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Los Angeles herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1900-1911, January 04, 1910, Image 6

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Municipal Affairs of Los Angeles in Hands of Good Government Forces
Chairman of Committee That Handled;
Cash Tells How Los Angeles
Came to Have Bal.
ance on Hand
WITH half a million dollars to
supply the wants of the munic
ipality for the rest of the fiscal
year, and until next year's taxes are
available, the new city council comes
Into office in better shape than any
previous council. Never before has tln>
city treasury shown such an abundant
amount of cash on hand for a new
council to handle, and candid members
of the council and other city officials
give the chief credit for this state of
affairs to A. J. Wallace, chairman of
the finance committee, who has clone
wonders with the resources of the city.
Only the finance committee and the
city auditor even knew of the exist
ence of this reserve fund, for It VU
known that if some members of the
council had an idea there was any
money in the treasury the balance
would not be as large.
Councilman Wallace and Auditor
Mushet both had reports to submit on
this matter, and both reports were
submitted with some pride. In his re
port Mr. Wallace reviewed the situa
tion as the council had found it when
it went into office. He said, in part:
Finance Committee Report
"Previous to the election of this
council in IM6, the public press and tbe
civic bodies of Los Angeles had frotn
time to time indulged in criticism of
the financial methods of the city. Some
of them contended that the city's
necessary permanent improvements,
such as bridges and fire eugine houses,
should be paid out of the tax fund in
stead of out of bond money, as was
usual. Others found fault with the
deplorable condition in which the city
found itself at the opening of each
fiscal year, when it was unable to meet
Its current expense bills for a period
nf several months until the tax col
lections of November were made.
"The fiscal year of this city and the
calendar year do not coincide. The
term of councilman harmonizes with
the calendar year, but it begins and
it ends in the middle of the fiscal year.
"This is not the end of a city year,
but it is the end of this council's ad
ministration, and therefore a resume
ol financial condition is desirable.
When the present council had been in
office six months, and had reached the
end of the fiscal year that its predeces
sors had begun, it was faced with the
following facts: There were several
continuing contracts callng for large
payments, such as firehouse, lot and
incinerator purchases. Additional to
these and much more serious was the
condition of the outfall sewer fund.
The work was Incomplete and the
bond moneys voted for its construction
were exhausted. The old sewer by its
repeated breaks was a source of dam-1
ige and a constant menace, and more
than half the city was entirely without
sewer connection.
"We decided that $500,000 was needed
for that purpose, but with the out
fall sewer depleting the treasury that |
amount could not come out of the first;
year's revenues without crippling the I
city's business. So the aim was to lay
up $250,000 during the first year. This
■was accomplished and from June to
November of 1908 all wages and sal
aries were regularly paid, but contract
payments and merchandise bills had
to be postponed till the new taxes came
into the treasury.
Tax Brought Relief
"This $200,000 was in effect a loan
from a reserve fund and was divided
amongst the various departments "ii
July 1 to meet their necessities until
the November tax payments brought
relief, at which time it was returned
to the reserve fund. Then between
that June of 1908 and the following
June of 1909 a further sum of $250,000
was saved and added to this reserve,
making a total of $500,000. This half
million dollars, with the current in
come from licenses, etc., enabled us
to pay all bills during the four finan
cially dry months that ended sixty
diixs ngo on November 1.
"The amounts expended for material
mid permanent improvements during
the three years of this administration
deserve consideration. The chief items
are bridges, real estate acquired for
future public buildings and tire houses
with equipments. For these purposes
this council has made an average ex
penditure of about $500,000 each year.
This has been done out of regular tax
funds and without the use of any bond
money. The charter allows a levy of
ono dollar and our council made it
?!i cents. This grew out of the trans
fer this year from the city to the coun
ty of all responsibility for school funds.
This relieved the city of 15 cents on
the one dollar but added that much
to the county and so brought no relief
to the taxpayer. It simply means that
an 85-cent rate now is as heavy for
the taxpayer as a 100-cent rate was
in previous years, and you will agree
with me that hereafter the sr>-eent l^vy
should be as strictly adhered to as the
100-eent levy formerly was.
"This report shows that our suc
cessors in office begin their public
business $800,000 better off than we
were three years ago, but it by no
means follows that we have done any
thing remarkable, unless it be remark
able in the transaction of public af
fairs to use ordinary business pru
"To this city congratulation that its
funds are in as good condition as here
indicated is tendered. To you nine men
who in half an hour begin your term
:is r.ouneilmen of Los Angeles, con
gratulation that enough of the tax
payers' money is turned over to you
to enable you to maintain the city's
c redlt until November, 1910."
In his report the auditor said:
Auditor Makes Report
■r deem it opportune and proper that
f should, as the city's fiscal agent,
make a plain statement concerning
financial matters to you at the close of
your administration, and through you
to the taxpayers.
"As you are aware, the charter of the
i it-.- of Los Angeles states that th<
iunt of tax that can be levied for
any one year for all municipal pun
shall not exceed $1 on each $100 worth
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of taxable property, and In addition
thereto whatever Is necessary for the
payment of interest on and the re
demption of outstanding bonds. Dur
ing- the three years immediately pre
ceding your administration hundreds
of thousands of dollars had been di
verted from interest and sinking funds
and used for expense purposes. ]n
this way consieruble more than $1 on
each $100 worth of taxable property
was levied, collected and used im
"This administration has not been
guilty of any such action: In fact dur
ing your first year in office it was
necessary for you to provide money out
of your expense account to take care
Of interest and sinking fund payments,
on account of the depleted condition in
which yon found them.
"You have always levied within the
dollar limit for expenses, even when
providing money for schools, and now
that school funds arc raised by state
and county tax only you have reduced
the rate for expense purposes to 85
cents of each $lmi assi Bsed valuation,
whereas you might have levied an ex
pense tax of $1 and still have been
within, your legal rights.
"It is to be hoped that the pr<
you haw established in this regard
will not be ignored by future councils.
"When you took office in January.
1907, the general expense or contingent
fund had been practically* exhausted
by the previous council, whereas you
have a balance of over $80,000 in cash
in that fund. Indeed, the balance is
even greater, for part of the calls on
the fund provided for by the resolu
tions passed during the last six months
Will not be needed during the present
fiscal year. This is invariably the case.
In fact, during the first half of this
fiscal year you loaned out of this gen
eral fund about $15,000 to the opening
and widening of streets fund, which,
of course, will eventually come back
into the general expense fund and aug
ment tills cash balance of jsn.ooo.
"Again, the heavy draft on the gen
eral expense fund is always more dur
ing the first half of the year than the
last half. Take the last fiscal year aa
an example: Of an expenditure o
over $200,000 from the expense fund
$135,000 was authorized during the first
half of the year and $65,000 during the
last half.
"On this basis $SO,OOO in the genera
expense fund at this time gives the
new council the benefit of over J1.'.000
more than you had for the correspond
ing period last fiscal year.
Pay Large Deficit
"On July 1, 1907, at the time of mak
ing up your first budget, you discov
ered that there was a practical deficit
Of some $280,000 in the outfall sewer
fund. Since it required that amount n
: addition to $1,000,000 bond issue raisei
for the outfall sewer, this amount hai
to be provided for out of the tax funds
"This council found a depleted ex
pense fund and practically a deficit of
$80,000. It turns over to the new coun
cil a very generous balance in cash In
the expense fund and a reserve fund in
cash of over $500,000. This fund, if the
same care and economy is used by the
incoming council, will again approxi
mate $500,000 by the end of this fiscal
"But this is not all—not even the
belt part of the story. During the past
three years you have constantly re
fused to sanction the issuance of bonds
for any purpose whatsoever (except
the $23,000,000 Owens river bonds, (al
though you have been importuned time
and again to do so. for (ewers, bridges,
engine houses and similar improve
ments. Instead, you have saved out of
the taxes levied fur current expenses
enough to do :i!l these things; in fact,
during the lasi threp years there has
been set aside for outlays—that is, for
expenditures for which there is si
thing to show—amounts approximating
one and one-half million dollars.
"This has been done without the jug
gling of funds or the improper use of
money raised for the retirement of
"I cannot let this opportunity pass
without the expression of my sincere
appreciation to this council and to its
committees for their uniform kindness
to me personally, nnd for the confi
dence and help which they have so
often extended to me."
The public utilities commission made
its first nport to the council yester
day. In its report the commission
asked that the council provide it with
rooms In which to hold its meetings,
and stated that until such rooms could
be provided It had secured room 508
in the Lissner block as a meeting
place. Til.' new council was Intrust
ed with the duty of providing pi rma
nent quarters for this commission. A
suite of rooms in the Temple block
will probably be selected, as there is
no room in the city hall.
Following the adjournment of the
council yesterday, President Pease led
all the members of the retiring body
to Levy's, where in a private dining
room he entertained them a t a well ap
polnted luncheon, xo speeches
made, but there was a (low of good
spirits and an underlying current of
regret, for those nine men had shoul
dered heavy responsibilities together
for three rears, and they realize,! it
was probabl) the last time they would
ever be together.
The AnKn: .9 him excellent serv
ice and better food. Fourth and Surln*.
Says Grave Responsibility Rests on
Those Who Have Been Chosen
by Good Government
(Continued from Par* On«)
tunate, as under our present system
the councilmen cannot Rive all their
time to the affairs of the city. I would
recommend to the new council that
they carefully consider an amendment,
to the charter providing for the election
nf councilmen for four years, as nearly
half the number going out every two
years as possible, so there will be some
need men to help the new ones.
Th.> pay of the councilmen ihould h
increased to about $300 a month and
the council should be organized on the
same plan as the board of public
works, constantly at work In the city's
Councilman Blanchard was called
for, and actually made a speech of
about a minute and a half, which
breaks every record for "Pop." He
declared he had never learned to be
a speech maker, as he had never had
a chance to practice, becausp Wallace
and Dromgold took up all the time.
Must Carve Own Way
Judge John D. Works of the new
council responded to the welcomes in a
short speech.
"This is no time for speech-making,
said J'.kllt*- Works. "You people have
done something, but we have not yet
accomplished anything to boast about.
We come into the council under pecu
liar conditions. We are nine wholly
Inexperienced, untried men. In the
past there has always been some one
left over to give the new men the ben
efit of their experience, but we must
carve our own way alone, We feel
keenly the responsibilities falling on
us nn your retirement. All we can say
is we will do the best we can. We con
gratulate you on laying down the
cares and responsibilities we are called
to take up. and in so far as you have
set us good examples we will be glad
to follow."
Councilman-elect W. J. Washburn
"There never has been a time in the
"History of this city when so many
nffairs demand mature deliberation.
Every dollar must be made to go as
far as possible and every employe of
the city will be expected to do his-full
Mayor to Submit Message
Mayor Alexander was sitting at the
right hand of President T"ase and he
was called on for a- few remarks.
"What I -have to say to the new
council I will say in a message to
morrow." said the mayor. "To the old
council I will say we have not alv
agreed, but we had got along well.
We 'vill have to practice economy and
exercise careful judgment in the future.
Bui v.ilii'- practicing economy our pub-
He buildings should be of the besl and
our bridges should be concrete. By the
end of this administration T want to
see the city occupying a new city hall.
"We must carry out the promises
we have made to the people on tic
harbor and the development of the
Owens river power, l as satisfied these
two projects are in safe hands, one
of th" first appointments T will make
will be the reappolntment of Mr. Hul.
bard to the board of publls works.
That means Bill Mulholland and the
nst of them.
"We m ist give this city a good ad
ministration. Providence h;is placed
us here for that purpose, We have
the best, people in the world in Los
Angeles, and we must give them good
It was a happy little spec. h thai
President Peaie made after all the
others had expressed their views. The
remark with which he concluded his
short address probably will not be
forgott " for sometime as it was easi
ly the hit of the occasion.
"A hard struggle ha;: been required,"
■aid the ri tiring president, "to bring
the city's unancea to their pi
pood condition. We have accomplished
re "Its of which any council might
be proud. » have endeavored, as presl
v- la, to treat the cottncllmen in a
manner that would encourage them to
do their best. We hftve had n<- quar
rels, no deadlock*, no retail.
Volume of Business Great
"A greater volume of business has
passed through this council than any
other .Tunril in the same length of
time and it has been business that h:in
required careful deliberations and
sound judKment.
"T wish to thank the councilman I'm
their uniform courtesy to me. I would
thank the clerk, who has been
all that a clerk should he and
of the most valuable members of this
body, r would thank the reporter*.
They have nid some things in thatr
papers, that have not always been
kind, hut I hay« paid but little atten
tion to them.
■•Hut shove all I am thankful we
are fining out in the natural way, by
the expiration of our terms."
When the good-natured laughter
that followed the president's veiled al
lusion to the recall the members of
the outgoing council has escaped had
subsided, Councilman Dromgold moved
the council adjourn sine die, and at
11:68 yesterday morning the old coun
cil passed out of existence.
At noon H. J. Lelande, city clerk,
called the new council to crder. The
members of the new council had sat
beside the members of the outgoing
body all through the last session of
the old council and as soon as the
new was called to order they took
their seats according- to the alphabeti
cal arrangement of their names. .1. J.
Andrews, Martin Betkouskl, Miles S.
Oregory, R. M. Lusk. T. L. O'Brien,
Richmond Plant, W. .1. Washburn,
George Williams and John D. Works
Is the rollcall of the new council.
New Council Organized
The city clerk acted as temporary
chairman and opened nominations for
president of the council. K. M. Lusk
placed the name of Judge Works in
nomination, speaking of his services
on the superior and supreme benches
and of his record in the army. This
nomination was seconded by J. J. An
drews and as there were no other
nominations the clerk was instructed
to cast the unanimous ballot of the
council for Judge Works for presi
dent. Lusk and Andrews were ap
pointed a committee to escort Judge
Works to the chair. When he had as
sumed the presidency Judge .Works
Gentlemen: I thank you for the
honor you have conferred upon me
in making me the president of this
council. I will endeavor, as your
presiding- officer, to maintain and
enforce the rules of the council,
but with fairness and impartialty
and a just appreciation of the
rights of each member and of the
I hope and expect each of you
to assist and support me in the
effort to make this a dignified and
orderly deliberate body, worthy
of the respect and confidence of
the people by whom we have been
placed in office, and all others har
ing business with us.
The city lias the right to expect
this of us. and I sincerely hope
that this expectation may not be
The city has a right to expect
much more of us than this.
Good Government Promised
We have been elected to office by
the. of our fellow citizens who
stand for good, clean, economical
and efficient government. They
have been promised in advance
that the new administration of city
affairs now coming into power will
give the city such a government.
It is a grave responsibility.
The city has great interests at
Corner Third and Spring Streets, Douglas Building
Men's Suits
Regular $18 and $15 Values
We have a large assortment to select from. These high-grade suits are
all from our own lines, marked to sell as high as $18
See Our 235 Feet of Show Windows
Sl<t\r>nnl Slnlr> this week of broken lines of Men's Shirts— PJ CSs*
special >3aie resuiar si.SOand 51.25 values, allsizes. for JOC
stake. The principles of good rov
ernmeht, for which we have been
and are still contending, are of vi
tal importance to the people. We
are confronted with conditions that
must be overcome if we are to
make good our pre-election
This city has been under misrule
for many years. The offices are
tilled with employes selected by fa
vor, and often at the behest „i a
corrupt and unprincipled political
machine, and not upon their merits
or qualifications for the positions
to which they have been appointed.
Many of them are competent men
and under right Influences will
make good public servants.
Under Machine Rule
Some of the officers re-elected a 1
the last election have grown accus
tomed to conduct their offices In
the extravagant manner charac
teristic of the controlling influence
of i iiy affairs under machine rule.
Unless they are able and willing
to rise above the pernicious en
vironments and influences of tlte
past and conduct their offices In a
businesslike and economical way
our work will be. made much more
If they can once be assured that
they are absolutely free to choose
whom they please to serve under
them except as restrained by civil
service rules, without interference
or dictation on the part of any
other public officer, or any politi
cian or political or other organiza
tion, their work will be made eas
ier and they should be held to
strict accountability for the con
duct of their offices. They should
—and I am sure they will—have
the earnest support and encour
agement of this council in every
effort to elevate the public service.
It might reasonably have been
expected that the civil service
commission would supply better
men and insure better service In
the conduct of the city's affairs.
But, like every other department
of the city, it has, in great part,
been the product of the political
machine and under its Influence.
It has not been a success, and
never will be until it is entirely
free from such influences and is
composed of men who will con
duct the examinations it is called
upon to make without fear or fa
vor and with the sole object of se
curing as competent and reliable
employes for the city as they
would If selecting men to conduct
their own business. ,
1 hope and trust that this coun
cil will, in so far as its power and
duty extends, inquire strictly into
the present condition of the city's
affairs and Its offices, and expose
and eradicate as far as possible all
the evil Influences and Improper
methods of which the people have
a right to complain. In doing this
work we should know no friends,
hut look alone to the best interests
of the- city we have been chosen
to represent.
There is much complaint of ex
travagance and corruption in the
public service.
These complaints are not with
out foundation, as we know to our
Expose Corruption
corruption should be exposed,
eradicated and punished swiftly
and unsparingly. Economy of the
right sort should he established
and maintained with unwavering
firmness in every department of
the i-iiy. Bui we must bo watch
ful that this dc>".-» not Had us Into
false economy. This is a growing
and progressive city.
The city government must keep
Step with its progress and not hin
der or retard its growth by a par
simonious or niggardly conduct of
its affairs. We should see that the
city has enough competent and re
liable officials and employes to
conduct its business promptly and
efficiently, that they perform their
duties with llilelity and industry,
and that they are paid reasonable
and just compensation for the serv
ices they render. But no surplus
age of officers or employes should
be allowed,
No man should be allowed to
remain in the service because he
is some cither man's relative or
friend, and no inefficient or Irre
sponsible employe should be paid
the compensation due to one who
is capable of and is actually doing
good service.
What is saiil Of employes should
apply to everything that the city
has to pay for. Reasonable and
.just compensation should be paid
for that which is good, and noth
ing else should be accepted or tol
The duty we owe to the city In
preserving its morals and suppress
ing vice In all its forms should
not be overlooked, now or at any
time while we remain in the public
service. It Is one of the most dif
ficult problems with which we will
be railed Upon to deal. [t BhOUld
be our purpose to deal with it just
ly, humanely and not unreason
ably and radically.
We cannot suppress evil, all at
once, by penal ordlnan'ces.
It is largely a question of edu
cation and regeneration, and i-- the
work, not of this council alone, but
of the whole people.
It is not a work of fanatics, but
of reasonable, conservative men
and women, who can extend their
sympathies to tha victims of evil
while trying to overcome the rvil
it- ir.
'lii this end We have the right to
eaii for the sympathetic help and
support of the good men and wo
men of the city to aid us in the
elevation of the murals and civic
righteousness or the city. We have
Topham Is Holdover, and Three Other
Appointees Are Noted for Dili.
gence in Good Govern.
ment Work
! John Topliam.
A. V Davidson,
• ii.nir-. Wellborn,
I*. M. johwMm.
1 ..-
I Mayor Alexander yesterday an
: nounced the names of his new police
• commissioner. They are John Top
ham, A. N. Davidson, Charles Well
, bom nnd P. M, Johnson.
I Topham is the only holdover from
j the police commission that wag ap
] pointed by .Mayor Alexander when he
| first took office. Topham has been
one of the hardest workers who ever
Bat on any of the city commissions and
is the terror of evildoers in the liquor
A. x. Davidson is a well known real
estate man who operates on- a large
scale. The rapid development of the
western part of the city has been large
ly due to his efforts.
Charles Wellborn is a son, of Judge
Wellborn and although a young man
is a prominent attorney.
P. M. Johnson has been active In
Good Government work. He is a real
estate and oil operator and is a brother
of O. T. Johnson, who was a member
of McAleer's police commission.
There are three members of the park
commission to name and one member
of the lire commission, mid the mayor
expects to announce some more ap
pointments today. He will send them
to the new council for confirmation.
The first meeting of the new commis
sion will be held Wednesday night.
voluntarily taken upon ourselves
great responsibilities.
It is for us to meet those re
sponsibilities unflinchingly, courag
eously and with the firm purpose
of giving the city the very best
service that lies within us.
To render such service will call
for watchfulness, integrity and
promptness on our part. Watch
fulness to protect the city's Inter
ests, integrity of purpose in the
administration of its affairs and
promptness in the performance of
our duties. To be late at the meet
ings of the council or of commit
tees is a breach of duty to the city,
a violation of the rules of the
council and an injustice to mem
bers that are prompt in attendance.
I shall expect every member to
be in his seat at the time appointed
to call the council to order, and
that they will aid me in every way
in the dispatch of all business that
may come before us: and I am
sure, from my knowledge of the
members of the council, that I
shall not be disappointed.
Councilman T.usk reported the rules
the new council bad prepared. The
most important change from the old
rules is that the council will meet at
9 o'clock in the morning- Instead of 10
O'clock, and that they will be there on
time. This rule cannot be effective
at the meeting today and the council
will meet at 10 o'clock as usual be
cause there is an ordinance in force
fixing the meeting time for the council
at 10 o'clock. The new council yes
terday instructed the city attorney to
present an ordinance this morning
changing the meeting time to 10
Committees Announced
Following the adoption of the rules
President Works announced his coun
cil commit They are as follows:
—Washburn, Andrews, Wil
Public buildings— Betkouski, Lusk,
Plant. Andrews. O'Brien.
Sewers—Plant, Williams, OBrlen.
Fire and water —Andrews, Betkouski,
Boulevard*—Gregory, O'Brien, Plant,
Williams, Lusk.
Land— Lusk. Betkouski. O'Brien.
Supplies Williams, Andrews, plant.
Legislation—Lusk, Andrews, Wil
Gas and -Plant, Betkouski,
Water supply—Andrews', I.ask, Greg
Bridge*— O'Brien, Andrews, fJrogory.

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