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A new pilase of this important question lias come to the front, inasmuch as the governor has vetoed the amended city charter. He did it by reason of a pledge to the laboring men to help their interests and to secure to them tlie power of voting on all municipal questions of tax-raising wkether they own taxable property or not. i I it lui in there has been a very proper safeguard in our charter making the electors on tax-niising questions those who pay the tuxes. That clause is usually in city charters, and it lias been the experience of cities which have not had it that they were not long in being so heavily in deht as to make taxes enonnously high. For it stands lo reason that if a hirge class do not have to pay forlurge works underthe name of public improvements, and at the same time will get a good job thereby, they will not hesitate to vote t through, no matter how much the payinjr for it may embarrass the tiix-payer?. Now The Cocriek would like to see water works in Ann Arbor, but itbelieves that we can better afford in the long run to go safely and carefully than hastily and pell-mell. We understand that the company which pioposes to put in the works is a good one, but why should their proposition be rushed through the couiicil at firït reading and without allowing any other company to bid ? Their proposition is open to someserious objections, since it practically proposes to give us water for drinking and cooking taken out of a frog pond. They charge $40 per hydrant and then allow water to be taken fiorn it only for flre purposes, whereas that amount will not aimually come In value to $10. per hydrant. We cannot use it for flushing sewers, supplying street sprinklers, public buildings and fountains or anytl-ing without paying the company wliatever it niiiy choose to ask. Ii is true, they have a proviso that we suall not pay er than other cities n the state, but our nearest nciglibor,in water works, Adrián, is at tbis very time In the niidst of an expensiye litiifation witli its water company over excessive water rates. lts experience should be valuable to us. A special meeting of the Council was called Monday niht to decide what to do about thls new euiergency, and o in Du the extreme and unaeeouiitable liaste of some parties to riwli the plan through at all hazards an attempt was made to have the chBrter nmended so that every Toni, Dick and Harry of a tramp who comes along can vote laxes on the regular property - owners who have built up the city and propose to live here the rest of their days in peace, plenty and comfort. The bars were to be let down completely and the mob were to be invited to rush in for public spoils. Happily gome soberminded citizcns saw the dager and circulated a petition againstit. Thls was numerously signed by leading men, who wanted water-works and had votedfor it election day. But they did nnt want wati-r-works at the expense of danger of ruining this fair city of ours. So, backed by this strong petition, when a resolution to amend the charter by removing all property qualiflcatlons was ofl'ered it very properly was defeated by the resolution of Alderman Martin. The vote, 8 to 6 was a signal tritimpli of good sense and safe measures. Those who voted for retaininfr the charter as foi meily were Aldermen Iludson, Keating, Poland, Ware, Martin, Biggs, the Mayor and Recorder. Every man who owns a house or bit of ground in the city is interested in this and will keep liis eyes open. For if schemes are carried which make heavy tax burdens it aflicta the value of his property by just so much and tends to make it unsalable. Tliose who have gone this far for water-works will not stop now, and while the people desire it tliey must, remcmber that "Eternal vigilance is the Price of Safety." Aun Albor ought to have a system of water works. It is of considerable importance to the city, and it is still more important to have the interosts of the city properly protected in so reat a matter. If a company is to do it, wblcb plan seems the most feasible, the city does not waut to give a valuable franchise without flrst 6ecuring itself from future embarrassments and extortlons. To secure this protcction there should be a board of water commissioners elected by the people, whose Uuty should be to look after the construction of the works, the sewerage, the adjustment of rates, etc. Gor. Alger is making a big mistake in requiring of every city charter that comes under liis approval the wiping out of the clau8e eubmitting propoaitions to raise money to a vote of the electora instead of to the tax payers. Such a theory is false and dangeroui.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News