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electorate, it must be submitted to the legislature and will become operative if that body fails to disapprove it.
Apparently nothing of an essential character was added by the New York convention to the home-rule principles that were already familiar.
Finally mention should be made of the recent suggestion that great metropolitan centers shall become separate states and in this way achieve completely and once for all a perfect degree of home rule.*
TENNESSEE NOTE.—Home rule for cities is a thing unknown in Ten' nessee. On the other hand, cities are held to be under the absolute control of the legislature. The constitution makes no mention of them except to authorize the legislature to vest jurisdiction in "corporation courts” and to regulate the finances of incorporated towns and authorize for them additional justices of the peace. The clause providing that no “corporation” shall be created by special laws is held not to apply to municipal corporations. In practice every city of any importance has a' charter granted by special enactment and usually amended at every session of the legislature. Provision has been made, however, under general laws, whereby any part of a county not already incorporated may become so on petition of "any number of legal voters over fourteen" ratified by two-thirds of the legal voters of the territory involved.*
*Brooks, R. C., Metropolitan Free Cities, 30 Political Science Quarterly, 222. "Luehrman v. Taring Dist., 70 Tenn., 425. OVI, 1; II, 29; VI, 15. ?Williams v. Nashville, 89 Tenn., 487. *Shannon's Code, 1881, seq.; concerning taxing districts, see 1998, seq.
TYPES OF City GOVERNMENT."
A municipal charter in whatsoever manner framed, bears 276.
The City the same relation to the city that a constitution bears to the Charter. state. It is the city's organic law, its grant of governmental autbority from the people of the state or their representatives in the legislature; and it determines the type of governmental organization which the city must accept. Notwithstanding the fact, therefore, that only two constitutionsin any way dictate features of the framework of government which the sub-constitutions or city charters must set up, a study of the state constitutions may well include brief mention of the chief differences between the common types of municipal government. These are known respectively as the council, the commission and the city manager plans of municipal government.
The constitutions of the states are copious, if not generous, in their attention to cities, and the legislatures' freedom of Constitutions action in dealing with them, irrespective of home-rule provi- Government. sions, is consequently not a little abridged. Detailed mandates concerning the city officers, notably such items as their election, qualifications and removal, concerning the city finances, especially minute restrictions relating to municipal indebtedness, and concerning franchises and other matters relating to public utilities occur with great frequency. But they by no means exhaust the varied and miscellaneous provisions which peculiar experience or the whims of constitution-makers have dictated. The last-mentioned clauses include, among others, prohibitions
1General References : Munro, W. B., Gorernment of American Cities : Gorernment of European Cities : Fairlie, Jno. A.. Municipal Administration : Commission Government for Cities, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 38, pp. 671, seq. (1911); Robbins, E. (lyde. (Compiler) Com mim 8sion Plan of Municipal Government; Bradford. E. S.. Comin ission Gouernment in American Cities ; Toulmin, H, A., Jr., The City Manager: A New Profession.
2Md., Va. . An interesting, though not typical, example is the Kentucky (160) clause forbidding the chief executive officer and officers whose chief duty is the collection and holding of public moneys to be eligible for a succeeding term in cities of the first and second class.
By far the most numerous of the constitutional restrictions, see, e. g., Ala., IV, 94, XII, 222, 225, 226; Cal., XI, 13/2, 18.
of stockholding by cities in private corporations, and provisions relating to franchises and to the regulation and ownerships of public utilities. Even the briefest mention of them is beyond the scope of these pages.
The Maryland constitution, however, by requiring for Baltimore, and that of Virginia, by requiring for cities generally, the continuation of the council as the legislative organ of the city, touch directly upon the subject of the present chapter and may well introduce its discussion of the council plan of city government. Both constitutions require that the council shall consist of two houses, but Virginia authorizes the general assembly to permit one house in cities of ten thousand inhabitants and under and also to establish, with the consent of the city concerned, other forms of governmental organization. Considerable detail relative to various associated matters is given, but nothing else that is unique among the constitutions.
Until within the last decade, municipal government in the United States was almost without exception conducted by a mayor and council. In early days the council was the only governing body: the mayor, according to the English system copied in the colonies, was simply the presiding officer, "a chief colleague among the councilmen.”3 Usually he was chosen by them
278. The Mayor and Council.
5e. 9., Ark., XII, 5; Miss., VII, 183 ; Tenn., II, 29; Va., XVIII, 185.
?Ariz., XV, 3; Cal., XII, 23; XIV, 1; Ky., 199; Okla., IX, 18: Va., VIII, 125 ; XII, 156b. See, also, Cal., XI, 19; Okla., XVIII, 7.
Cal.. XII. 23a : (olo., XX, 1: Mich., VIII. 23, 25; S. C.. 125. The Michigan authorization, to be subject to three-fifths vote of electors, is as follows: "Any city or village may acquire, own, establish and maintain, either within or without its corporate limits, parks, boulevards, cemeteries, hospitals. almshouses and all works which involve the public health or safety."
The same constitution also provides (VIII, 22) that “subject to the provi. sions of this constitution, any city or village may acquire, own and operate, either within or without its corporate limits, public utilities for supplying water, light. heat, power and transportation to the municipality and the inhabitants thereof : and may also sell and deliver water, heat, power and light without its corporate limits to an amount not to exceed twenty-five per cent. of that furnished by it within the corporate limits; and may operate transportation lines without the municipality within such lines as may be prescribed by law: Provided. That the right to own or operate transportation facilities shall not extend to any city or village of less than twenty-five thousand inhabitants."
See, also,--Ariz., XIII, 5; Cal., XI, 19; 0., XVIII, 4, 5, 6, 14 ; Okla., XVIII, 6. Concerning water supply.--La., 313, 314, 316; N. Y., VII, 7; Utah. XI. 6: Wyo., XIII, 5.
For discussion of almost every phase of the relationship between cities and public utilities, see the Proceedings of the Conference of American Mayors on Public Policies a8 to Municipal Utilities. Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, LVII, Jan., 1915.
1X1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9; XI-A, 3.
from their own number or appointed by the governor; only irregularly, in the smaller places, was he chosen by the people. Usually councillors were popularly elected, but in a few the council was self-perpetuating. Its duties were legislative, executive and judicial, of which the last were, curiously enough, most important.
After the revolution and the adoption of the federal constitution, the influence of the national organization with its bicameral legislature and its principle of separated powers began to make itself felt in city charters as well as state constitutions. A council of two houses became the general rule. The mayor gradually came to be a distinct organ of government, and, like the councillors, a popularly elected official. As early as 1796 the mayor of Baltimore was given the veto power and by the middle of the nineteenth century the mayor's power had grown so as fairly to balance that of the council. The latter, however, continued its legislative functions and, through its committees, directed the administration of the city. It had grown also in power and was at the summit of its influence, so that "counciliar supremacy” was typical of the times. Then came the administrative breakdown caused by the increasing complexity of municipal affairs and the declining caliber of the councilmen. The state legislatures intervened; popularly elected—or even state-appointed-administrative officers were introduced and the mayor forged ahead as the most important factor in municipal government. The degree of his predominance, however, varied greatly among the individual cities. The appointment of administrative officers has gradually been left more and more to the mayor and he has come to be the recognized administrative manager of municipal affairs. Meanwhile, the council in the majority of the cities has become unicameral again, but this simplification appears to have had little if any effect upon the proportion of governmental power which it exercises. Councilmen are usually elected to represent individual wards. Two large cities, Boston and San Francisco, however, have general tickets and a combination of the two methods is sometimes used when the council is bicameral.
As a type of government the mayor and council plan must be considered simply as a reflex of the political organization of
279. Early Com
the states and the nation. The advantages claimed for the system of checks and balances, namely, that it prevents high-handedness in the formation and execution of policy are obviously of diminished importance in a government whose policies are practically all determined by organic law or popular decision upon individual questions. This is the case in the cities of today and their governmental functions are, consequently, character. istically administrative in nature.
Born of imitation, not of reason or experience, the mayor and
council governments have signally broken down in several inmission Gov. stances of municipal crisis. Thus in New Orleans, as a result
of the war and reconstruction, municipal affairs became so intolerable that, in 1870, their administration was placed under the control of a mayor and seven commissioners,* and remained so until 1882, when the council plan was readopted. Mobile and Selma, Alabama passed through a similar experience a little later.
In 1879 Memphis, as a result of a succession of yellow fever epidemics, had become impoverished and greatly depopulated. The number of its inhabitants had, indeed, declined some seventeen per cent. in the previous decade, and the city had accumulated a debt equal to nearly one-third of the value of its taxable property. In place of the existing municipal corporation, the taxing district of Shelby County was created and its government entrusted to a board of public works consisting of five members and to a governing council of three. The latter managed the affairs of the city until 1891. Sanitary conditions improved, a new water supply was obtained, streets were repaved and population nearly doubled during the next ten years. Never. theless, like its predecessors, this instance of commission gov. ernment proved ahead of its time and did not recommend itself for permanent adoption.
The Galveston commission government of 1901, however, 280. which was formed to restore the city from the ravages of the
tidal wave disaster of the previous year, inaugurated a movement that has, during the last few years, established a new type
Galveston and Des Moines.
*This, it should be noted. was several years before Congress established commission government in the District of Columbia (1878).
"Scroggs, Wm. O., Commission Government in the South, Annals, Vol. 38, pp. 682, seq.
Acts of Tenn., 1879, ch. XI.