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A Woman Takes Issue With The City Attorney

A Woman Takes Issue With The City Attorney image
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Lthtor Argus: - In the council proceedings published in last week's Argus, I read with pleasure the able and scholarly article of the city attorney to the "Honorable Street Committee" in regard to the bonus paid the Michigan Central R. R. company in the spring of 1886, by the city of Ann Arbor. In that article our city attorney states that the $5,000 was raised "by the vote of the taxpayers." This I deny. The taxpayers did not vote at that election. Some taxpayers voted, I grant you, but many voted who were not taxpayers, while a large number of taxpayers were not allowed to vote. Why? Because they were women. Men who have lived in Ann Arbor for years, earning a good salary, enjoying all the benefits of our beautiful city, but not owning theirown home, and not paying any tax voted, while the fact reraains - (to our shame be it said) that while more than half the city taxes are paid by women, mostly widows, they have no voice in the government of our city. I venture the assertion, that if the taxpayers had voted at that election, $5,000 would not have been given to the Michigan Central R. R. by "whipping the devil around the post," or by any other method. True it is, that a few of our wealthy women taxpayers, and they are women of intelligence, culture and large experience, thoroughly capable of managing their large estates themselves are represented at the city elections by their coachman or butler, who usually can neither read or write. Yet the fact remains that a large part of our taxpaying women are not represented in our city government. These are the rank and file of taxpayers, whohelp to support our city government, who cheerfully and willingly obey our city laws, usually owning only their linie home, often heavily mortgaged, and yet they are ignored intirely except by the assessor and taxcollector. The foreigner, but a few days since landed upon our shores, votes away the city's money, collected by levying tax upon the widow's home, while said male voter often owns no home and pays no tax to the city of Ann Arbor. Our beautiful "Athens of the West," being so largely a city of widows, is an object lesson in politics and the point I make is this: the taxpayers are not allowed to vote. Gentlemen, I submit the question to your intelligence. Is it just or right? Is it forthe interest of the city, the state or the nation? A WoMAN. Note: - Our correspondent is mistaken about non taxpayers voting at the election in 1886. At that time none but taxpayers could vote at taxpayers meetings, as they were called. Such would be the case now in this city had it not been for Cyrus G. Luce. Her enthusiasm has also greatly overestimated the amount of taxes paid here by


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News