In reply to your letter of [date not given] I make the following suggestions, in connection with the proposed revision of the City Charter.
It is my judgment based upon some years' experience in the Mayor's office, that the Mayor should be ex-officio a member of all unpaid or paid Commissions connected with the Municipal Government. I name in part the Water Board, Harbor Board, Board of Public School Commissioners, Board of Fire Commissioners, Jail Board and Board of Public Park Commissioners. These Boards expend, subject to approval of the Board of Estimates and Ordinances enacted by the Mayor and City Council, annually large sums of public money---at least the Boards suggest and recommend these expenditures. The Executive Head of the Municipality necessarily realizes the result of such expenditures on the tax rate. His presence, therefore, on these Boards would not only give him the necessary information for these recommendations, but would undoubtedly have a restraining influence thereon. The Mayor, whether justly or not, is in a large measure held responsible by the people and taxpayers for the amount of the tax rate. If it is increased he is charged with being in a measure responsible for the increase, if decreased he is credited with being the cause of the decrease.
The Mayor is supposed to know what are the requirements of the City Government, [sic] To have this knowledge it is essential that he should participate in the discussion of the members of these respective Boards, and have a vote upon the questions on which their recommendations are based; in no other way can he acquire that knowledge which the public expect him to have. In part it is my judgment, treating the Mayor unjustly in not giving him a voice in framing the recommendations for proposed expenditures and a vote upon their adoption.
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