Слике страница

though in the meanwhile, bonds to the amount of $9,500,000 have been issued. This increase is barely sufficient to pay the interest on the new bonds, and is less than the normal increase due to the growth of the commerce of the city, for in the preceding ten years, from 1874 to 1884, the revenue from the docks had increased $767,497.

"SEVENTH.-We charge that, although since the year 1884 the tax-payers have paid off $82,000,000 of the City's debt, yet at the present time that debt is $8,500,000 greater than in 1884.

[ocr errors]

EIGHTH.-We charge that the tax-payers have been called upon to bear greater burdens than are shown by the Tax Levy and this statement of public debt. For there has been an increased charge for public services from licenses, markets, docks and Croton water of $2,451,058. The receipts for Croton water in 1884 were $2,085,320, while in 1894 they were $3,846,967, an increase for this service alone of $1,761,647. The additional revenue from Croton water is chiefly derived from a new order, placing water-meters in dwelling-houses having more than three families, compelling the working men to pay for water as they use it, while in private residences there is only a fixed charge per annum, and the amount paid is much smaller, again placing the greater burden upon the poor.

"NINTH.-We accept the challenge of the official head of Tammany Hall to "extract from the report of the London County "Council for the last two years any information "which would show the total tax, or the per "capita tax of that city for all purposes,"

and deny his assertion that "the whole burden of what we call Municipal Taxation is both relatively and absolutely lighter in New York than it is either in London or Paris." The total expenditure in London for all purposes is less than $50,000,000 with a population of 4,500,000. If we should deduct from this total the $10,000,000 paid for interest on debt, the total would be $40,000,000. In like manner, deducting from the expenditures of New York the outlay for interest on and redemption of the debt and for the State Taxes, the expenditures would be $27,540,792. Taking the population of New York, as stated by Mayor Gilroy, to be 1,957,452, the total expenditure for New York per capita would be $14.07. The total expenditure in London per capita, taking the total population as 4,500,000, would be $8.88. We have deducted from the New York expenditure the contribution for State Taxes, which is unjust in comparison with London, because the citizens of London pay, in addition to the local tax, no other tax except the Imperial. If these were included, the per capita expenditure of New York would be increased to $16.17, almost double the London expenditure. If further detailed comparison be made, the wasteful extravagance of public expenditure in New York becomes more apparent. The city of London, with an area of 75,000 acres, pays for street pavements, cleaning and watering, £885,621 annually; for sewerage, 294,525; a total of £1,180,146 ($5,782,715); while the city of New York, with an area of only 27,000 acres, spends annually through the Department of Public Works and for street cleaning, $5,429,350, and in addition issues annually several million dollars' worth of bonds for new pavements. The police of the city of London costs only £1,161,919 ($5,693,403), while the New York City police costs $5,139,147. Not only is the expenditure per capita in London relatively and absolutely lighter than in New York, but its government affords the citizens greater facilities and better

protection. It has a system of Poor Relief on which it expends $10,000,000 annually; it pays out of its budget for the repaving of its streets; it disposes of its garbage by destruction in a scientific way; and provides public baths, lavatories and laundries out of this annual expenditure.

"The comparison with Paris is equally unfavorable. It has a population of 2,447,957, and its annual budget, excluding interest on debt, is $21,767,000, which is only $8.90 per capita.

"TENTH.-We denounce Tammany Hall because of its ignorant and inefficient management, which has left us far behind the other large cities of the world in respect to the comforts and conveniences which all citizens have the right to expect.

"The platform of the Committee of Seventy demands:

"That the quality of the Public Schools shall be improved,
"their capacity enlarged and proper play-grounds provided,
"so that every child within the ages required shall have
"admission to the schools; that the health of the children
"be protected, and that all modern improvements be
"introduced as will make our Public Schools equal to those
"of any other city in the world."

"There are about 30,000 children who cannot be accommodated in the Public Schools in this city. The kindergarten system, which existed in nearly every large city of this country for years, was only introduced in this city last year, by the opening of a few free kindergartens, after long and persistent agitation.

"We denounce Tammany Hall because it has failed to provide public baths and lavatories which exist in all great capitals of the world, and are necessary for the health and cleanliness of the community.

"The platform of the Committee of Seventy declares:

"We favor the use of adequate public baths and lavatories

"to promote cleanliness and increased public comfort at
"appropriate places throughout the city."

"We denounce Tammany Hall for its persistent and systematic opposition to Rapid Transit, urgently demanded for the comfort of the rapidly growing population of the city.

"We denounce Tammany Hall for its failure to provide small parks in the overcrowded districts of the city. In the year 1887, the city authorities were authorized to spend $1,000,000 annually to open parks in the lower parts of the city. Yet seven years have elapsed and substantially nothing has been done. While New York City has a park area of 5,200 acres, less than 200 acres of parks are south of 14th Street, while of the total population of 1,900,coo, more than 500,000 people live south of 14th Street. The density of population to the square mile north of 14th Street is only 27,000, while south of 14th Street it is 151,000.


"These are the facts.

"The battle is the battle of the people.

"To the people we appeal to change this condition, confident that they a

never honestly appealed to in vain when they know the facts."

A Committee on Public Meetings, composed of the following mem

appointed by the Executive Committee:



This Committee presented the issues of the campaign at many meetings, and it was helped by the voluntary efforts of many prominent public speakers.

This is a brief story of the way in which the Committee of Seventy was organized, and the manner in which its work was done. The results of the campaign are stated elsewhere. Renewed hope and courage, and more earnest and sincere faith in republican institutions, followed on the result of the election. The candidates of the Committee of Seventy, elected on its platform, renewed at once their pledge of devotion to the principles on which the victory was won, and their character promises the fulfillment of these pledges.

In order to reap fully the fruits of this recent victory, amendments of the city charter must be secured, giving the Mayor the power to remove the present heads of departments. Further remedial legislation is necessary to authorize the undertaking of the promised improvements. For these purposes, and in order that the moral support of the Committee of Seventy may render such services to the candidates elected as they may ask for, the Committee decided to continue its existence temporarily.

The Executive Committee appointed a sub-committee to prepare plans and to submit suggestions in accordance with the pledges and promises of the platform of the Committee of Seventy, under the following resolution proposed by A. C. Bernheim:

Whereas, The platform of the "Committee of Seventy" demands the introduction of public improvements, such as small parks, baths and lavatories, and,

Whereas, That platform condemned the administration of Tammany officials because they failed to undertake such improvements, and at the same time wasted the public moneys through corrupt expenditures and supplies and salaries, and,

Whereas, This Committee believes that this waste will be found sufficient to in large measure defray the expense of these public improvements without much addition to the city tax levy; therefore, be it

Resolved, That a Committee of Five be appointed by the Chair to prepare a plan in detail of such improvements, and to investigate the expenditure of public moneys for supplies and salaries; to report its conclusion to this Executive Committee, and to have power to associate with itself others, in an advisory capacity, and to fill vacancies.

Mr. Charles S. Smith appointed, as a sub-committee for this purpose, A. C. Bernheim, as chairman, with whom were associated J. Kennedy Tod, John P. Faure, Gustav H. Schwab and James P. Archibald. This committee added to its number, James B. Reynolds, James W. Pryor and John B. Pine. It immediately appointed sub-committees, and, as will appear from a careful reading of the names, the sub-committees consisted of men specially qualified by their past


Sub-Committee on Garbage Disposal.


LIEUT.-COMMANDER DELEHANTY, U. S. N., Supervisor of the Harbor

Sub-Committee on the Improvement of the Water Front.


[blocks in formation]

Sub-Committee on Public Baths and Lavatories.


[blocks in formation]

Sub-Committee on Investigation of Pay Rolls.

Chairman, A. C. BERNHEIM

PROFESSOR GOODNOW, JOHN B. PINE, MARCUS STINE, and such others as the Committee may see fit to add.

It is, perhaps, pertinent to ask, before closing this narrative, wherein this victory differs from the many others that have been won from time to time against corruption in our city government, and more especially why there is

[merged small][ocr errors]

so much greater hope from the result than from the victory against Tweed in 1871. Foremost among the great causes of hope is the conviction which the City Club, the City Reform Club, and the Good Government Clubs have helped to create among thousands of voters, that municipal government, to be honest and efficient, must be divorced from National politics. There is an effective means for such separation in the new Amendments to the State Constitution, which fix the date of municipal elections at a time when no other elections are to take place, so that there can be no successful attempt on the part of the politicians to rally voters in support of a corrupt city ticket on the plea that the National party must be supported. The new Constitution, furthermore, though it does not prevent special legislation — which has been the source of much of the corruption of city government-makes such special legislation difficult by a provision which requires all legislative bills affecting the city to be first presented to the city officials for their consideration. Publicity will prevent a repetition of many of the frauds that have been practiced in this way in the past. These are among the conditions that give hope for the permanency of the Reform movement, which has just secured its first and great success.

[merged small][graphic]
« ПретходнаНастави »