City Government by Commission

By Clinton Rogers Woodruff | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN COMMISSION GOVERNMENT

SIMPLICITY may very properly be regarded as the cornerstone of the commission form of municipal government. A concise, easily understood frame of government takes the place of a complicated one, or, what is worse still, a long series of conflicting, overlapping, often antiquated and usually complex, acts of assembly. The Des Moines charter covers twenty- three small pamphlet pages and contains about 9,100 words. Contrast this with ponderous tomes containing some so-called charters. The citizen of Des Moines can sit down and read his charter through at a single sitting. He does not have to consult a lawyer to interpret the meaning of its provisions. Ordinary intelligence will suffice for their understanding.

This contrast between simplicity and complexity is effectively illustrated by two cuts which appeared in The Toronto World.1

These charts show more graphically than words the present system of Toronto's city government and

____________________
1
October 9, 1910.

-21-

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