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The Council. The council is the law-making power of the borough. Its laws are called ordinances. They relate (a) to the streets—their opening and improvement, their lighting and cleaning ; (b) to the protection of life and property—the police service and the fire service ; (c) to the public health—the sewering, the abatement of nuisances, and the quarantine of infectious and contagious diseases ; (d) to public conveniences-water works, light plants and cemeteries ; (e) and to other matters in which the public is interested.
The council can sue and be sued. It can borrow money and fix the rate of interest. All bills are examined by it before it draws an order on the treasury for them. It employs a clerk, who keeps its records and signs and publishes its ordinances and resolutions; a treasurer, who receives the tax laid by it, all fines, licenses, and penalties, and pays its orders; and an engineer, who makes the surveys necessary in grading streets, sidewalks, etc.
In boroughs without wards, the number of councilmen shall be seven and their term three years, not all, however, being elected the same year. In larger boroughs, which are divided into wards (an act done by the court upon petition of the majority of the voters), each ward elects from one to three members of the council. A councilman serves without pay.
Other Officers.--A borough has no supervisors, the council attending to the streets. When it is divided into wards, the court may grant it authority to elect from one to three school directors from each ward. Otherwise the borough officers are about the same as those of the township
THE CITY. The City.—A borough of 10,000 or more inhabitants can become a city, if a majority of its voters so decide. When a town reaches that population, it needs a government of more enlarged powers than a borough has. In fact, the government of a large city is more complex than that of a State, just as life itself is more complex in the town than it is in the country.
In a city, people are brought together in such great numbers that a form of local government different from any other is required-a form that is more complex and has more extended powers. What the best plan for the government of cities is, has become a great problem. In Pennsylvania, and in some other States in the Union, all the powers and privileges that a city has are expressed in a charter granted by the State. This charter is a sort of constitution, which is, however, not adopted by the people of the city, but given to it by the people of the whole State. It can be amended only by the State Legislature.
There are three classes of cities,—those of the first class must have a population of 1,000,000 or more; those of the second, 100,000 to 1,000,000 ; and those of the third, 10,000 to 100,000. This division is made for convenience of legislation--what would be good law for the larger cities might be poor law for the smaller ones.
By virtue of this classification, laws may be passed for one class without interfering with the other classes.
The Mayor.—The chief executive officer of a city is the mayor. His general duties are the same as those of a burgess, but he has special duties not required of a burgess, owing to the greater complexity of the city govern
He must prepare annually a message for councils,
in which he sets forth the condition of government, regarding its finances, its improvements, and its needed legislation. He calls special meetings of the councils when necessary. He appoints the heads of the various departments with the approval of the select council, meets with them once a month for a discussion of the affairs of the city, and removes them from office if they have not been faithful to duty.
A mayor's greatest responsibility arises from his relation to the police force. As the President or a Governor of a State is the head of the military, so a mayor controls the police. In case of a riot, he is charged with the duty of suppressing it with the police force, if possible; if not, he must call on the sheriff of the county for assistance. As in the case of the burgess, the mayor has also the authority of the justice of the peace. In this capacity he has much to do. In Philadelphia, the only city of the first class, he delegates this duty to two of the magistrates (aldermen in other cities, and justices of the peace in boroughs) elected by the city. These two men alternating hold a magistrate's court every day in the City Hall, and thus relieve the mayor of the duties of a justice of the peace.
The term of a mayor in cities of the second and third class is three years ; and in cities of the first class (Philadelphia), four years. He cannot succeed himself. His salary is fixed by the councils.
The Councils.—The legislative department of a city is so similar in its powers and duties to that of the borough, that nothing need be said about it here, except that in cities of the first and second class (Allegheny excepted) the appropriations for the schools are made by it.
There are two councils in cities—a select and a com
mon council. The members of the former are elected, one from each ward, for four years (three years in Philadelphia), one-half of them being elected every two years. The common council has two members from each ward, and more if the ward is very large (in Philadelphia one for every two thousand voters in each ward), who are elected for two years, one-half of them being elected each year. Like those of the borough, the councilmen of cities serve without pay.
The Controller.—This officer performs the duties of the auditors in a borough and in addition countersigns all orders on the treasurer. He is elected by the people (by councils in Allegheny) for two years (three years in cities of the first and second class) and his salary is fixed by the councils.
The City Solicitor.—This official is the attorney for the city, representing it at court in civil cases and acting as its legal adviser whenever requested to do so. He is elected by the councils in joint sessions in cities of the 'second and third class; but by the people, in Philadelphia. His term of office in cities of the third class is two years, in others three years; and councils fix his salary.
The City Treasurer.-His duties are the same as those of a borough treasurer; but he is elected by the people instead of appointed by the councils. His term of office is three years. Councils fix his salary.
Aldermen and Magistrates.—In cities of the third and second class, justices of the peace are called aldermen, and in Philadelphia, magistrates. The duties and jurisdiction of this office in cities are about the same as they are in boroughs and townships. The work is greater and the office therefore more remunerative and important.
The School Superintendent.-All cities and boroughs of
5000 or more inhabitants can elect their own school superintendent, who has the same powers as the county superintendent. The Philadelphia schools are not under the general school system of the State.
The Fire Marshal.-Cities of the third class may have a fire marshal, who shall be appointed by the mayor for a term of two years. His duty is to ascertain the cause of the fires that occur in the city. He has power to enter any building or premises wherein a fire has occurred, to make an examination into the cause. The chief of police or the chief of the fire department may be made ex-officio fire marshal.
Other Officers.—The other city officers perform the same duties as the corresponding officers of the borough, except certain heads of departments in cities of the first and second class. These are (a) the director of public safety, who is the head of the police and fire departments and of the bureau of health ; (b) the director of public works, who supervises the streets, sewers, water works and gas works; (c) the board of charities and correction. In Philadelphia these are all appointed by the mayor, while in Pittsburg and Allegheny they are elected by the councils. Philadelphia has a receiver of taxes to whom are paid all taxes and other moneys due the city. He pays them over to the city treasurer. He is elected by the people for three years.
ANALYTICAL REVIEW.-What officer is the peacemaker of a community? What suits may be brought before a justice? In what suits is his decision final? What is the course of procedure before a justice in a criminal case? What is a warrant? What are the minor duties of a justice? The number of justices in a township? term? jurisdiction? salary? What are the duties of a notary public? How is he appointed ? term? salary? Who serves writs and warrants ? Constable's general duty ? What