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Expensive Politics

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Now that thecity charter has been amended, against the protest of the newspapers of the city and in defiance of much public opinión, it may be of interest to note what changes have been made, how they have been brought about, and also to count the cost. Aside frora the creation of a new ward, the term of the mayor and president of the council has been lengthened to two years each, the mayor has been given the absolute power of appointing and removing the pólice without consulting the council, and several minor changes have been made in the powers ot the council. These changes were recorumended by the council by a narrow vote. The council also by a divided vote approved of the creation of the seventh ward, but they fixed the limits of the ward as south of Hill street and east of Main. This was the way the bill went to Lansing, It comes back with an entirely new boundary for the new ward, and the change was made without any notice whatever to the citizens of this city. The change was made entirely out of partisan politics, and for the purpose of making sure of an additional republican supervisor and two republican aldermen. The boundaries of the new ward are now Main street from the south city limits to Madison, Madison to State, State to Monroe, Monroe to East University, East University to Hill street, Hill to Washtenaw, and Washtenaw southeast to the city limits. The Argus protests against this legislation without the knowledge of the people. The republican leaders may believe in the Vanderbilt doctrine, "the people be d - d," but we don't want them to teil it to us quite so plainlj. Why was the new ward created ? Simply to elect two more republican aldermen and one more supervisor. Why was the change in the boundary made in so bold a manner and positively without consulting; the public ? Simply because the boundary as fixed by the counsel left the new ward somewhat doubtful politically and party expediency required the throwing in of a solid mass of republican voters to turn the wavering scale. We do not care to go into the question of the relative merits of the old proposed straight boundary and the present crooked boundary. The point we make is that good or bad, the public were allowed to know nothing of the crooked boundary until after the bill was passed. This sort of political work may be good politics, but it is not the kind that the thinking American people are wont to approve of. What will the new ward cost? First, it will make an extra cost for holding elections. There must be an entire new election board with inspectors, clerks and gate-keepers for each election. A polling place must be built or hired. The board of review will cost one-sixth more for salaries each year, new chairs and desks must be purchased for the council room, and many other like expenses as yet unthought of will arise. Already the inhabitants of the new ward are agitating a new ward school building. This will have to be built and built soon. The site and new school building will cost from $15,000 to $20,000. It will cost at least $3,500 or more a year for teachers, janitor, heat and light. And all this expense in spite of the fact that a $5,000 addition to the first ward building has only just i been completed. Does the new ward pay ? Are not the people of the city of Ann Arbor paying a pretty big price for a republican supervisor and two more republican aldermen ? What is this namby-pamby, republican-municipal club local administration good for anyway? Taxes. From the first of March, 1894, to the first of March, 1895, the city administraron expended $66,838.66. Lest this big sum may falsely becharged to the sewers, it is fair to state that of this sum $17,156.49 was expended for sewers, leaving #49,682.17 to carry on the city government, an increase of nearly ten per cent. in expenses over the preceeding year, when the expenditures outside of the sewers were $4.081.62 less than the past year. Not a dollar of this went to the support of our school system. And this big increase in expenditures comes in spite of the fact that our street work was neglected on account of the sewers. What is there to show for it? iietter pólice administraron? Never in the history of Ann Arbor have there been more bad characters on the streets. Never have they had more rooms. Never have they been bolder in endeavoring to secure customers. Never have there been more arrests for drunkenness. What is there to show for the nearly $5,000 increase in taxation? What will the tax-ridden people say to an increase in salaries? This is another feature of the charter changes, which fixes the salaries of the marshal Í200 higher, the city attorney #300 higher, and the city clerk $200 higher. This makes a $700 increase for next year. It is pretty near time the voters of Ann Arbor rose in their might, threw off the municipal club hoodwink, and elected an administration pledged to true economy.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News