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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1909, 8:00 O'CLOCK P. M. The first session of the convention, which was a joint meeting with the American Civic Association, was called to order in the Convention Hall of the Hotel Sinton, Cincinnati, O., at 8:00 p. m, on November 15, by Walter L. Fisher, Esq., Chicago, Ill., Fourth Vice-President of the National Municipal League.

VICE-PRESIDENT FISHER: Ladies and Gentlemen: We are met this evening to open the sessions of two organizations which have now for some years stood for something other than mere criticism of the existing order of things; two organizations, one of them for fifteen, the other for five years, that have been engaged in the work of constructive reform, in substituting for that which was bad something that was better. It is not my intention this evening to make any remarks but as the presiding officer, merely to introduce to you those who are to speak. We are first to hear from the representative of the City of Cincinnati, to which city both organizations are so deeply indebted-E. M. Ballard, Esq., City Solicitor. (Applause.)

MR. BALLARD: In that these organizations stand for good government, good municipal government; in that they are giving time and study to the solution of the many difficult problems that confront those who ad

minister the affairs of the city; in that they seek that our city shall be made more beautiful, they have the approval of every citizen. The

awakening of a general interest in such affairs as these Difficulties Con- must necessarily eventually tend to bring about better fronting Munici- municipal service. The problems are very many, and pal Officials

the difficulties that confront those who are brought

practically to solve them, are greater than those who have not been so placed can realize. The difficulties are greater even than the student of such affairs realizes, unless he has had practical experience in attempting to solve these problems.

It is therefore most commendable that a large body of thinking men shall give their time and attention to assist those who are trying practically to solve these problems and to give those who are thus actively engaged in them such assistance as they can.

The office-holder finds himself between those who would have parks and boulevards, and all things beautiful, on the one hand, and the taxpayer who must pay for these beautiful things on the other. He finds himself between the man, who would have smoke eliminated, and on the other hand the man who says that in the interest of the commercial supremacy of the city it is necessary to use the cheapest fuel that we can obtain. The officer finds himself between two classes of people. He finds every section of the city demanding improvements, and realizes that it is impossible for all requests to be granted. It, therefore, becomes necessary to work out the best practical solution, the best between the conflicting demands, and placed in such position he must treat the questions arising practically, and not theoretically.

Indiscriminate, undeserved and promiscuous criticism of a public official, merely because he is a public official, has become very common; and while I would not for one moment have honest and deserved criticism of public officials abated one whit, yet I protest against indiscriminate and undeserved criticism; and I would urge, that before criticism is indulged in that it be done only after investigation shows that that criticism is well deserved.

There is one thing further that I would ask in behalf of the officer who has made an honest effort to administer the affairs of his department well, that occasionally he be given a little bit of appreciation. [Applause.)

The ultimate objects of these organizations are of the best and they must meet with the approval of every good citizen.

In conclusion, I once more bid you all welcome to our city.

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VICE-PRES. FISHER: It is said that a prophet is not without honor save in his own country. I do not know what you people think in Cincinnati of Elliott Pendleton, but I can tell you what the people throughout this great country who are interested in this reform think of him. We believe that he is of the salt of the earth, one of the men who is doing

more in his own way, and more effectively, to bring about the result for which both these organizations stand than almost any other man I might mention. (Applause.]

Mr. Elliott H. Pendleton, Chairman of the Citizens' Reception and Entertainment Committee, and Editor of the Citizens' Bulletin of Cincinnati, was greeted with prolonged applause.

MR. PENDLETON : I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your kind words; and I thank you, my friends, for giving your approval of those words. I have not done much; I am only trying to do my share. And if we would all do a little bit how easy the problem would be. I thank you again for your appreciation of what little I have done. I hope that we may be able to work together to accomplish much greater results than those which we have already attained. (Renewed applause.)

MR. PENDLETON : Mr. Chairman and Guests of Cincinnati: As the representative on this occasion of the forty-two organizations which have been accorded the privilege of acting as your hosts during the great national conference for good city government which begins with this session, I should be derelict in my duty if I did not endeavor to impress upon you at the outset how highly your hosts appreciate the honor of receiving and entertaining men and women engaged in the promotion of such objects as the National Municipal League and the American Civic Association were organized to accomplish. In coming to Cincinnati, my friends, I can assure you that you have come to a community that is in sympathy with your aims and purposes and in which you will find many earnest and patriotic men and women, ready, willing and anxious to join forces with you to the end that American municipalities shall be made the best governed cities in the world.

For years we strove in vain to persuade you to honor our city by your presence in annual convention assembled and we were not a little disturbed and chagrined that our many and urgent annual invitations, prior

to your acceptance of the one extended this year, were Cincinnati's

so uniformly “respectfully declined." The only conInvitations

clusion we could deduce from such treatment was that

in your opinion Cincinnati was either not worth saving or else that her citizenship was of such a character as to be wholly incapable of comprehending the problems which were engaging your attention. This interpretation of your aggravatingly habitual refusals to listen to our appeals made us only the more insistent in our entreaties to induce you to come to our city in order to prove to you that Cincinnati is not altogether beyond redemption and that her citizens are not quite as bad a lot as you may have been misled to believe they were. That we possess one characteristic worthy of commendation I am quite certain you are even now ready to admit, namely, persistency-without which none can ever become an efficient worker in the field of municipal improvement.

Far be it from us to claim that we have not been indifferent to our duties as citizens. Our apathy concerning municipal conditions has been equaled only by that which has existed in some other American municipalities which we have read about. Perhaps you know of some city not far remote from your own whose inhabitants have not yet fully realized to how great an extent their health, happiness and prosperity are dependent upon the efficiency of the government of their city. If I have been correctly advised, some of you, I think, reside in the vicinity of the city of New York, others among you not very far away from Chicago, or Philadelphia, or St. Louis, or Boston, or Baltimore, America's greatest municipalities, and yet who among you would think for an instant of referring to the government of any of these great cities as ideal.

We of Cincinnati, my friends, are and have been for many years intensely interested in the problems to the solution of which you have been devoting your best thought. There has been a great civic awakening in Cincinnati. We have been striving earnestly for the betterment of municipal conditions. The results have been most encouraging. The progress made within a brief period has been marvelous. A complete re

volution of policy with respect to our public schools Cincinnati's

has been effected. Our levy for school purposes is now Progress

more than twice what it was only four years ago.

Medical inspection has been provided. Manual training and the teaching of civics have been introduced. The merit system now applies to the selection and promotion of teachers. A separate school-board ballot without party emblems or party designation has been secured. A law was enacted providing for a small school board of seven to be elected at large to supplant our cumbersome board composed of twenty-seven, twenty-four of whom are elected by wards and three at large. Unfortunately this law was declared unconstitutional. The people of Cincinnati, however, will not rest until this desirable change in the size of the school board has been effected. A comprehensive park plan has been adopted and a separate Board of Park Commissioners has been appointed to carry it into execution. Through the efforts, principally of the Woman's Club of Cincinnati, a number of playgrounds have been provided and others are to be established. As the result of the completion of a new waterworks and filtration plant Cincinnati has for a year or more been supplied with absolutely pure water, in consequence of which the city's death rate has been materially reduced. Typhoid has been practically eliminated. As the result of a vigorous and persistent campaign the purity of the city's milk supply has been greatly improved. A separate board to deal with health and sanitation problems has been created and because of its personnel the betterment of health conditions may be predicted with confidence. Work on a new hospital is well under way and appropriations for its completion have been made. The design is that which is known as the cottage plan. When finished Cincinnati's new

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hospital will be without a superior in the country. Within a year the city has been supplied with natural gas in abundance and it is not likely that the supply will diminish for many years to come, if ever. It may now be said that Cincinnati has well nigh solved her smoke problem. In recent years Ohio has enacted a uniform municipal accounting law; also a law prohibiting corporations from making contributions to political parties and a statute making direct primary nominations compulsory for all municipal offices. A new form of government for Ohio municipalities centralizing authority in the Mayor and providing for the introduction of the merit system, is to go into full effect on the first of next January. A bureau of municipal research has been established.

Is not such a record of things accomplished encouraging? Are there many other American cities that can point to greater progress? The

results achieved have been so satisfactory that both of An Encouraging the leading political parties claim credit for having Record

brought them about a most happy state of affairs as

under these circumstances there is no likelihood of retrogression with respect to the advances enumerated. Just between us, however, my friends, all of these good things would not have been accomplished had it not been for the inspiration which Cincinnatians derived from the great work which you have so successfully carried on. We are grateful for the aid, inspiration and encouragement which we have received from you in the past and shall hopefully look to you for co-operation in the future. On our part we pledge you that we shall do our utmost to promote the higher ideals of civic life for the advancement of which your associations have contributed so much and which through your efforts will become the governing impulse of all patriotic Americans and the common heritage of future generations.

At the present hour the most inviting field for the man who has consecrated himself to an ideal is the American city. Here is to be worked out the problem of what shall be the destiny of the nation-whether we shall be a people prosperous and happy or an army of despondent and despairing serfs. In line with this thought I close with these words of Henry Drummond:

"To make Cities that is what we are here for. He who makes the city makes the world. After all, though men make Cities, it is Cities which make men. Whether our national life is great or mean, whether our social virtues are mature or stunted, whether our sons are moral or vicious, whether religion is possible or impossible, depends upon the City."

Vice-Pres. FISHER: In response to these very kindly addresses of welcome, we will hear from Horace E. Deming, Esq., of New York City, Chairman of the Executive Committee, on behalf of the National Municipal League. [Applause.]

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