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We are not to be understood as saying that the present mayor of our city would hesitate to appoint good men to office were he entirely independent of the local politicians, or in such case would hesitate to enforce the laws upon the statute books.

It is well known that the present mayor was not the first choice of the leaders of his party, but was put forward because the extraordinary concurrence of events forced them to place before the people the man who would most probably reserve to them the control in municipal affairs. It is in no way hazardous to state that, if the enforcement of the excise law were in the hands of the present mayor or of his subordinates, and he or they should enforce the law, it would be an impossibility for him to receive a renomination from his party, or, if so renominated, to be elected. So powerful a pressure can the liquor interest and other similar interests bring to bear in the nomination of candidates for office in this city, and so important a part do they play in the elections, that it would be an impossibility for a person to be nominated by the dominant party for the mayoralty, who would not let it be understood that he would, if elected, be lax in the enforcement of this and of other wholesome laws.

Those interests which require to be kept under strict police surveillance, act together in local politics, and exert an influence and power in the elections that cannot be withstood - their wishes are paramount, and their judgments irrevocable.

In fact, the nominations of the political parties in this city are almost exclusively controlled by the thousands of dram shops infesting every locality.

To give the mayor of the city of New York direct power over the police, the health and excise boards, the fire department and the Central Park, is to hand over these matters to the ultimate control of the classes who make and unmake the mayor according as he is their tool or not.

It is not safe to place the execution of the laws in the hands of the classes themselves against which they are to be enforced.

It is for this reason that many of the laws upon the statute book have become a dead letter. The burden of the complaints of the

present mayor in his messages to the common council, and also of the city officials, is, that the greater portion of the money raised by tax is spent by what they call "irresponsible commissions."

To analyze this subject, let us take up the tax levy of the year 1866, as presented in the mayor's message of January 7th, 1867. The tax levy for 1866 is there stated at $16,950,767.88, to this, however, must be added the city and county revenues applicable to the support of the government, amounting to $1,878,215.84, making a total for city and county purposes, $18,828,983.72.

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The mayor

$2,902,849 37

5,391,901 38

Three per cent additional to meet deficiencies,...

10,214,977 35

319,255 62

$18,828,983 72

Let us see what portion of this was under the control of boards or commissions irresponsible to the people and the offices of the local government.

1st. Board of Commissioners of Central park, $339,779.93. The members of this board are independent of the local government.

The amount spent in 1866 for the maintenance of the park was $233,511.35.

It is unnecessary to enter into any commendation of the work of the Commissioners of the Central Park, or of the manner in which it has been performed. This work speaks for itself. Our people are well satisfied with its management, and would feel that their interests would be sadly neglected if it should be handed over to the control of the local politicians.

The economy and efficiency with which the Central Park funds have been managed should cause the Convention to hesitate to do aught that would tend to take the work from the hands of the present commission, composed as it is of men of honesty, capacity and integrity.

To understand the condition to which the Central Park would sink if its management should be placed in the hands of the city officials, it is only necessary to contrast its present perfect condition with the slovenly state of the other city parks.

As regards the Central Park, the mayor, in his message of January 1st, 1866, says: "The Central Park is one of those great public improvements demanded by the spirit of the age, and contributes greatly to the comfort and happiness of all our citizens. It yields. no revenues, but, like all other great improvements, contributes to the power and prosperty of the city, of which it is so great an ornament."

2d. Metropolitan Fire Department, $870,000.

The members of this board are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

3d. Metropolitan Police, $2,270,984.70.

The members of this board are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

In 1866 the amount received by the department for New York was $2,421,839.67.

In 1866 the amount expended was $2,338,406.70.

4th. Metropolitan Board of Health, $225,000.

The members of this board are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

In 1866 the amount expended was $102.587.93.

Thus we have the sum of $3,705,764.63 disbursed by what are called "irresponsible commissions;" and if we add to this $186,876 for construction of Harlem bridge, $100,000 for the Commissioners of Record, and $181,465.69 for additions by the Legislature, we have a grand total of $4,174,106.32 to be thus disbursed.

Now the interest on the county, war, riot and other debt, payable from taxation, was $870.559.88.

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The interest on the city debt, payable from taxation, was $1,253,530.26.

The portion of the city debts payable from taxation was $277,382.21.

The aggregate of the principal and interest thus to be paid was $2,401,472.35.

Now, if we add this $2,401,472.35 to the $4,174,106.32 to be spent by commissions, we have $6,575,578.67. Subtracting this from the $15,926,134.35 for city and county purposes for 1866, we have a balance of $9,350,555.68 under the absolute control of the local gov ernment, in part as follows:

1st. General expenses of the city under the direct control of the common council elected by the people, $3,908,582.68.

2d. General expenses of the county under the direct control of the Board of Supervisors elected by the people, $1,757,780.

We quote from the report of the finance committee of the Board of Aldermen, February 27th, 1867. The committee says: "In estimating the amount expended by State agencies in this city, it is not, in the opinion of your committee, at all out of place to include the whole county expenditure under that head, as the present county legislative body is nothing more nor less than a State commission, composed of members, half of whom are elected by the people, the other half of whom are appointed by the mayor, after the useless formality of receiving the vote of a minority of the electors of the county, no matter how small the minority may be, the minority members being vested with the same rights, powers and prerogatives possessed by the legally elected members of the board."

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It will surprise our people to know that the Board of Supervisors is a commission; if, however, it be a commission, it is one which all the friends of reform will most cordially unite in having abolished

at once.

The only effect of altering the manner of its election, would be to constitute such board all of one political party, instead of as now, of two; the reasons for the abolition of the Board of Supervisors will be given in another communication.

So far, we have seen that $5,666,362.68 is under the control directly of the Board of Supervisors and Common Council elected by the people.

3d. Public Charities and Correction, $1,067,889.08.

The Commissioners of Charities and Correction are responsible to the people of the city through an elected Comptroller who appoints them. We do not know that any one now proposes that all heads of department should be elective; the furthest to which the advocates of so-called local self-government go at present, is to demand for the mayor the appointment of such heads. These commissioners are as much local officers as the Street Commissioner or City Chamberlain, or other heads of department not elected.

The Comptroller is an elective officer, and is responsible for the appointments he makes.

4th. Public Instruction, together with the expense of the College of the city of New York, $2,539,327.54.

These expenditures are under the supervision of the Board of Education, elected by the people of this city.

Thus it will be seen that the money raised for city and county purposes was to be spent as follows:

1st. By Common Council, elected by the people,. $3,908,582 68 2d. By Board of Supervisors, elected by the


1,757,780 00

3d. By Commissioners of Charities and Correction, appointed by the Comptroller, elected by

the people,..

1,067,889 08

4th. By Board of Education, elected by the people,

2,539,327 54

$9,273,579 30

5th. By the State Boards or Commissions,

$4,174,106 32

It will be seen that $9,273,579.30 was under the direct control of the local ballot-box, leaving but $4,174,106.32 under the control of so called "irresponsible commissions."

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