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diture of more than $500, and upon them rests the duty of preparing the principal estimates of revenues and expenditures upon which the mayor must base his budget.
This law will undoubtedly work satisfactorily in the smaller municipalities where but seven councilmen are to be elected, three of those being from the city at large, and in which the men likely to run for office will be known; but in cities the size of Cincinnati and Cleveland it will be far from providing a satisfactory government. In those cities councils of thirty members must be elected, twenty-four or more from wards, and, in addition to the mayor, a treasurer, an auditor, a solicitor, a police court judge and clerk of the police court. Every elector must have upon his ballot at least twelve and probably more candidates, and these candidates will be voted for on ballots containing party tickets and party emblems.
The foregoing is but a brief outline of the Paine Law, but to those of you who for many years have been giving careful thought and study to municipal problems it is at once apparent that it fails to remedy many of the worst evils of our municipal systems and does not embody many of the essential principles which underlie successful municipal government.
It permits the retention of large, unwieldy councils whose membership is largely elected from wards with all the known evils of the gerrymandering of ward politics. It does not limit the elective offices to such a number and such character as will incite interest; will permit an intelligent choice of candidates by the average elector and relieve him from the confusion which necessarily results when a multitude of offices are to be filled. Candidates for municipal offices will still be nominated at party conventions or at primaries conducted on political lines and for political parties, and will be elected upon ballots containing party tickets and bearing party designations and emblems. No provision is made for the necessary differences of condition which exist between cities of five thousand and those of four hundred thousand population, and practically no opportunity is given for intelligent home rule. The legislative department is still permitted to mix in administrative functions; and its members go out of office in a body. The temporary tenure and shifting per
sonalities of the fiscal and law officers will continue to have the same demoralizing effect as in the past. The law provides for no initiative, referendum or recall and contains civil service provisions which permit the exclusion from the classified service of a large part of the positions of the government.
The embodiment in municipal charters of the principles suggested by these criticisms is recognized by the municipal program of this League as essential to successful municipal government, and have been brought into practical and efficient operation in the Des Moines or commission plan, which has worked so satisfactorily in Des Moines, Galveston and other cities, and has recently been recognized by the electors of the city of Boston, by the adoption, against the wishes and in spite of the opposition of the politicians, of a charter which is only a slight modification of the Des Moines plan.
The Paine Law is a vast improvement upon the Municipal Code of 1902 and a long step in the direction of better government in Ohio. For the first time responsibility will in some measure be fixed and defined and the mayor will become the principal, though not the complete, executive and administrative head of the municipality. The failure of the law to embody so many of the principles essential to successful government may have been due partly to the fact that the provisions of our constitution heretofore enumerated possibly stood in the way, but probably more to the fact that the people of Ohio have not yet fully awakened to a realization of the fact that a municipality is a business corporation and not a political organization, that national or state party politics have no proper place in its affairs, that to be eminently successful it must be conducted upon business principles, and that each community of any size must, by means of special legislation properly safeguard, have some opportunity to provide for and meet its own peculiar conditions.
Municipal Budgets and Expenditures.
Hon. Le GRAND POWERS, WASHINGTON, D. C.,
This is an era of constitutional and democratic government. Everywhere the people are coming to have an increasing voice in the management of their common affairs, the most important of which are those relating to the collection and expenditure of money.
The Magna Charta of English liberty which the barons wrested from King John at Runnymede has as its most important sections those which guaranteed to Parliament the control over the public purse. Since the granting of that charter of Anglo-Saxon liberty, English-speaking nations have led in the world movement for constitutional and democratic govern
ment by securing for the masses of their people Power Over
an ever-increasing power over public revenue, Public Revenue
public taxation, public expenditure, and public indebtedness. Free institutions have been established, just laws enacted, honest and efficient enforcement of old laws secured, and reform of earlier governmental abuses brought about only as the people, rather than any select few, have come to exercise control over governmental finances.
In some respects the control secured by the people of Great Britain over governmental finance is more perfect than that exercised by the citizens of any other country. That control in Great Britain is realized through what is known as "the budget”, which is the designation employed in speaking of a statement of public revenue and expenditure for the ensuing year, with financial proposals founded thereon, which is annually submitted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of the ministry, for the approval of the British House of Commons. In making this statement to Parliament, the Chancellor presents an estimate of the probable income and expenditure for the following twelve months, and sets forth a statement of the general financial policy of the government, including a declaration of
the old taxes which it is intended to reduce, abolish, or increase, or what new ones it may be necessary to impose.
The term "budget", which had its first use in Great Britain as above set forth, has in more recent years been applied in the
financial administration of our American cities English Budget
to statements of municipal revenues and expenditures, whether partial or complete, which are made the bases of general appropriation ordinances. The end sought by these so-called American municipal budgets is identical with that realized by the British national budget. It is to assist in securing and enforcing popular control over municipal finances. Before our cities fully realize this end, their financial administration must undergo a number of changes, as has that of the British national government. The struggle with King John at Runnymede was to take the control of English finances from the King and vest it in the barons. Later struggles, whose results are embodied in the constitutional practices of the kingdom, have wrested that control from the modern representatives of the barons--the House of Lords-and given it to the House of Commons, and through that House to the masses of the British people. In the course of centuries that control has developed from a nominal into an actual one; and cabinets without number have fallen, and many Parliamentary elections have been called upon issues raised by the terms of budgets submitted by the chancellors of the exchequer; and sooner or later every parliament must give way to a successor, if the ministry does not embody the popular wish in its budgets. In this connection it should be further noted that great constitutional reforms have frequently been secured through the adoption or rejection of proposed budgets, and during the present year the British people are by the financial proposals of the Honorable Lloyd George brought face to face with a political, economical, and social revolution that is as great as those resulting from the acts of the barons at Runnymede, of Cromwell at Marston Moor, or the Reform Parliament of 1830.
Turning from the British government to the governments of our American cities, we note first, that the differences between the British imperial Government and those of our American cities
are not such as naturally and inevitably preclude the possibility of making municipal budgets as effective for good government
and for popular control over fiscal affairs as American
the British budget is for securing such control Municipal
over national finances; and second, the AmeriBudgets
can city budget, as at present framed, is an instrument far removed from the British budget in form, and is made to serve purposes quite foreign to those obtained by its prototype as set forth above.
In theory, at least, the people of our American cities other than Washington have control over their finances. Appropriations are made by a single or double-chamber council, which theoretically represents the people. But budgets and appropriations when prepared are generally so arranged that the average citizen can form no intelligent judgment with reference to the wisdom and expediency of any of the financial proposals. As a result, the ordinary American municipal budget and the average annual appropriations of our American cities represent no popular control over municipal finances, but the control of a select few, acting in such a way that they are practically not responsible to any one for their acts. In the majority of our larger cities, the municipal budget and municipal appropriations embody the wishes and judgment of a small quota of irresponsible bosses, rather than the wishes and judgment of the people. In like manner, the appropriations of the city of Washington represent the wishes and judgment of a small circle of Congressmen, and seldom could secure the intelligent support of the majority of the business men of that city. The financial situation in Washington is generally conceded to be a negation of the theory of constitutional and democratic government; and yet, I am firmly convinced that it is no more so than the corresponding situation in other cities.
The highest type of city as of national government must be a government which makes budgets and appropriations reflect the enlightened judgment of all the people, and not that of a privileged few, whether Congressmen or city bosses. In the average American city the people are becoming aroused to this fact, and are trying to put curbs and checks upon the unlimited powers of