OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 23, 1917, NOON EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-03-23/ed-1/seq-2/

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report is a grab, a steal in which the
people are going to get bunked as
they did in 1907.
The council transportation com
mittee, elected by the people to rep
resent the people, is pushing a bill,
dictated by traction, millionaires
through Walter Fisher, to take over
the streets for at least 30 years
longer.
When the 30 years is past, it is
very doubtful if the cityicould then
take over its car lines even if the
franchise gave it the right because
it would not have money enough.
The lines' have put it overmen the
city already under the 1907 fran
chise, which was supposed to give us
municipal ownership in 1927.
If we give them a further hold on
city streets we pass up public own
ership for practically forever, be
cause a fictitious increase in the
valuation of the car line properties
would place it beyond the power of
the city to buy them in 1957 when
the proposed franchise runs out.
The local transportation commit
tee and Walter Fisher are trying to
tell us what the people will need 30
years from now, when we don't know
how conditions wil change in five or
ten.
The whole scheme outlined by the
traction and subway commission is
theoretical and might be offset by a
hundred things in ten years.
The present franchise has ten
years more to run and by that time
the people will know how they feel
about a renewal.
There is no necessity for grant
ing of a franchise now. Enforcement
of the present ordinance and police
power of the city would make service
lood.
It costs only $50,000 a mile to build
street railways and we have only 100
miles of them in the Surface Lines.
That makes the cost of them $50,
000,000. But when we try to buy
the lines we are told that they are
worth $150,000,000.
He can't see where the extra $100,
000,000 comes in. ,
It's up to the council to stop the
advertisement of the stret car lines
if the people are paying 55 per cent. ,
of the bill as has been shown.
Mr. Haley announced that the
committee would hear from him
again .before long.but he urged the
council members to vote against the
Fisher bills next when they were-,
called up.
Tomaz Deuther, sec'y of the Chi
cago Federation, thinks the council
members are staying away from the
meetings of the local transportation
committee for a purpose. He thinks,
they don't know much about the
Fisher bills and that they don't want
to, for some reason.
Aldermen, therefore, got a letter
from Detither today, inviting them
to hear what they will be asked to
vote on next Monday night if the
bills are called up in the council. The
letter reads:
"Dear Aldermen: The Greater Chi
cago Federation will appear before
the' local transportation committee,
of the city council on Saturday,
March 24, 10:30 a.-m., and through'
able counsel, show up the program
which the interests are seeking to be
put over on the.people of Chicago, in
the name of home rule and municipal
ownership.
"We believe we have a strong case
and regardless of assertions which
appear in the daily papers, we think
we can show either duplicity or ig
norance by those who sponsor the
enabling bills now having public
hearings by the local transportation
committee.
"Are you interested in this impor
tant question? The reason we ask
this question is on account of the
very small number of aldermen
sometimes less than a' quorum of the
local transportation committee
who are attending the public hear
ings. You are well awarje that the
traction question has ever been a
thorn in the side of progress in Chi-

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