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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

of the chairman of the body, let him be called mayor, chair-
man of the quarter sessions, or by whatever other title. He
occupies in the locality a position analogous to that of the.
prime minister in the state, and under a well organized sys-
tem the appointment and watching of the local officers would
be the most important part of his duty; he himself [on the
English plan] being appointed by the council from its own
number, subject either to annual re-election or to removal by
a vote of the body." Agreeing with these views in general,
we have only to ask whether election by the people ought to
create a mayor less or more likely to make faithful appoint-
ments than one chosen by a council out of their number.
As far as I can see, such a man would make bargains with
his colleagues on condition of being elected, and each of
these would have his hangers-on to be provided with city
offices, while a mayor chosen by direct vote of the commu-
nity would be less open to such influences. But such direct
election is far from being satisfactory.
7* The questions touching the government of scattered,
Government inm- especially rural communities, are much less
rdcommunities. Difficult of solution than those relating to cities
and boroughs. There, every man who would be put forward
for election as a " selectman " or a " supervisor/' or on tbe
various school or other boards, is known through the town-
ship ; the duties are discharged for a small salary or gratui-
tously ; the spirit of the place demands- economy in all out-
lays ; there are generally no large funds to be kept or em-
bezzled ; it is a matter of prime interest that taxes shall be
brought down to as low a point as possible ; the police, the
school arrangements, provision for the poor, for roads and
bridges, are on a settled system; so that the town goes on
from year to year with little change. In consequence of this,
the habits of an agricultural town are conservative, often to
an extreme. It ought to be that such a community is far
more competent to manage its affairs thaa a municipality is ;