Press enter after choosing selection

Another "commission" Killed

Another "commission" Killed image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Bofore the final adjournment of the Suprome Court, on Friday last, thé füllowing decisión was announced, holding another law of this Stato unoónstitutional, driving another naïl in ths cofh'n of' " Mr. Ifresporisibte Cominission," and recognizing local rights as superior to tho will of tho Legislaturo : The Pooplo ex ret. Bula Hubbard et al, eonstituting the Fort Street Improvemetit Board, vs. ïho Township Board of Spnngutl s. jIiuul;unus. Opinión by Uiimpooll, J. : i'.y &ot -V. -11 1, of 1871, fhe Governor was empowered to appoint throe commissioners to improvo Vort strect., from the western limita of Detroit to Dearboru road, tli tjntirc work. b(.-ing in tin: TownBbip of Springwoll. The eouimissi:ners wit.! not roquiied lo reside in the town. and. in fact, n majórity did not. The work to be .lüii" in .'.ludud inacaduiuizing and draining the ütroet, with somo olhéinecessary finishing, and when dono it was tu be paid tor by issuing bonds of the township, the interest of whieh was to met by a general tax on the township, and the principal by an assessment mude fVir that purppsè in ih outset bythecoiümissiener-) upon the lands fronting on the stroet ; whieh was made a district lor the puvposes pf tiic a-iscssiuont, on which thu ;. 'si was to be appor.tioned according to tHe benefit?. TIn. statutc provided that the Govornor shou.d remore and' rp:ppoint eoramissioiKirs at liis pleasiïö. Tho i ■■■ pi, v.hen iimsliud, was to continue under thejr pare and eustody, and they v,-ere requirèa to keepit in repair., Thoy wore anthorizod to Ir-vy t,)Us upon tho same terms allowed to plank road corapanies. and subject to the saine exemptions, including fanners going to and lïom work, and persons and vehicles goiug to and from public wörsiiip, rmd to and from funerals. Any furthtr repairs not made up from tolls wuie to be paid íor by tai on the re il and persona! pvoperty in the asipssmont district. Tho commissinners wore to receive the per Hem, of supervisors (except one, who, as a civil engineer, iras to receivo f5 pet day), all theso fees until tho road was ünished bcing pnyable as expenses and included in tho bonds, and all services subsequontly rendered boing paid by similar íees, but being made town charges, and payablo as othcr town charges out of the town treasury. The improvcments having been made, the Board of Oominissioners applied to the tvwnship board to issue tho bonds, but the latter refused to issue them, ilaiming the law to be invalid. A mandamu8 bcing applied for this defense is relied on, the street being a comnion higlnvay of the township, and the responde'its insisting on the wjint of powor üyglsluxirre to jmt ït in tlie nands of a commission, or to próvido for its improvement by the means set forth iix the act. A replication was filed, gisting that by permitting tho commission to take possjssion of tho street and improve it, without protest, tho township is precluded froin objecting to the invalidity of the statute. 1. Tho comtnissionors are appointed by tho State, derive all their powers from the Slate, are subject to no supervisión of any one, exc 'pt as to the Governor's power of removal, and with their suecessors appointed in the sanio way, hold in pcrpetuity. They are, then, officers or ngents of the State. The money to. pay the principal debt created by the work is payable out of an nssessment leviod ac oording to their discretion upon lands in the district. The suifla payable are fixed by themselves, thwir bilis aro certified by themselves, the tolls are leviod uud rep:t;rs made at their discretion, and the taxes are all to be leviod for such sums as they fix. The town authorities have no discretion, but merely collect what they require and issue bond:; for the sums thev require. Tho work is specificaÜy ordered to bo made by a law of the Stato, and the monoys are to be rai?ed and expended by State agents, tho expense being chargcd in part upon a towuship and in part upon n smaller district, but lenving these localities no option of receiving or rejeeting the burden. Iflil, That the act in question is in conflict with artielo 14, section 9, of the State Constitution, which declares that " tho Stato shall not be a party to, or intorested in, any work of internat improvo ment. nor engaged in carrying on any sueh work," etc. The road in question is a work of intcvnal iinprovoment, and comes clcarly within tho piohibition of the Coiistitution. lldil, As to the replication, that the street boing a public highway, was by law under the charge of tho local authorities. The Constitution requires the annual election of commissioners of highw:iys, and of an overseor of highways for every highway diftrict. Their powers wore subject to legislativo modification, but no Logislature could abolish the offioers or t:ik-- away oll l.heir powers. The highway ih'-'e'ach district must be to somo extent, it lenst, subject to an overseer elected by tlio poople. As was held in the Detroit Public Works case, the rogulation of the township affairs legally concerning none bnt the pooplo or the cannot be lawfully veetefl in any oflicors imposed upon the township froin withoi:t Tho commissioners in this WMp, pppipteö by the State without any reference to the wishes or the action of tho people of thi. town, were clearly usurpms, mul all j their acts were invalid to bind thq township. There-is, therefore, no autlioritj , in the board to intermeddlo with the road, 'or to deinand the bonds to pay for its v.orking. The niandainils must bere. i'useil, with costs.


Old News
Michigan Argus