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"tax-payer" And The Superintendents Of The Poor

"tax-payer" And The Superintendents Of The Poor image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
Letter to the Editor
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Editor of Arous : - Looking over the report of the Superintendent of the Poor ol Washtenaw couuty, tor the year 1875, I h'nd soine itema which need a little explanation. lat ïhe charge of $315.17, for services rendered outside of the County Hou?e. What were the services rendered 't Who examined and allowed the several bilis p Who ordered the warrants on the County Treasurer for the pay ? Have they a right to do all this themselves ? Let us look at the law. Compiled Laws, chapter 50 (1,818), sectiou 3, says " they (the Superinteadents) shall be allowed such suma, tor their actual attendance and service, as the Board of Supervisors of the couuty shall deern reasonable." Have they complied with the law 't The Board of Supervisors have not seen those bilis. The Superintendente have preseuted, to the Board of Supervisors, their büls for services rendered in the County House, (see pracoedings, page 67), they amount to $397.32 ; they charge three dollars per day and traveling fees each tirae they meet - no law for it. Mr. Duffy charges, per day, $3.38 ; Mr. KexforU, Í3.60 ; aud Mr. Arms, $4.44. The law gives a Supervisor, as overseer of the poor, $1.50 per day, and pro rata for parta of days. Of course it is enough for Supervisors: but Supermtenderits services are worth doublé, besides traveling fees. The Supervisors believe it: tor they allowed their bilis at sums atated. The law gives traveling fees to each member of the Board ot Supervisors, for ouce both ways, and if they are in sessiou three or tour weeks, they rony go home every night but they muat be on hand the next moming at about hali-past nine o'clock ; the people don't care how they come there. Now let us see about the traveling feea ; trom Dexter to Aim Arbor ths railroad fare is 26 cents, and 25 cents f rom Anu Arbor to Dexter, total 60 cents ; we have leff 94 cents to pay for going to the County House, and that duriug working hours ; how much per mile 't If a mechmic works at the County Houae he is expected, and justly too, to be there and at hls work at seveu o'clock in the morning - nobody cares how he comes there -and then work ten hours for lesa money than a Superintendent gets for from six to eight houra work with extra pay while on the road - in working houra. 2d. That water closet, aome charges need a little explanation. The carpenter bill is f521,22, the inaterials were f urnishod by the county ; agaiu the saine carpenter geta $168.73 for repairs, now for $689.95 we ought to have a good deal of carpenter work uow a days ; that amount would pay for the carpenter work tor a large two-story frame dwelling house, and well finished too, while the work done seems so little for the amount paid : it may be all right - when explained. 'M. The reports on tomporary relief do not in all oases agree with the reports of the Supervisors. In the lst and 2d warda of Anu Arbor city ■ The Supenntendents' report is, $1,446. 77 The Supervisor's report is, 1,318.97 Difference, $127.80 Who expended that $127.80 for relief 't The cry is " the Supervisors give too much to the poor,'' while the prooi is that they do uot give enough, lor some one haa given to relieve som" persons or families the sum of $127.80. The Supervisor is accused of aidiug some uuworthy families : he denies it, but it may be that those families or persons get relief, but not of the Supervisor. Ought not the Supervisor to know who gives and who receives relief 't The Board of Supervisors at least should aak a full report of the Superinteudeuts. See Conip. Laws, chap. 10, sec. 11, clause 14. The Board of Supervisors do examine, by a committee appointed, the books aud accounts of the County Treasurer and Clerk, and all the bilis for criminal aud civil claims, and soraetimes very closely. How does the Board exánime the report of the Superintendente 't It is done in this wise : aome oue of tha Board annouuces that the Superinteudents are in waiting and ready to make their aunual report, and, of course, read it to the Board. After they have heard it some one makes a motion to aucept, adopt, and spread upon the Journal ; the yeas have it. Sometimea a little explanatiou is given, and there euds the examiuation. Next day, sometimes, a uiember fiuda a little fault that his town was not all right, and that euds it. That may be all right, but is it the way to examine reports, to the amount of $40,000 ? We see the result oí believing report:, all right, but now committees work tor months to see and n'nd out whether they are right or wrong. But there never was a committee appointed to examine the reporta of the Superiutendents of the Poor - they wers believed infallible- until 1873, when a committee was appointed to ascertain who furnished jjoocts to the County House, and that committee (was not very welconie) preaented the best report, poor aa it was, ever made. The committee make their reports on believing that everything is right, they don't know it. The law passed April 17th, 1873, (No. 107, page 141), which raakes it a penalty for a Superintendent to sell, furnish, or contract, for goods tor the County House - the law speaka for itaelf, please' read it Have all the Superinteudents complied with that law 't Let the reporta of 1873, 1874, aud 187') answer ! They have defied the law. In 1876, one has furuished goods to the amouut of $1,619.76, auother 1,291.32 if not more. The whole amount expended by the Superinteudents of the Poor, aud for temporary relief, is stated at $39,359.44 ; the farm products is statei at $1,882.28, should not that be added to the amouut, it seerna ao, then it would be $41,241.72, and that whole amount is entrusted to the Superinteudeuts. Should they not give bonda to the amouut they hold in trust 't - other office rs have to give bonds who hold moneys in trust. Any explauation will be thankfully received.