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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

INSTITUTIONS,  LOCAL AND SELF GOVERNMENTS.     3/5
subject to all the duties and having all the rights of commu-
nities known to the law as such. If it fails grossly to fulfil its
office, let the legislature, or the courts, on presentation of the
case, have power to disfranchise it, or in some way restrict the
exercise of its original powers. Occasions may arise when
the powers of action granted in the general charter are insuf-
ficient to meet the wants of the city. In that case a special
enabling act would be required to do the work in question
and raise the sum needed. This supposes that the city is to
undertake a work itself, which for certain kinds of works,
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as a great system of drainage or of introducing water,
might be found advisable. Or if the work be such that com-
panies could be formed by individuals, as in the case of street-
railroads, gas-works, or Water-supply, and the city did not
wish to do this at its own cost, by its consent and at its re-
quest such a work could be committed to private hands. In
all cases where a heavy outlay and somewhat uncertain return
are in prospect, it is far the best plan that either a large ma-
jority of the capital to be taxed should give its consent, or a
still larger portion of the inhabitants, or at least, if any con-
siderable amount of capital should be against it, the higher
authorities of the state should give their ultimate decision.
By no means ought municipal governments, as they are now
constituted and elected, to have a speedy, unchecked, and ulti-
mate action, where expenses for public buildings or for other
improvements or Works of art are to be incurred by the tax-
payers. The latter ought to have a right to obstruct such
things, until it can be made to appear that their opposition is
unreasonable.
i
a. In regard to the government of cities, we meet with diffi-
Difficuitiesmcity- culties which it would be out of place to discuss
government.          fort.    It is enough to say that these arise from
the want of a responsible head ; from carelessness in manage-
ment, by which embezzlement of city funds is made easy or
is easily hidden for a time ; by bringing party considerations
into the choice of all elected officers, and by universal suf-
frage, Our large cities are the hotbeds where caucuses man-