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000,000 for these six items. If his estimate is true, the waste equals the losses of the Baltimore fire, or the first cost of the Erie Canal, or the entire national expenditure of the kingdom of Sweden or that of the Dominion of Canada; or, to put it another way, it is greater than Great Britain will require in the current year to pay its old-age pensions. As Mr. Clarkin points out, it is also a "waste of the energy of every tired straphanger, of the leisure which better transit facilities would yield the everyday worker; it is a waste of the wages of the poor; it is also a melancholy waste of human life. The income from these wasted millions would stamp out not only tuberculosis but also typhoid and diphtheria.
Pittsburgh is at work on the same problem through its civic commission. Its civic leaders are discussing such questions as, What the taxpayer doesn't know about Pittsburgh, and how will the $6.775.000 bond issue be spent? They are asking such pertinent questions as, How often does the city receive a dollar's worth of work or service for a dollar spent ? 13 Boston has its
permanent finance commission, with a salaried Municipal
president, always at hand to investigate any Watchfulness
charge of overpayment or excessive price in material or labor. Auditing officials in Washington are at work upon the preparation of a model budget along lines advocated by the National Municipal League. Greater New York had a taxpayers' conference and exhibit, which has served to bring home in a graphic way to the people of the city the facts disclosed by the investigation of the Bureau of Municipal Research.
Chicago has a commission which is engaged in probing its municipal housekeeping. Among other things it is trying to find out how far the number of employees, the services rendered by such employees, compensation paid them and the conditions under which they work, conform to the best standards of economy and efficiency. It is digging deep into contracts and their fulfilment. It is making an expert comparison between the work which is furnished the city and that which is furnished large private corporations, with a view to determining whether the municipality is getting a proper return for its money. The fact
13 See letter of H. D. W. English, page 69.—EDITOR.
that the commission is headed by Professor Charles E. Merriam," of the University of Chicago, who is also a member of the Board of Aldermen, guarantees that the work will be thorough, and farreaching in its results.
Turning now to another phase of the situation, we find a satisfactory increase in the number of agencies designed to educate
American citizens not only in their rights butCivic Interest
what is far more important-in their duties. Municipal voters' and civic leagues continue to increase in number and efficiency. The Intercollegiate Civic League represents an important and encouraging development of interest. The Associated Harvard Clubs' Report on Reform in City School Administration represents a still further important and significant development of interest on the part of college men.15 Libraries are increasing their municipal departments and are providing in various ways, on the one hand, to meet the increased demand upon them for information, and, on the other, to stir up such a demand. The Kansas City Star has sought to stimulate interest through the creation of a series of prizes for the best essays on municipal topics. A Harvard man (Frank G. Thomson) has given to that institution $5,000 a year for ten years to be used chiefly for increasing its facilities for preparing young men for service in municipal government, either as intelligent citizens or as expert officials.
As the Boston Herald points out, this is “a very propitious sign of the times. With this sort of aid from men of means and with the co-operation of the National Municipal League's committee on instruction, it is apparent that universities and colleges can if they will contribute much more than in the past to helping this country to a higher grade of municipal administration."
The University of Wisconsin has established another progressive precedent by adding to its extension department a bureau of municipal reference for the purpose of collecting data and information on all subjects of municipal activity and municipal government, with the view to making that material accessible
14 Prof. Merriam is also a member of the Executive Committee of the National Municipal League.
15 See paper of A. J. Freiberg, infra.-EDITOR.
to the cities of the state. Such bureaus have already been estabsished in cities (New York, Boston, Baltimore and Milwaukee), but this is the first instance where the plan has been incorporated into the curriculum of a state university. The new bureau will be in charge of a specialist in municipal administration who is also one of the university faculty.18 One of the leaflets issued by this bureau is intended for civic clubs who are interested in debating public questions; another outlines the purposes of the bureau and furnishes data concerning its scope.
Rochester is conducting an experiment in the way of utilizing the schools as social centers as a part of the local educational
activities of the city, that bids fair to revoluRochester's
tionize work or this kind.? The experiment has Experiment
been continued for two years with growing success. The idea has been described as the promotion of "the democratic friendly spirit of broad acquaintanceship which made the little red schoolhouse in the country the fine opportunitygathering place it was.” The use of the schoolhouse as a meeting place for people has been tried in several cities, notably in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia ; but the significant fact about the Rochester experiment is that this whole social-center movement is under the direct auspices of the board of education.
Briefly described, the schoolhouses are utilized for games, gymnastics, basket-ball, lectures, fencing, debating, negro minstrels, drilling, wrestling, interchange of flags and a dozen other things. “The people, not the children only but the adults, have improved with joy and enthusiasm the opportunities given them through the social centers and through the use of school buildings to get every conceivable kind of entertainment as well as of improvement.” Politicians, exponents of social theories, lecturers on all sorts of subjects, are invited to participate in open forum; and those who have so participated agree that the result has been the development of a good community spirit.
A political leader declared: “The schoolhouses are the real places for political meetings. I do not mean that they should be open to any one political party, but to all. Why should I be
16 Ford H. MacGregor.-EDITOR.
compelled to go into a bar-room to address a political meeting where the bartender uses me to advertise his beer?” The use of the schoolhouses for political meetings is no new thing. Formerly the little red schoolhouse was the only place of meeting for the whole community for every conceivable purpose; and it is an encouraging development in the municipal situation of to-day that our schoolhouses are coming to be utilized as means of service not only to the children, but to the whole population.
There is an increasing tendency toward more intelligent interest in civic and general public matters on the part of women, and
specially organizations of women. They are The Civic
bringing into municipal life a fresh point of view Interest of
and a real enthusiasm for higher standards Women
which must ultimately produce results of farreaching character. They realize ofttimes far more vividly than men, the fact that “to be a good citizen without seeking to remove bad social conditions is impossible." As Miss Zona Gale, of Wisconsin, a well-known writer, pointed out in a recent address, "this puts the responsibility where it belongs," and she added that “nowadays there is no part of civic and social life in which women may not help.” She could have added with equal truth, "and help effectively.”
City planning has had a great impetus during the past year. While this phase of the subject belongs more particularly to the American Civic Association, at whose hands it is receiving competent attention, nevertheless no review of existing American municipal conditions would be complete without at least a reference to the development of public sentiment in behalf of a more intelligent planning of the city along physical lines. “The city in which its citizens can take but little pride is one in which there are few improvements.” “That city in which the citizens have no interest in their identification with it, is one that lacks public spirit, that is filled with critics and dictators lacking interest in it; the city becomes the home of those who are indifferent to its welfare, if not discontented with it. . . . To be in earnest; to have it well governed is to assure good government for it; to be indifferent in regard to it is to run the risk of insufficient and dishonest government. In brief, the community whose citizens
give to it the same thought as a community that they do to their individual concerns, who are ready to work for it and plan for it, who take an interest in whatever will better it, who have a pride in its appearance and in its advancement, is a community that excels others.”
Boston in this connection has made a contribution which has attracted wide attention. It is known as the “Boston-1915
Movement.” It is “ A city movement organiz“Boston-1915"
ing the co-operation of all agencies which want to do things for industrial and civic improvement; a city plan co-ordinating the proposals of all agencies which want things done into a program which the public can understand and carry out; a city calendar setting dates ahead when parts of that program can and ought to be carried out; a city propaganda enlisting every ounce of civic interest in every citizen to see that they are carried out; a city exposition in 1915 of the factories, stores, public departments, institutions, city equipment and resources, home and health, social and industrial relations, of the city itself in action which shall show to all the world how far Boston has lived up to her vision and shall be prophetic of the city that is to be."
Interest in the liquor problem in municipalities has not abated during the year. There have been a number of developments of very considerable significance, chief among which may be cited the recognition by the brewers and retail liquor dealers of the need of the limitation of licenses to a ratio of the population, the increased recognition by the brewing and liquor trade of the need for the maintenance of orderly conditions and the suppression of disorder; although this recognition does not seem to have reached some cities, of which New York may be cited as one; and likewise a demonstration that local prohibition is not necessarily damaging to the community.
Mayor Maddox, of Atlanta, which is now under prohibition, declared in a recent address: “I do not believe that the city of
Atlanta has been damaged by prohibition. The Liquor
places that were formerly occupied by the Questions
whiskey saloons have all been rented at equally as good or better prices to the near-beer dealers or other lines