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was less than in previous seasons under the contract system, and the city engineer believes that the work was done better.
Omaha.- The Official Census. The results of the twelfth census, as related to this city, have attracted widespread attention. Out of a total of thirty American cities, having a population of over 100,000 each, Omaha is the only one which shows a decrease from the figures of 1890. However, a comparison of the federal census of 1900 with other data, such as the registration list of November, 1900, the city directory for 1900, and the school census, would indicate that the twelfth census has under-counted Omaha, whose actual population shows a substantial gain of nearly twenty-five per cent since 1890. It has long been a subject of current remark that the 140,000 ascribed to Omaha by the eleventh census were far in excess of the real number of its inhabitants. There were many circumstances which encouraged the padding of that census. While it was being taken, the state was in the throes of a political campaign involving the submission of a prohibitory amendment to the constitution, and it was the desire of the anti-prohibitionists to make the growth of the state and its cities appear as large as possible, so as to contrast with the neighboring states of Kansas and Iowa, both of which were then under prohibition, and neither of which had then any large cities. A second motive for padding the census, was found in the desire of politiciaus, into whose bands the machinery of the census had largely fallen, to secure an increased number of representatives in congress, and also in the electoral college. These and similar causes, operated to bring about a census which the candid, thoughtful and intelligent citizens of Omaha believed, at the time, to be fraudulent and grossly exaggerated.
The League of California Municipalities ? held its third annual convention in San Francisco, December 12, 13 and 14, Mayor James D. Phelan, of that city, presiding. Secretary H. A. Mason, in his annual report, described the growth of the League from thirteen constituent cities in December, 1898, to sixty-three cities in December, 1900. In connection with the office of secretary, a bureau of information for city officials was established over a year ago. This department has greatly increased the usefulness of the secretary, and with each year the effort will be to make this collection of data concerning municipal administration more complete. Upwards of fisty inquiries from city officials were answered during the past year, including questions relating to legal precedents. The growth of interest in municipal affairs was reviewed in the following words: “The National Municipal League reports 463 organizations engaged in municipal work. There are state organizations of municipalities and municipal officers in the following states: California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Texas. Some of these are merely social organizations, but the majority are organized for practical purposes, and some of them are doing exceptionally good work. I doubt, however, if there is one better organized or having a larger membership than has the California League."
i Contributed by Charles Sumner Lobingier of the Omaha bar. 2 Contributed by Clinton Rogers Woodruff, Philadelphia.
A. H. Breed, of the City of Oakland, submitted the report of the committee on uniform municipal accounting, in which that subject was carefully discussed. An interesting debate followed its presentation. Other reports from the committees on streets, law and legislation were received and discussed. Among the subjects treated in the various papers were “The New Public Library Law,” “Municipal Elections,'
""Water Works,” “Weeds and Street Sprinkling,” “Electric Lighting Contracts,” “Disposal of Franchises ” and “What the Cities are Doing.” Mr. Joseph Hutchinson, of Palo Alto, was elected president, and Mr. H. A. Mason, re-elected secretary.
Duluth. – Municipal Advertising. The friends of municipal ownership of public utilities have generally to encounter not only the obstacles inherent in the business undertakings themselves, but also the opposition of the press which delights to call attention to the shortcomings of thecity authorities. When the press is not actually captious in its criticism, it is necessarily indifferent to the details of public administration. The superintendent of the water and light department of Duluth,' has undertaken in a novel way to represent clearly, strongly and enthusiastically the merits of his administration. He issues occasionally The Gas Jet, a four-page leaflet. Aside from the “true statement” of the results of municipal administration, there are two pages of airy matter designed to stimulate greater patronage as well as greater popular interest in the people's enterprises. The general principle iscertainly commendable that administration depends upon education-in default of other agents the city officers might well regard an interesting report as an important factor in educating the public with respect to municipal needs and municipal progress.
Municipal Socialism in France. Two kinds of municipal socialism can be conceived: the first consists in the fact that parish takes entire charge of the direction of certain works, such as tramways, water, gas, electric light, in the discharge of its different public duties;
1 See ANNALS, January, 1901, p. 149. 2 Contributed by M. André Siegfried, Paris.
the second resides in the intention of a town-council to interfere in an active way, and with a view to modifying it, with the economical system of commercial and industrial liberty, to suppress some definite branch or to transform it into a parochial monopoly for the advantage of the community, or, without going so far, to protect some mode of production or of exchange at the expense of others, or even to enter into competition with private initiative by the creation of a parochial industry or commerce with the aid of the public funds. The first mode of administration cannot be legitimately called socialistic. From the fact that a parish intends managing alone its patrimony, or what can be considered an appendage to its patrimony, it does not follow that it wishes to encroach upon commercial or industrial liberty, and to parochialize certain branches. To the second manner of proceeding alone can be applied with correctness the name of municipal socialism. The Parochial Law of 1884 is silent on the subject of the parish's powers to conduct enterprises. In the absence, therefore, of positive grants of power, the municipality must be guided by the law of 1791, which proclaimed liberty of commerce, industry and labor. Only such undertakings are consistent with this general provision as can be considered essential to the existence of the municipality. Just where the line is to be drawn has been forced into prominence as a practical problem, by the appearance, since 1892, and especially since 1896, of municipal trading in so-called social parishes.
Roubaix. Since 1892 the social parish of Roubaix has doubled the endowment of the benevolent establishments, instituted school canteens, granted pensions to paupers, established cheap eating-houses, reserved funds for sending workmen back to their birthplaces, erected a widows' city of thirty-five houses, distributed clothes including municipal baby linen, created municipal crèches, sent about two thousand children to the maritime hospital of St. Pol's sanatorium, built municipal baths, municipal sweating houses, etc. So far we have perhaps only an exaggerated hypertrophy of a public duty, the duty of assistance. Central administrative authority did not interfere until Roubaix proposed to create a municipal chemical factory; this was vetoed on the ground that it was competition with private industry and not the mere exercise of a public duty.
Dijon. Dijon, conquered by the socialists in 1896, escaped from them in 1900. During that interval the municipality established crèches and school canteens, obtained from chemists a reduction of 50 per cent for the assisted poor and 33 per cent for the syndicated workmen, and inaugurated a subsidy equal to twice their assessment to the syndicated workmen insured against stoppage with a limit of two francs a day.
Poitiers. In 1898, the town council of Poitiers, with a view to obtaining a lower price of bread, decided to encourage the creation of co-operative societies for bread-making and flour-sifting. A trust of 10,000 francs was voted to be put at the disposition of an initial co-operative society. The industrial bakers asked the prefect, and on his refusal, the state council, to annul this vote, as bearing upon an object foreign to the functions of the town council. The state council granted the bakers' claim, and its decision was preceded by the following opinion, delivered by the government commissioner, M. Rouien:
The Limits to Municipal Trading. When the law is silent, it is the business of the state council to settle the limits, in a great measure through the examination of the powers of the local assemblies. The latter cannot, as a principle, follow a business or an industry, firstly, because it constitutes a modification in the economical system of the freedom of commerce; secondly, because it is not without inconvenience that the municipal finances are engaged in the hazards of commercial enterprises. For that reason the state council has not admitted the creation of municipal chemical establishments, and has refused to license the creation of departmental funds for insurance with premiums against fire. But, when the question refers to an industry which, by its nature, constitutes a real monopoly, such as the distribution of water and gas, nothing opposes its being instituted as a public duty. Or if it is established that an undertaking is essential to the protection of the public health, the council will sanction it. On the other hand, the town and general councils cannot, on principle, devote the parochial funds to subsidies in favor of private individuals for the sake of settling the relations between producers and consumers, or between masters and workmen. Thus the state council, at a general meeting, annulled the decisions of the general councils which granted-not aid to the families of strikers, which aid might constitute acts of charity—but subsidies to the strikers themselves during the strike. Again, when the aim is not to interfere with the economical conflicts, but to minister to pressing needs in view of public health or alimentation, in case of the insufficiency of the means furnished by private initiative, the exceptional interference of the town councils is legitimate and legal.
The government commissioner, applying this principle to the affair of the co-operative bakehouse of Poitiers, observed that there existed in Poitiers none of those exceptional cases which can justify the vote for a subsidy. The essay of partial socialization of the bakehouse business attempted by the town of Poitiers was not therefore included, with regard to the actual state of legislation, in the town council's powers, and the municipal ordinance was annulled.
London.-Sanitary Administration. The Medical Officer of Health for the Administrative County of London has just issued the report for the year 1899. In addition to the formal report there are three appendices, presenting respectively: (1) Statistics relative to notifiable diseases in the sanitary areas of London in the nine years 1891-99; (2) facts respecting the sanitary condition and administration of Kensington; and (3) respecting the sanitary condition of cemeteries and burial-grounds in and near London. From the last it appears that London requires fifty-five acres per annum for burial lots, plus nine acres for paths and sixteen for neutral belts, or in all about eighty
The economy of crematoria is obvious. It is shown that crematoria are authorized in Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Hull, and St. John's, Woking.
The inspectors of the London County Council have sole responsibility for only one or two branches of inspection. For the most part, local district inspectors attend to the routine inspection of nuisances. The results are given in the present report, but with less uniformity of classification than usual. The county inspectors made 23,999 inspections of cowsheds, dairies and milksheds and instituted fiftyfive prosecutions; 5,082 inspections of offensive businesses, resulting in ten prosecutions; 28,615 inspectious of common lodging-houses, 1,162 of which were by night, fines to the amount of $950 being imposed. Twenty-two districts report the registration and inspection of over 7,000 rented houses, while one district of only 61,000 population reported 7,920 inspections.
With the exception of Bristol and Bradford, London's zymotic mortality rate is the lowest of the English towns having a population of 200,000 or more. The infant mortality, usually regarded as a reliable index of sanitary administration, is the lowest in any except Bristol. The death-rate of London is 19.8 per 1,000 living, just i per 1,000 greater than that of Philadelphia and 1.4 greater than that of New York. If these three cities could reduce their mortality rate to that of Amsterdam (15.3) they would save each year over 38,000 lives.
Of special interest to students of the social and economic phases of municipal administration are the tables which show the number of lives and the amount of life capital gained by the decrease of mortality. Taking the decade 1881-90 as a basis of comparison, improved sanitation in London gained for London in the years 1895-99 on the average of 6,610 lives and the amount of life capital of 249, 740 years. Add to this the capital saving represented by decreased sickness, and there is material proof to the most sordid taxpayer that there is no better investment than to procure efficient sanitary service. Incidentally it must be apparent that the educational function of the sanitarian's report is socially as important as inspection and prosecution.