« 上一頁繼續 »
into effect. The executive and administrative authority and duties are distributed among several departments. These departments are usually five in number and are known as (1) the department of public affairs, (2) the department of accounts and finances, (3) the department of public safety, (4) the department of streets and public improvements, and (5) the department of parks and public property. At the head of each of these departments is placed one of the members of the commission, who is the superintendent of his department and who is responsible for its workings. The mayor, by virtue of his office, is the superintendent of the department of public affairs. The superintendents of the other four departments are designated by a majority vote of the commission itself. All city offices such as the city clerk, the solicitor, the assessor, the treasurer, the auditor, the chief of the fire department and the like, are appointed by the commission.
Thus it is seen that under the commission plan very great power is lodged in a small body of men. But the commission (council) is not likely often to abuse its power for wherever the commission system has been installed the people have usually reserved for themselves the powers residing in the initiative and referendum, and in the recall. Where these devices are in operation the commission is held directly responsible and accountable to the electorate.
A considerable number of cities have adopted a form of government known as the city manager plan. This has for its aim a greater concentration of the
executive authority than that provided by the commission form. Where the city manager plan bas been adopted the entire administration of the affairs of the city is entrusted to a single officer--the city manager-appointed by an elective commission or council. The power of the city manager sometimes [or] in some cases extends even to the appointment of all the city officers and employees; the activities of the council being confined strictly to the passage of ordinances.
THE TERRITORIES AND DEPENDENCIES OF THE
ALL territory not included within the boundaries of a State, yet subject to the dominion of the United States, is wholly dependent upon Congress for its governmental powers (119). This is a fundamental principle underlying all questions relating to the government of territory subject to the sovereignty of the United States and not included within a State.
When planning for the government of federal territory from time to time, Congress has dealt with each case according to its merits. Now it has permitted a newly acquired possession to enter into an immediate enjoyment of statehood; now it has provided liberally for local self-government; now it has held the reins of government tightly in its own hands. This policy of giving to each community a government suitable to its needs has led to the establishment of so many different kinds of governments in the Territories and Dependencies that a satisfactory classification of them cannot be made. Nevertheless, the inferior governments may be conveniently studied under two headings, namely: (1) Territories and Dependencies on the American Continent, and (2) Insular Territories and Dependencies.
The Territories and Dependencies on the American Continent are: The District of Columbia, ceded to the United States by Maryland in 1790 as the permanent seat of the Federal Government; Alaska, purchased from Russia in 1866; Indian Reservations and National Parks; the Panama Canal Strip.
I. The District of Columbia. The government of the District of Columbia is, by the Constitution, vested exclusively in Congress (61). Several methods of governing the District had been tried when in 1878 Congress established the present form of government. The District is governed by a board of three commissioners appointed by the President. Two of the commissioners must be appointed from civil life, and one must be an officer of the army. This board exercises not only the executive power, but acts in many respects as a legislature. Its reasonable regulations in respect to matters affecting the life, health and comfort of the people have the force of laws. Although Washington—the District of Columbia is but another name for the city of Washington-has no distinct legislature of its own, it nevertheless enjoys the services of the greatest legislative body of the country, for Congress keeps its eye upon the affairs of the District and devotes certain days to the consideration of District business. When legislating for the District, Congress acts as a city council, and visitors to the Capitol may hear senators and representatives discussing topics of local government as the repairing the streets or the regulation of trolley lines or the adjustment of teachers' salaries.
The judicial system of the District consists of a court of appeals, a regular trial court called the supreme court, and a police court for the trial of petty offenses and municipal regulations. Justices of the peace are provided for the trial of certain kinds of civil cases. All these judicial officers are appointed by the President.
The District of Columbia has no delegate in Congress, and no provision whatever has been made for the expression of the popular will in a law-making body. The inhabitants of the District are citizens of the United States.
II. Alaska. After neglecting this region for a long time Congress at last, in 1900, provided for it a code of laws and a suitable form of government. In 1912 Congress vested the legislative power of the Territory of Alaska in an elective Legislature consisting of a senate and a house of representatives. The governor of the Territory is appointed by the President. The governor has the veto power but his veto may be over-ruled by a two-thirds vote of all the members of each house. All laws passed by the Territorial legislature must be transmitted by the governor to the President of the United States and by him submitted to Congress. If a law of the Territorial Legislature is disapproved by Congress it becomes null and void. In addition to the governor, Alaska has as its other executive officers a secretary of territory, a treasurer, and a superintendent of education. The Territory is divided into four judicial divisions with a judge for each division.