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The New Charter

The New Charter image
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For a numbcrof weeks the council committee on charter cbangea has been busily at woik poring over charter of other clties, defneing our own out-grown document of that character, and eudeavoring out ot the raass to build up a charter for our city tbat would be In thorough keepiiiji with the necessities of this comniunIty and the ndrancement of the times. At a meeting of the Business Men's -i)ci:itioi) lust Friday evening in the COUDCll room, the principal provisions of the uew document were bronght up by Mayor Beakes,and diccoMed. There was a good attBndMMSe of our business men, and different points in the proposed law were diseusted by Messrs. F red Scbmld, II. .1. Hrown, Moscs Seabolt, A. L. Noble, K. K. Fnicaull', and othera, A few changet of minor importance were suggestcd, but tbc charter as a wliole seetned to favorably irnpress thoH present. Some of the piovisions we will eudeavor to note. Mayor. - This office is ralfed in dignity and importance and relieved of diudgery. doder the proposed law the mayor is made the prêsidlng ollicer of the couticil. but only votes in case of a tic. He is giren in a certain degree the rato power tiniuli iiot as fully assomc would desire. He hat the appointment otall appointive city i llieers, exceptlng street commisgioner, and given the power to remove any such appointeefor cause. The council lo continu all appointments. Under this law be would appolnt tlic city treasurer, city marshal, policcmen, the various city boards and such other ollicers iis are made appointive, wltb theonc exceptlon noted above. ('il; Clcrk. - The ollice of Recorder is Hbolillhed and the correct title given as abovc. He is made the chief otlicer of the city as lar as business is concerned. He is tn be given an ollice iu the city hall building, and requiredtobj there duriug business hours. He is the custodian of all documents and all city property. All papers, bilis, plat?, deeds, etc, lieis to keel) convenieiitly iiled and easy of aceess. All bilis igainst the city must be rceeived by hiin and reported In talmlar ionn each montli to the council. He must keep a complete set of books show'mg all moneys received or paid out, and hU books and those of the city treaaarer must ngree. U must draw all city warrauls, draw and n gister all city bomls, etc Eie must be the clerk of all cornmlttees, ol all city boards, Inolnding Board of Benito, also the Sealer of Weights and Measure, and general ultUity man In all CltJ all.iirs. He must kmnv all the c.ity"s buflnesa and be rcady to .show it up on a moment'i notice. The work lald out tor hiin under this proposed charter woul keep ihe most expert business man in tliis city employed ten or twelve hours a day every day in the week, to accomplish For tbU they propose to pay 800, with fees tbat may posslblo nmonnt to f75 oi $100 more. Our criticism of Ihis is tbat the kitul ol talent the city needs c mnot be oblaiuei: for the salary proposed. For doing no more work than this official wlll be reqalred to do Lite county of Wnshtenaw payi its clerk from $2,000 to $¦¦,. "00 per year. The c';ty of Ann Arbor, if pfnurious in this matter, wlll lüffer thereby, for the best kind of business talent wil be needed. Look around amoiig your acqwtlntances, and see how man thert are who are not already permanently em ployed who are capnble of lilling this place. Xo man wlll ivo up a (tooi place, even though t bc at less salary, to take tliiá otlice with the possibility of bolding it only two years. With the present requirements good men will take the oflice and work it in with th-ir rejfU' lar business, and so miike it pay. But that cannot be done under the Bw arrangements, for it will take a man's entire time, (and more too.) The clerk is deprived of a vote iu tht council bot contüiiicd au tlectivt offloer. Ifhe is to be elected by the people, it would seem as though he ought to be en titled to a vote in the goveriimeiit of the dU . lic shouïcï ftlao tu Llcll tin: ni L to uppoint a Ueputy. whicli power la nol given. This is BDOUt the only official known that cannut appoint a deputy In case of sickness, or of enforceil ab sence from the city, the clerk should be permitted to have a representativo to trar.sact liis business. Uesides we be lieve that a deputy will be necenary t( nccoinplish all the work planned for blm Ahlermeii. - Their duties are about tht saine as at present except that the drudgery is taken from tuem and distributed to other ollicials. It will be more of at honor to be au alderman, and they wil have fewer kickers to contend with. City Treasurcr. - To be appointed h the mayor and conürmed by tlie council Will be required to furnish a certificate each month from the cashier of the bank where the city nioney is deposited, tha the balance on hand is on hand. Com pensation is tlxed the same as at present Would it not be wise to give the treasurer a tixed salary, say $500 a year ( which is about what he is said to make now) and then charge the tax-payer no per cent. on what lie has to pay, provid ing it is paid by Jan. lst., after that date Iet the the extra per ceut. go to the city City Harshal. - Appointed sume as treasuier, and duties similar to presen duties. Silary same as at present. City Atlorney. - appointed by mayor, and hls salary not to exceed $300 pei year which must be ín fuüfor all services reiulered the city. Cheap enough. Street Commissioner. - a new official U be appointed by the Board of Public Works at pleasure. In nis hands will be placed all the care of our streets ant sidewalks. One of the very stron;est features of the charter, and a ehange that is al most an absolute Deoeulty, A Board of Public Work, - This is a new feature. To conslst of iive memben, serviiiji five years, one member to be elected by the council each year. All public iuiproveine.nts to be considerad by them. A Board of Fire Commissioner - anothcr innovation. lts name implies its duties. It is to c Misist of three members, one appolnted each year. To this board will be given the duty of issuinj; building permita, and the inapecUon of all bnildIngf, and the refnjing or grantliig of all petitions for structures within the lire li mits. These two boards will be experimenta with Ann Arbor, but they give excellent satisfaction in other cities. Any expenditure of over S10 made by these boards must be su'jmitted to the council and approved. The Justicea ol the Peace, Constables and minor offleers, are to be let't the same as at present, except that all constables are subject to the orders of the chief of poiice. The amount which can be raised by taxation is placed at 5 milis on the dollar. This would raise at present about IO.OOO, an inercase of ouly $2,000 or so over wbat is now allowed, and inside of tint am tont all expenditures mtMt come, 'l'his city then will be below any other in the state, the next one being Lanting whcre8millsou the dollar can be raised. In Adrián lT'j milU can be raiscd, and at Vpsilanti $&% milis. There la a good provisión about people who really live In the city but skip out at assessinent or tax time. They must be either assessed liere for their property, or show a tax recei)t for the amount oftucb assessmeut. There are other provision3 which we hope to lay belore our readers and discuss in some future number. It was the sense of the meeting that he mayor should receive a salary of $200. We lielieve that under the. new law the lonor fully compénsales the major. Ho botter man would serve for the $200 han would for the $1 salary, and in fact, we believe the $200 would be au inlucement for a cluss of men not desired 13 inayors. The following committee of the Business Meifs Association was appointed to neet with the committe of the council ind perfect the charter: A. L. Noble, "red. Scbmld, Muses Seabolt, E. K. ¦'rueaurl'and II. ,). Hrown. A resolution was also pissed that in viuw of the inany defects of the old charer. it was the sense of the meeting tbat a uew one ought to be compilcd aud )assed.