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Mayor Admits Argus Correct

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Mayor Copeland was in the Argos office Friday niorning and admitted thut en Feb. 1. V.mi.",. the city would have no overdraft, and that taking the figures as they wlll stand Feb. 1, 1908, there wlll be no overdraft and the city has not violated the charter. The mayor contends, however. that there will be some paving bonds to pay in March and that on that date there will be an overdraft. Tlie mayor says the bonds due in March will aggregate about $13,000 and that the overdraft by July lst, Including, of eourse, the .$i:;.ko of paving bonds, will proba bly reacb $25,000. The Argus neither accepts nor denles these figures, lint supposiiiii the mayor to be correct, it will be remembered that the paving bonds are not properly a city obligation and will be paid from fuuds Jaid upon and pald by the property holBers. Dedueüng, therefore, the $13,000 fnira the ni.iyoi-'s estimated deficit of $25,000, there ïeinains $12,000 which the city will have to borrow before the ürst of July. And thus by the niayov's own ttgnres, the amount of rnoney needed between Fob. lst and July lst to take care of the city's obligations shrinks frona 4uhjO to $12,)00. The Argus will frankly admlt that there will be an overdraft in the city before July 1. But SUCh lias been the history of the city from its foundation and such luis been the way it has always been run. Onder its charter the fiscal year ends February 1. At that time all tases are supposed to bave been collected. At that date under the charter, there must be no overdraft. The charter contemplates occasional overdrafts, previous to that period, but at the time such overdrafts are made everybody knows whether or not there will be money enough to meet them before the first of the following February. What the charter contemplates is that the city shall not spend money in any year that it has not levied a tax to pay. The tax budget is made up by the council in June. The council knows how nmc'h it has spent at that time and must make the tax budget large enough to cover all it will spend up to the first of the following February. As to this point in his conversation with the Argus the mayor agreed with the Argus. But he said the banks have agreed not to let the city overdraw. This agreement, if made, is on the assumption that such overdrafts are illegal. Here is the provisión of the charter on the subject. It is found in Section 186, which after providing how bonds may be issued saya: "But the common council may allow just claims against the city, and may issue orders therefor on the treasurer or payable on presentation from any moneys then in the treasury, on the flrst day of February thereafter; but such second named class of orders shall not, in any fiscal . year, exceed the aggregate tases levied in such year for the payment of the same." It will be clearly seen that February 1 is the date fixed by the charter on which there must be no overdraft. If the city bonds in February to take care of current expenses and ratees the money to take care of these expenses in July, the city will be out the interest on the bonds from July next until the bonds are paid. The bonds under the bill which was proposed ran for ten years, one-tenth being payable each year. Á moment' thought will indícate the business sagacity exhibited. The mayor admits that the city is laising money enough in each fiscal year to take care of all the obligatious of that year. Under these circumstances why bond the city for any sumV