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CHART V.-SHOWING THE LACK OF ANY ORGANIZATION IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR COORDINATING THE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS, OFFICES, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS HAVING ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS, EXCEPT THROUGH THE GOVERNOR.
THE NEW YORK BUREAU OF MUNICIPAL RESEARCH
KEY TO CHART V.-SHOWING LACK OF CO-ORDINATION OF VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS, OFFICES, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS, THE NUMBERS REFERRING TO CHART ON OPPOSITE PAGE.
52-Bd. Mgrs. Mohansic State Hosp.
56- -Bd. Mgrs. Central Islip State Hosp.
59-Commn. Fire Island State Pk.
60 -Commn. Saratoga Springs State Reserv. 61-State Hosp. Commn.
62-Commn. Watkins Glen Reserv.
87-Bd. Mgrs. Reformatory Women (Bedford) 88-Bd. Mgrs. Training Sch. Girls (Hudson) 89-Mawenawasigh Chap. D. A. R. 90-Mt. McGregor Memorial Asso. 91-Johnstown Memorial Soc.
92-Bd. Mgrs. Reformatory Misdemeanants 93 Bd. Mgrs. Rome Custodial Asylum 94-Bd. Mgrs. Inst. Feebleminded Children 95- -Bd. Mgrs. Craig Col. Epileptics (Sonyea) 96-Bd. Mgrs. Hosp. Care Crippled Children 97- -Bd. Mgrs. School Blind (Batavia) 98-Bronx Parkway Commn.
99-State Supt. Elections
100-Bd. Trust. State Agr. Exp. Sta. (L. I.) 101-Battleship "New York" Silver Serv. Commn 102-Am. Scenic and Hist. Preserv. Soc.
105-Comm. D. A. R., N. Y. State
106-Bd. Mgrs. Soc. Reform. Juv. Del. N. Y. C. (Randall's Island)
107-Voting Machine Commn. 108-State Racing Commn.
109-N. Y. State Athletic Commn.
111-Ketchum Memorial Commn. 112-Bd. Regents (Ed. Dept.)
113-Bd. Trust. Inst. Study Malig. Diseases 114-State Bd. Law Examiners
116 Spel. Exam. and Appraiser Canal Lands 117-Bd. Embalming Examiners
118-Bd. Exam. F'blem'ded, Criminals Other
119-Bd. Trust. Schuyler Mansion
120-Bd. Trust. State School Agr. (L. I.)
121-Bd. Trust. State Coll. Forestry (Syracuse) 122-Advis. Bd. Prom. Agr.
123-Commissioners Canal Fund
124-Commissioners Land Office
125-Salary Classification Commn.
126-N. Y. State Hist. Asso.
127- -Bd. Trust. Schoharie State Sch. Agr. 128
Bd. Gov. State Nautical School
129-State Bd. Geographic Names
130 N. Y. Mon. Commn. Gettysb'g, Chatt.
131-25th N. Y. Vol. Cav. Mon. Comm. 132-Miscellaneous Reporter
134-Supreme Court Reporter 135-Bd. Claims
136-Bd. Tax Commissioners
137-Militia (Maj. Gen.)
138-Building Improvement Commn.
139-Commn. Sites, Grounds, Buildings
140-Joint Pur. Commn. State Char.
about half of them provide for the two year term and about half or a slight majority for the four year term. A search for the factors which led to the choice of two or four years in the several states reveals no consistent explanation. It cannot be said that those states which have been making the most radical experiment in direct democracy are uniformly attached to the shorter term. On the contrary, Oregon, Washington, California, Oklahoma, Nevada and Arizona appear among those that have adopted the four year term. Neither can it be said that all of the recent conventions have adopted the four year term in spite of the tendency in that direction, for Ohio and Michigan retain the two year period. Yet it is worthy of note that Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico, in making entirely new organic laws, adopted the longer period. In view of these facts, it appears that in the main the tendency is in the direction of the longer term, that some states which have tried the shorter term are abandoning it, that neither geographical or political reasons account for the choice of one or the other, that the most radical democracies do not deem the short term a necessary part of their system.
From the point of view of responsibility, however, the term of four years has been more satisfactory. From the point of view of responsibility and efficiency, the two year term is without doubt subject to serious objections. The governor is hardly installed before he has to begin to think of the next election, the campaign for which begins within at least sixteen or eighteen months after his inauguration. By the time. he has disposed of the inevitable patronage, the fight for renomination has begun. Serious and prolonged study of the problems of administration is impossible. To hold the governor to account for efficient administration under such circumstances is as unjust as it is unjustifiable, particularly when the chaos in the state administrative organization is borne in mind.
The Power of Appointment and Removal
As has been pointed out in other connections, no consistent principles have been applied in the determination of what officers should be made independent of the governor through popular election and what officers should be made subordinate to him through the exercise of the power of appointment. For instance, the state engineer and surveyor, an officer charged with duties which involve those of officers appointed by the governor, is made elective by the constitution, and an equally technical position, for which no qualifications are established, that of superintendent of public works, is made appointive. The governor's adviser on legal matters of great moment who is responsible in a large measure for the enforcement of the law, the attorney general, is elected, while the superintendent of prisons is an appointive officer.
After having decided that certain offices shall be elective, the lawmakers have not followed any consistent principles in selecting the methods of appointment, except in the case of the two important officers mentioned in the constitution, the superintendents of public works and of prisons, who are appointed by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate. The offices created by statute are filled by a variety of methods, so large that it has surely exhausted the inventive genius of our legislators. Whatever may have been the considerations brought to bear in determining the mode of appointment to any particular office or group of offices, it is clear that the standard of responsibility and efficiency has not been the dominant motive. At all events the debates and records available do not show that any effort has been made to discover and apply such a standard in providing modes of appointment.
When tried by canons of consistency and responsibility, the methods of removal provided by the constitution and statutes are found to be confusing beyond measure. Article V of the Constitution authorizes the removal of two officers by the governor and the suspension of a third. The superintendent of public works "may be suspended or removed from office by the governor, whenever, in his judgment, the public interest shall so require." The superintendent of prisons may be removed by the governor "for cause at any time." In the case of the removal of the former officer, the governor must file with the secretary of state a statement of the cause of such removal and shall report such removal and the cause thereof to the legislature at its next session. In the case of the removal of a superintendent of prisons, however, the governor must give the officer a copy of the charges against him and an opportunity to be heard in his own defense. It is difficult to imagine the considerations which require that a superintendent of prisons about to be removed should be heard in his own defense, while a superintendent of public works in a similar position should not be given that opportunity.
In the case of the officers made elective by the constitution, the principle of complete independence of the governor is maintained, except in one instance. The state treasurer may be suspended by the governor, but only during the recess of the legislature and until thirty days after the commencement of the next session. The governor may exercise this high power whenever it appears to him that the treasurer has "in any particular, violated his duty." If the governor suspends a treasurer under such circumstances, he may appoint some person to discharge the duties. of the office during the suspension of the treasurer. It is difficult to see what standards of responsibility and efficiency place the treasurer under such partial control by the governor and left the other high elective officers entirely exempt. Surely a comptroller, or state engineer and sur
veyor, or attorney general who violated his duties could do about as much harm to the public interest as a treasurer. Worse injuries to the state are conceivable than the loss of money or a confusion of accounts in the treasury department.
In the case of offices created by statute, there is also great variation in the methods of removal. Perhaps the principle most consistently applied is that the consent of the senate shall be necessary to the removal by the governor of appointive officers of high rank. The origin of this principle is clear: fear of concentrating too much power in the hands of the executive and the reluctance with which party organizations in the senate yield any control over patronage.
Nevertheless, the principle is not carried out in our state government with logical exactness. Certain high officers, constitutional and statutory, the superintendents of public works and of prisons and public service. commissioners, for instance, are removable by the governor without the consent of the senate, but in each case different procedures and limitations prevail. The historical reasons for the absence of the requirement of senatorial approval in the case of these three officers are themselves an eloquent testimony to the principle of responsibility and efficiency. The first two offices were created by constitutional action so that party considerations could not enter so fully into their formation, and the public service commissions were established under the recommendation of Governor Hughes, who was determined in his belief that responsibility for the work of these commissions could not be fixed unless the practice of requiring senatorial consent to removals was abandoned.
Indeed, there is ample justification for the view that the desire of party organizations to control patronage, rather than fear of the executive or interest in responsible government, has been the dominant motive in establishing senatorial authority over removals. Perhaps this is most clearly brought out in the administrative history of the federal government. The constitution of the United States, which requires the consent of the senate to the appointment of certain officers, is silent as to the process of removal, except by impeachment. Recognizing that it was not intended to employ this cumbersome procedure in the removal of minor officers, the very first congress under the constitution, after a long and informing debate, assumed that the removal power could be exercised by the president alone in the case of offices then under discussion. In spite of discussions of the subject from time to time, this legislative decision on the constitutional point remained undisturbed until 1867, when the Republican leaders in congress broke with President Johnson and determined to destroy his authority by passing the Tenure of Office Act, which required the consent of the senate for the removal of officers by the executive. The provision caused great fric