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the mayor, councilmen, aldermen, treasurer, controller, solicitor, school superintendent, chief of police, fire marshal, board of health, assessors, and some others who have the same duties as the corresponding officers in a borough. In cities of the first and second class the aldermen are called magistrates. In such cities a large part of the administrative business is transacted through executive departments.
The Mayor.—The chief executive officer of a city is the mayor. He is chosen by the electors to serve for a term of four years, and is not eligible for the next succeeding term. He must be at least twenty-five years old, and must have been a citizen and resident of the State for four years and of the city one year. The mayor is responsible for the good order and peace of the city, and has the authority of a justice of the peace under the laws of the Commonwealth. He is charged with the duty of suppressing all disorder and riot by means of the police force. In order to enable him to preserve public peace within the city, he has all the powers of a sheriff; and if he finds the means for suppressing mobs and riots insufficient, he may call upon the sheriff of the county for assistance. He prepares an annual message to councils setting forth the condition of the finances and other affairs of government, and recommending measures which he may deem proper for *the improvement of the same. He calls special meetings of the councils whenever necessary. The mayor appoints nearly all the subordinate officers whose positions are created by ordinance, and in many cases can exercise the power of removal. All bills passed by the councils are submitted for his approval and signature. Should he veto a bill, it must be repassed by a vote of two thirds of all the members of councils before it can become a law.
The Councils.-The city legislature consists of two coun
cils—the select council and the common council. Each ward elects one member of the select council for four years, and two members of the common council for two years. One half of the members of select council are elected every two years. The members of councils receive no compensation for their services.
Except in number and extent, the powers and duties do not differ materially from those of the borough council. The subjects of legislation of the councils relate exclusively to local matters. Among the multitude of subjects concerning which ordinances may be enacted are the creation of subordinate offices, with regulation of appointments and removals; fixing salaries and amount of official bonds; appropriation of city funds; borrowing money, issuing bonds, and creation of a sinking fund; care of streets, sewers, sidewalks, and railroad crossings; establishment and regulation of the police; provision of lockups; regulation of markets, ferries, wharves, and water courses; creation of a fire department; inspection of buildings; requiring the numbering of houses; regulation of weights and measures; establishment of a department of charities; making of health regulations; and the establishment of hospitals and parks.
The City Treasurer.—This officer is elected by the people for a term of four years. His duties are similar to those of the borough treasurer. All moneys received by him are deposited in such banks and institutions as councils may determine. By virtue of his office, he is the collector of all the city, school, and poor taxes. On entrance upon his duties as treasurer, he takes also his oath of office as collector, and gives bond for the faithful performance of his duties. The tax duplicates in his office are at all times open to the proper inspection of taxpayers. He appoints and pays the deputy
tax collectors. The compensation or commission for collecting taxes is fixed by the authority levying the tax, but cannot be less than one per cent. on all taxes promptly paid, and five per cent. on all taxes paid him after the penalty has been incurred.
The City Controller.—The controller is elected by the qualified voters for a term of four years. His duties are to examine, audit, and settle all city accounts. His department attends to the general checking and auditing of the accounts and books of all the departments dealing with the finances of the city. He countersigns all warrants drawn upon the treasurer. His salary is determined by the councils.
The City Solicitor.—This officer is appointed by the councils in joint session. They determine his salary, and place in his charge all the legal business of the city government in general. He advises the city councils and officers concerning questions of law submitted by them. He represents the city and its officers in all suits to which they are parties. He must be learned in the law, and qualified to practice in the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth.
The Superintendent of Schools.—The law authorizes the school directors in all cities, boroughs, and townships of 5,000 or more inhabitants to elect their own school superintendent, who has the same powers as a county superintendent, and must have the same qualifications.
The City Judiciary.-In cities of the third class, justices of the peace are called aldermen. Each ward is entitled to elect one alderman, who shall have the powers and jurisdiction of a justice of the peace. He is commissioned by the Governor for a term of six years, and must have resided within the ward for one year next preceding his election. Appeals may be taken from the decision of the alderman's court to the county court of common pleas. The work of the alderman is much greater than that of a justice of the peace in a borough or township, and the office is much more remunerative. The mayor is ex officio a justice of the peace, and his court having jurisdiction over minor criminal offenses is the most characteristic feature of the city judicial system. His civil jurisdiction deals only with violations of the city ordinances and the laws of the Commonwealth relating to cities. He can administer oaths, take acknowledgments of written instruments, and solemnize marriages. Important city cases belong to the jurisdiction of the county courts.
The City Constables: The Police.—The voters in each ward, in cities of the second and third classes, elect a properly qualified person for constable, to serve for four years. Policemen are ex officio constables of the city, and shall and may without warrant and upon view arrest and commit for hearing any persons guilty of disorderly conduct, or unlawful acts imperiling the personal security or endangering the lives of the citizens, or violating any of the city ordinances which impose fine or penalty. The mayor must exercise constant control and supervision over the police, and hear and determine all complaints against them in the discharge of their duties. He appoints the chief of police and the other officers.
Board of Health.-In any city of the third class councils may create a board of health consisting of five members, two of whom must be practicing physicians. The members are appointed, one annually, for a term of five years, by the mayor by advice and consent of the select council. The board issues licenses to plumbers, and attends to the general sanitation of the city.
The Fire Marshal.—A fire marshal may be appointed by the mayor for a term of two years. His duties relate to the examination into the causes of fire, and means for prevention. The chief of the fire department, or the chief of police may be made fire marshal ex officio.
Water and Lighting Department.—Councils may also create a department dealing with the water supply and lighting of the city. It consists of three commissioners, elected one annually by the councils in joint session, and the term of office is three years. They make an annual report to the councils.
The City Engineer.—The councils elect, in joint session, a competent civil engineer to perform certain important duties. He has charge of the grading, repair, and opening of streets, and attends to such engineering matters as the city may undertake. A good city engineer may do much to render a city beautiful..
Board of Assessors.—The qualified electors of each city of the third class elect three persons, who must be resident voters and owners of real estate therein, to serve as city assessors for a term of four years. No two members of this board can be residents of the same ward. The assessors serve also as a board of revision and tax equalization.
Departments in Great Cities.—In great cities, like those of the first and second class, the practical work of administration is carried on by numerous departments, and there are many subordinate officers.
In Philadelphia, the mayor holds office for four years and is not eligible for the next succeeding term. He is the head of the executive branch of the government, which comprises four departments, namely: public safety, public works, supplies, and public health and charities. In general the chief officer of each department appoints his own subordi