the Act, in twenty states, most of the petitioners being special districts and authorities.

The state concurrence idea was included to prevent overthrow of the "balance" between federal and state sovereignties, since this federal statute dealt with the local political creatures of the state. The majority court opinion cited the violation of state sovereignty as one of its objections, contending that such rights could not be surrendered, even voluntarily, as provided in the Act. But the federal constitution specifically forbids any state to pass a "law impairing the obligation of contracts," a provision which makes it necessary for the federal government to sponsor legal relief from onerous municipal obligations.20

Considerable opinion felt that, in spite of the court decision, some such relief plan should be on the federal statute books, with the result that an amended act,21 to meet court objections, was approved on August 16, 1937, to remain in effect for the filing of petitions until July 1940. The technical provisions of the new Act are not materially changed. The important state relationship is covered as follows:

Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to limit or impair the power of any State to control, by legislation or otherwise, any municipality or any political subdivision of or in such state in the exercise of its political or governmental powers, including expenditures therefor.

The first case under the new Act was decided in April 1938, upholding its constitutionality by a seven-to-two decision, as the result of an appeal from the plan of settlement worked out for one of California's irrigation districts.22


CONCLUSIONS

It seems reasonable that municipal activities will increase in number and intensity with expanding social demands, necessitating increased expenditures both absolutely and on a per capita basis. We are led, therefore, to the conclusion that there will be a gradual increase in city debts, or an even greater increase in the tax rate, if improvements are financed on a pay-as- you-go plan. The probability is that comparatively few cities will stay on such a basis, while the great majority will adopt a combined borrowing and tax policy for permanent improvements.

If these predictions are correct, we will have an ever-increasing need for wise financial policies. The basis of a wise policy is a plan, and physical improvement programs must be the foundation for correct financial planning.

____________________
20
Art. 1. Section 10, par. 1.
21
Public No. 302, 75th Congress, H.R. 5969.
22
82 U.S. 751. Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation District v. Milo W. Beakins, Trustee.

-174-

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City Management
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Illustrations xix
  • 1 - The Changing City 1
  • 2 - Administrative Principles 22
  • 3 - The Civil Service 49
  • 4 - Personnel Management 70
  • 5 - Revenues and Taxation 95
  • 6 - Finance and Accounting 124
  • 7 - Expenditures and Debts 151
  • Conclusions 174
  • 8 - State Financial Supervision 176
  • Conclusions 194
  • 9 - Centralized Purchasing 199
  • 10 - Planning 226
  • 11 - Zoning 249
  • 12 - Slums and Housing 275
  • 13 - The Law Department 300
  • 14 - Public Health 319
  • 15 - Recreation and Parks 355
  • Conclusions 378
  • 16 - Public Welfare 383
  • 17 - Police Administration 412
  • 18 - Traffic. 449
  • 19 - Fire 477
  • 20 - Public Works 509
  • 21 - Streets 539
  • 22 - Public Utilities 566
  • 23 - Wastes 593
  • Conclusions 620
  • 24- Water 623
  • Conclusions 646
  • 25 - Courts 649
  • Conclusions 669
  • 26 - Education 673
  • 27 - Nominations and Elections 696
  • 28 - New Horizons 716
  • Index 747
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