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Looking over the council proceedings of ...

Looking over the council proceedings of ... image
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Looking over the council proceedings of a year ago, we find that the aldermen, who this year claimed that it would be an insult to the mayor even to look into his pólice nominations this year, actually voted against confirming the mayor's nominations for pólice last year. It was not then supposed to be intended as an insult. Was it so intended? The Register displays its usual amount of misinformation concerning city officers this week. It says "the council by rejecting Mayor Thompson's appointments assumes all responsibility for the executive control of the city." As the council never has rejected any of Mayor Thompson's appointments, the whole of the Register's labored editorial founded on that assumed fact fall to the ground. Judging from the frenzied comments of the new found political friends of Mayor Thompson, the council last Monday committed a heinous crime in referring the mayor's nominations for city offices to a committee and in order to punish the presumptious aldermen who should confirm in one-half hour what the mayor has taken several weeks to decide upon, an effort is on foot to change the whole chartered law of the city, in fact to punish the city in the future. It is dangerous to pass a general law to fit one special exigency. The next time it operates it will be in another direction unforseen by the makers of the law. Besides there is absolutely no exigency to meet. The present council will, in all human probability, confirm the present mayor's nominations at the next regular meeting, not because they approve of all of them, but in order to let him try his hand at reforming a city administration which he himself has said was one of the best in Michigan. But why all this excitement on the part of the mayor's new found friends ? One says precedent was violated, when the nominations were referred to a committee. Was not precedent violated when the mayor recommended a name for city physician, the only office left to the council to fill? If there was any insult involved in the proceedings, as Aid. Schairer and Prettyman claimed, was not this delibérate nsurpation of the council's functions an insult ? Besides, does not a democratie U. S. Senate insult Grover Cleveland by referring his nominations to committees and does not a republican state senate insult Governor Rich by referring his nominations to committees? Without waiting to see what the council will do on May 15, and in the face of the fact that a number of the aldermen, who voted to refer the Monday night nominations to a committee, have expressed themselves as intending to vote for confirmation, the mayor, lead on by imprudent advisors, has called a special meeting of the council for this evening to consider taking the confirming power away from the council, his new found friends proclaiming that the legislature will rush such a measure through with or without the consent of the council. This is not a monarchy, and an absolute one at that. The mayor is not the czar of Ann Arbor and should not be. It may be news to those whose sympathies are with a monarchy to be told that the charter is modeled on the same theories which prevailed in the formation of the federal and state constitutions. As f ar as possible a judicious system of checks and balances has been devised. Neither the president nor the governor can appoint officers without the consent of the legislative bodies, and any reason which would give the mayor absolute power of appointment without confirmation would apply equally to the president and governor. There are many times, when such a required confirmation, might save the city a poor or disgraceful officer. Certainly, if on rare occasions a good man fails of confirmation, there are other men equally as good that á mayor can nomínate for the place. The mayor always has the initiative, the men who fill the offices must necessarily be satisfactory to him. It is wise that the city should have some check upon possible bad nominations made by some future mayor. We want no autocratie mayor. In this country we do not sympathize with monarchial governments or methods and in such governments alone is the executive given unlimited appointing power. The mayor is not the solé part of our system of city government. The council also has a place. And if it is right that the mayor should have a veto upon the council 's proceedings, it is right that the council should have a sort of modified veto upon the mayor's proceedings. Let us repeat, we need no czar in Ann Arbor.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News