers are not informed currently about official acts. Good government can never be established on citizenship uninformed as to government acts.
Misgovernment of township, county and small city differs from misgovernment of great cities in degree rather than in kind. The difference between the city and the country is not that one is vicious and one is moral but that the city dare not and cannot hide its evils. The same congestion that creates wretchedness also creates understanding and fellowship. Evils which only coöperation will cure show the way to benefits more difficult to achieve where common needs and common acts are neither numerous nor obvious. The most sordid corruption has been disclosed in country districts. Farmers still allow unsanitary conditions that have not existed in New York for fifty years. Rural legislators have obstructed more reforms than they have initiated. Country as well as city must learn to regard government as a sequence of acts rather than a sequence of personalities.
What municipal research would do for Pittsburgh may be illustrated from two methods now being used to educate its citizens, two kinds of research that every community must be taught to do for itself, the Pittsburgh Survey and the Civic Exhibit. Working and living conditions have been surveyed and photographed, and Pittsburgh is given a view of more social evils at one time than was ever before enjoyed by any American city. Yet one factor has not been surveyed nor exhibited, and that the only factor which acts with the momentum of 100 per cent of the population of Pittsburgh, the only condition and the only machine that does harm or good in the name of all citizens. This unsurveyed, unexhibited factor is the government of Pittsburgh. That government if inefficient can cause more wretchedness in one year than private benevolence will assuage in a generation; it can do more in a decade to improve physical and moral conditions in Pittsburgh than can private philanthropy in a half century. Neither Pittsburgh nor any other American city can know the whole story of her needs and her opportunities until she knows her government, and until she insures government methods and habits that bring into the full light of day official acts and community needs.
In three short years, the Bureau of Municipal Research has secured for New York City budget estimates that tell clearly for what purposes money is requested; budget conditions making impossible diversion of funds from purposes mentioned in the budget to other purposes without special authority; conditions that make impossible without public knowledge and special authority the exceeding in any one month one-twelfth of the amount appropriated in the budget for a year; uniform systems of accounting and of service records with periodic summaries for all departments to describe money spent when spent and work done when done; reorganization from
Two Kinds of Research
top to bottom of the department of finance so that expenditures, revenues and service rendered shall be currently audited, controlled and reported; reorganization of the commissioners of accounts' office, previously a whitewashing body, so that now it is equipped to provide efficient and continuing audit and examination of departments. Reorganization has followed important reports on the administration of the park and health departments, control of water revenues, purchase of real estate by the city, tenement house administration. In spite of the fact that removal and even criminal prosecution in several instances has followed the publication of facts, the Bureau has from the outset had the active cooperation of city officials, practically without exception. It was asked by the mayor and comptroller to sit with the committee that prepared the tentative budget for 1909. Its coöperation has been invited by the joint legislative committee on city finances to determine the city's present indebtedness, by the police commissioner to investigate his supply bureau, and by numerous department heads wishing to settle controversies by the determination and publication of facts. For the charter revision commission it charted the functions and organization of the city.
When public transactions are forced into the light, "good motives" are strengthened and "bad motives" are weakened, thus making the informed sentiment of even the minority effective in preventing inefficiency and corruption. The Bureau's experience justifies the contention that the best government is one which by publicity makes possible good government through the kind of man that human nature and politics force into leadership. The recent Budget Exhibit, visited by over 60,000 taxpayers, was welcomed by officials, whether desiring to make known the needs of their departments or anxious for moral support against the importunities of those who wish through the budget to authorize padded payrolls and illegitimate profits.
Philadelphia, Memphis, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Seattle and other cities have asked the Bureau to help them improve their methods of government by emphasizing methods not men, acts not personalities. A national foundation or a ten year guarantee is needed for training men and setting up scientific standards for coöperation of informed citizens with officials.
THE CHAIRMAN: It is extremely gratifying to the National Municipal League to see the wonderful development in recent years of the application of the principles that we have been advocating since our origin. The principle of proper municipal accounting will enable us intelligently to carry on municipal government. We shall now listen to a paper by Prof. John A. Fairlie of the University of Michigan on another phase of the work of this league, "Charter Tendencies in Recent Years," as bearing upon the principles in that respect advocated by the National Municipal League. Professor Fairlie. [Applause.]
THE CHAIRMAN: That is the last formal paper to be presented. It is now a quarter past five. For a few moments if any one would like to discuss briefly any of the points in the paper I think we could wait. If there be no desire on the part of any one to discuss any points in the paper I call your attention to this evening's program when the annual address of our president will be given in Carnegie Music Hall near the Schenley Hotel.
The conference then adjourned until eight p.m.
WEDNESDAY EVENING SESSION.
Wednesday Evening, November 18, 1908, 8 p.m. A large audience gathered in Carnegie Music Hall where the eighth session of the Conference was held.
The meeting was called to order by Mr. J. Horace McFarland, a member of the Executive Committee and President of the American Civic Association.
MR. MCFARLAND: You are advised that the entire building is open to you. This includes the museum, the hall of sculpture and painting, the hall of architecture and the new mural paintings by Mr. John W. Alexander recently put in place. Your attention is very particularly called to the Civic Exhibit, included in which is the Pittsburgh Survey, shown on the third floor of this building.
When you realize that the only reason you now live, move and have your being in the city of Pittsburgh is because you have been using the natural resources, the conservation of which will mean the continuance of your prosperity, you will, I think, see the desirability so far as is convenient of attending upon these presentations, upon the subject matter by men of national renown whose lives are given up to the work. This evening we are to have first an address by your honored mayor, Hon. George W. Guthrie, on "Some Fundamental Needs in Pennsylvania." I have the honor of presenting Mr. Guthrie. [Applause.]
For Mayor Guthrie's address, see the Appendix.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of these words of wisdom every city in Pennsylvania and almost every city in the United States, may well avail itself. Thus having heard from your own city, and from a man who lives what he preaches and does what he promises, let us have the national view in constructive statesmanship, such as will be given us in the annual address of the president of the National Municipal League, the Attorney-General of the United States, as given us by Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, under the title "Criminal Law as an Instrument to give Effect to the People's Will." [Applause.]
President Bonaparte's address is given in the Appendix.
THURSDAY MORNING SESSION.
Thursday, November 19, 1908
The ninth session of the Conference was called to order by Judge Henry L. McCune of Kansas City, Third Vice-President of the League.
THE CHAIRMAN: We have for consideration and discussion this morning the very important topic of the "Control of Public Utilities." We shall have the benefit of the consideration of the subject by three gentlemen who perhaps will present it from different viewpoints, at least from different localities. The first speaker will be Dr. B. H. Meyer, who is especially qualified to speak by reason of his connection with the Wisconsin Commission. Dr. Meyer. [Applause.]
Dr. Meyer then read his paper. (See Appendix.)
THE CHAIRMAN: Dr. Meyer has given us a very instructive and interesting exposition of the Wisconsin law.
We are also fortunate this morning in having with us a member of the New York Commission which has jurisdiction in the state outside of the city of New York in the person of the next speaker, Hon. Thomas M. Osborne, former mayor of the city of Auburn. [Applause.]
Mr. Osborne then delivered an address, which is printed in full in the Appendix.
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Osborne has given us a very interesting statement of the strong features as well as the weaknesses of the New York law. Now, with this explanation of the Wisconsin law and of the New York law the discussion will be continued by a paper by Mr. Joseph B. Eastman, Boston, Secretary of the Public Franchise League of Boston, who will present "The Massachusetts Idea." [Applause.]
MR. JOSEPH B. EASTMAN: Mr. Chairman, I regret very much that no man who is a commissioner is here today to represent the State of Massachusetts, but unfortunately we have three boards there who have absolutely distinct fields and no man holding an official position would care to speak for all three boards. So I shall therefore attempt to consider the work of these commissions from the standpoint of an outsider who has an opportunity to see results, but who is not so well acquainted with the machines by which those results are obtained.
Mr. Eastman then read his paper, which is printed in the Appendix.
THE CHAIRMAN: I regret that no time remains for a discussion of these excellent papers, valuable as such a discussion would no doubt prove to This is the closing session of the League. Is there any business to be presented before we adjourn?
MR. JOHN C. WINSTON: Mr. Chairman, at the close of the last annual meeting of the League in Providence, Mr. Oliver McClintock, in offering a very appropriate resolution, with his characteristic modesty expressed a hope that if it should ever fall to the fortune of Pittsburgh to entertain the League it might be able in some degree to imitate the hospitality and courtesies which the League had received from the citizens of Providence. I am sure that those of us who have been able to attend this convention are all agreed that we have realized to the fullest measure the aspirations of Mr. McClintock as expressed at that time, and it is therefore not in any formal spirit, but as an inadequate expression of what I am sure we all feel, that I offer the following resolution which with your permission I will read.
The National Municipal League takes unusual pleasure in acknowledging the gracious and kind hospitality extended to it by the mayor and citizens of Pittsburgh; by the Chamber of Commerce; the Pittsburgh Board of Trade; the Civic Club of Allegheny County; the Lawrenceville Board of Trade; the Northside Chamber of Commerce; the Hotel Men's Association; the Voters' League of Pittsburgh; the Northside Board of Trade; the Homewood Board of Trade; the Bloomfield Board of Trade; the Oakland Board of Trade; the Allegheny County Medical Society; the Duquesne Club and the University Club.
The interest of the people as manifested in their attendance; the courtesy and oversight of the Chamber of Commerce and the indefatigable labors of its officials, and especially the unwearying attention of Mr. Oliver McClintock, the Acting Chairman of the Committee on Arrangements, call for particular mention, as also the intelligent support of the press, both in connection with the Convention and with its preliminary notices in regard to it.
Special mention is to be made of the coöperation of our Pittsburgh hosts in making the First Civic Exhibit a striking success, and the thanks of the League are especially tendered in this connection not only to the Committee on Arrangements, but to the Trustees of the Carnegie Institute for their courtesy in placing their splendid Galleries at the service of the exhibit.
In reluctantly taking leave of Pittsburgh, we indulge the hope and the belief that the great energy and high intelligence for which it has so long been conspicuous, will rapidly establish a record of civic progress and development which will be an example to every city in this country.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have heard the resolution. Is there a discussion. Those in favor of the adoption of this resolution will kindly rise.
The resolutions were carried unanimously by a rising vote, and the Convention thereupon adjourned sine die.