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a similar piece of legislation, as there will be no reason for granting the one application and refusing the other.
The concessions contained in the proposed ordinance are summarized as follows:
Universal transfers. Retransfers from Willson avenue (crosstown line) to its own lines. Six tickets for a quarter for the first twelve years. Seven tickets for a quarter for the last thirteen years. Option of making several down town streets free territory. The city is to be paid percentages of the gross receipts as follows: Two per cent for eight years, three per cent for the next six years, four per cent for the following six years, and five per cent for the last five years of the franchise.
The company is required : To pay half the city's share of abolishing grade crossings along its lines. To file cost of future extensions with the city clerk. To pave sixteen feet of the streets traversed by its lines. To furnish power for operating all the drawbridges on its lines. To file a list of stockholders, whenever required by the mayor, with the city clerk. To dedicate a thirty-foot roadway from its private right of way east from Hough avenue to Wade park to the city for a street. To sprinkle all its tracks, and to comply with the usual requirements regarding construction, maintenance of its lines, etc. Operation of suburban cars the city permits, but it reserves the right to regulate in every respect.
The ordivance is conceded to contain all the safeguards that the city has asked, which are not in the existing ordinances, and the chief feature of discussion is the terms of compensation. Of course there are many people who do not believe that the subject of renewal should be taken up until the expiration of the present franchises, when, they believe, there will be little difficulty in securing every advantage in arrangements for the future. Among these are the advocates of municipal ownership of street railways, but especially the wage-earners who are of the opinion that better terms can be secured from the companies or from other companies, when the existing contracts expire, than can be obtained now. However, many are of the belief that the franchise question should be settled as soon as possible, and that it is better to make new arrangements now and enjoy the benefits of them during the next eight years than to postpone the settlement of the question and run the danger of having a corrupt city council pass a measure, by no means so advantageous, at some time when the people are not prepared to resist it. It is generally conceded that the action of the special committee of the chamber of commerce will determine the fate of the ordinance. If this committee reports against the renewal of franchises at this time it is not likely that the
ordinance will be pressed for passage. If, on the other hand, the report is in favor of renewing the contracts now, it will give sufficient color of public sentiment to enable the railway company to press the ordinance through the council.
Cincinnati._Since last summer several questions of vital importance have interested the citizens of Cincinnati.
(1) An investigation of the accounts of the deceased clerk of the Board of Education revealed a shortage of nearly $200,000, a sum collected for tuition of non-resident pupils. The clerk was well known and had always been looked upon as a trusted employee. The school board funds must be deposited with the city treasurer and can be withdrawn only by proper voucher. The clerk neglected to turn over to the treasurer the amount collected by him as tuition, forged the treasurer's name to receipts, and the aunual auditing committee of the Board of Education neglected to compare the clerk's books with those of the treasurer. Hereafter, it is needless to add, the auditing committee will examine all books.
(2) The present lease of the Cincinnati Southern Railway, a road 335 miles in length, running between Cincinnati and Chattanooga, and owned by the City of Cincinnati, will expire in 1906; at present, the lessee company pays an annual rent of $1,250,000. The immediate question confronting the trustees is whether to grant a new lease to the present company and
upon what terms. A proposition recently submitted to the lessee company has been rejected by it. Public opivion is at present divided between the advisability of granting an extension to the present company now, or waiting until later. A large part of the community is in favor of a sale of the road, thus relieving the city from its anomalous position as owner of a railway, which it may have to operate at a loss. The general public, however, will not have an opportunity to express its opinion until November, 1901, at which time any agreement for a lease must be submitted for the approval of the people.
(3) The credit of the city is as high, if not higher, than that of any city in the country. In one week $1,000,000 3 per cent water works bonds were sold at a premium which put the issue on a 2.84 basis. During the time the money realized from this sale is idle it will draw 2 per cent interest from banks designated as city depositaries. Certainly this shows the excellent financial condition of the city.
The legislature will not be in session this winter, so there can be no legislation affecting the city.
Washington, D. C. The two most important events in the muni. cipal affairs of the capital during the centennial year are the creation of a Board of Education and a Board of Charities. They were provided by acts of Congress.
1 Contributed by Max B. May, Esq., Cincinnati. ? Contributed by Clinton Rogers Woodruff, Philadelphia.
The Board of Education was created as the result of an investigation by the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia in order to improve the administration of the public schools, which was defective. The act of Congress collects in the Board of Education the diffused authority formerly entrusted to the Board of Trustees of the Public Schools and the Superintendent of Public Schools, and gives the board absolute administrative control under the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, who are authorized to appoint the board. It was appointed on the first of July, and has already made the changes necessary to improving the school system and restoring its management to the confidence of the community. The board is made up of some of our best citizens, white and colored, with the president of one of our two principal trust companies as its president, a man who has heretofore declined all public office. The members of the board receive $10 fees for each meeting attended, not to exceed in all $500 per year.
The Board of Charities was intended by Congress to bring into coherent system the numerous charitable institutions supported, in whole or in part, by public funds, and for which Congress appropriates, out of the Federal and District moneys, about seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. They needed to be co-ordinated and kept under a central board having the power to supervise and inspect. The act of Congress authorizes the President to appoint five persons not connected with the institutions, and he appointed an admirable board on the first of July. Its personnel is like that of the Board of Education. As there was no such urgency in its case it is taking more time to plan its work, but the character of the members and their acquaintance with the subject, together with the selection of an expert secretary, a well-known member of the International Conference of Charities and Corrections, promise much for the city.
Voting Machines in Municipal Elections.-Considerable interest is being manifested throughout the country in the successful conduction of elections by voting machines. Several voting machines have recently been used with marked success, in some twenty-five cities in New York State, and at Northampton, Massachusetts. In New York State 377 machines were used, with a total vote of 350,000. Last year was the first time they have ever been used in a presidential election.
In Buffalo when once properly started they worked all day without breakdown, hitch or trouble of any kind. The voting was exceedingly rapid, the rates varying from 80 to 150 an hour. At one place 1 See ANNALS, vol. xvi, No. 3. pp. 139.
nine men voted in two minutes, and two of them declared that they had “split” their tickets. In eleven districts over 800 were registered, the three largest numbers being 872, 877 and 893. Yet every man who presented himself had plenty of time to vote, and there were parts of the day during which the machines were idle. Of the 66,600 voters in the city, 44,910, or about 70 per cent, had voted by noon, the polls having opened at 6 a. m. The polls closed at 5 o'clock.
The speed record of last year was far surpassed in the reception of the returns. The polls closed at 5 p. m., and shortly before that time a swift bicycle rider reported at every polling place, with a label on his machine wbich gave him the right of way over everything in the street and permission to make bis utmost speed. In less than five minutes after the polls closed full returns from every district were on their way to the city hall, where the first one arrived at four and a half minutes past five.
By half-past five returns had come in from 107 out of 108 districts, and the general result in the city was known. The rider from the missing district had lost his return and had to go back for another copy; but the lost paper was found on the street later and sent in by the police. The entire vote of the city for all candidates was printed in the evening papers by 7.30 p. m., and could have been out an hour sooner but for the accident above mentioned. The results, in all places where the voting machines were used, were placed at once on the wires of the Associated Press and the Bell Telephone Company, and were communicated to both presidential candidates before six o'clock. It is instructive to compare this work with that of the year 1896, when it took eight hours and thirty minutes to finish and file the returns from Buffalo !
The first and commonest objection to voting machines is that they foster “ straight” voting; and one would expect this objection, if well founded, to be strongly confirmed in a presidential election, as that is the time when party spirit is supposed to be strongest. But the results in Buffalo show that it is entirely without foundation. All but two of the Republican candidates carried the city; but their pluralities varied greatly, as the following examples show: state controller, 5,760; president, 2,912; governor, 2,090; lieutenant-governor, 1,692. Further, one Republican candidate for Congress, whose district lies wholly in the city, was defeated, his Democratic opponent receiving a plurality of 380. It is evident, therefore, that when voting machines are used the people both can and do “split” their ballots just as freely and easily as with paper ballots.
After these two trials, no man in Buffalo has any doubt that the machine system of voting is the best that has yet been devised. It is fair, rapid, accurate, economical, and as nearly fraud-proof as it is possible for any human device to be. The first and absolutely necessary step in all reform is to make sure that every election is an honest une—is a real expression of the people's will—and this the voting machine does without any uncertaiuty whatever. This feature alone is worth many times the cost of the machines, but it is not their only merit. The name of every candidate nominated appears plainly before the eye of the voter, where he cannot help seeing it, and all candidates are on exactly the same footing, because it is just as easy to move one indicator as another.
At Northampton (Mass.) seven machines were used, averaging about 450 votes to the machine. The number of blank votes was decreased at least 50 per cent as compared with those of 1896. Cleveland (Ohio) voted by majority of 5,000 for the adoption of the voting machine. Although the legislation of 1900 made it possible for cities of Ohio to adopt the voting machine, Cleveland alone voted on the proposition. Now that Cleveland has adopted the machine plan of voting there is little doubt but that other cities will follow. Ithaca (N. Y.) has used the machines in three elections. The city clerk estimates that in polling 2,800 votes the machine saves the city about $500 a year by dispensing with the services of election officers and by saving printing expenses. At the last election the results of the city's vote were made known in about fifteen minutes after the closing of the polls.
Chicago reformers are considering the introduction of the voting machine, and a Chicago alderman recently published an earnest appeal for machine voting. Reports from Idaho indicate that a proposition is to be made to the Idaho Legislature to introduce machines in that state. A test election at the University of Pennsylvania, at which 902 students voted with the Standard Voting Machine, has aroused not a little enthusiasm for machine voting in the State of Pennsylvania. The result was counted aud recorded in one minute and a half after the close of the polls, in striking contrast to the tardiness of the count at the Philadelphia presidential election the following week. The Pennsylvania press gave considerable space to the discussion of machine voting, which, it will be remembered, is part of the ballot reform program to be acted upon by the present legislature.
1 The portion relating to Buffalo was contributed by A. C. Richardson, Esq., Buffalo, N. Y.