THE WINFIELD COURIER APRIL 14, 1881.
To the Honorable Council of the City of Winfield, Cowley county, Kansas.
Gentlemen: To the end that we may mutually understand the condition of our City affairs at the time when they are turned over to our care and management by our predecessors in office and be mutually and understandingly advised as to the obstacles and difficulties that we shall necessarily encounter in our endeavor to faithfully administer said affairs so as not to make them an unnecessary burden upon the people, and at the same time to be able to turn them over to our successors in office unencumbered by debt, I deem it my duty to submit this paper to your consideration.
Now that we are elected and installed, we are no longer the partisan candidates of any "ring," "clique," or "act," but as men, worthy of the honor conferred upon us, we are the servants of every man, woman, and child, resident in our little City, and as honest men, are bound to regard the rights of all, however humble or exalted their station among us. I hope that "equal and exact justice to all," and "a due regard to the right of protection to person and property to every individual citizen," may be the thought uppermost in the minds of us all, in the discharge of our several duties, at all times, during our relations as officers of this city.
The first and most serious obstacle that we shall encounter will be the question of a revenue with which to meet the necessary expenses incident to a faithful and prudent administration of the city government.
As you are all aware, the principal source of revenue of cities like ours, has been entirely and unalterably cut off by the adoption of the amendment, and the enactment of a law to enforce the same, so that we are now called upon to administer our affairs without that revenue, and are, as I look at it, bound to do so in the way and manner that will be least oppressive to the public.
Your clerk has kindly furnished me the following statement of the receipts, and expenditures for the year ending March 15th, 1881, with the amount on hand at the beginning of the year, namely on March 15th, 1880.
Amount on hand March 15, 1880 ............... 649.87
Total resources ........................ $3,969.98
Total expenditures ..................... 3,423.73
Balance: ......................... $ 545.25
NOTE: MAY HAVE SOME OF RECEIPT FIGURES
WRONG! HARD TO READ!
The above balance was the cash resources of the city on hand March 15th, 1881. The clerk also informs me that warrants against said amount have been issued by our predecessors since the 15th of March last, to such an amount as to now leave on hand in cash the sum of $104.18. The city also holds unpaid orders on the county treasurer for rent to the amount of $90.00; so that it may be said that we receive our trust unencumbered by debt, and with $194.16 in the treasury. A casual glance at the sources of revenue will disclose to you that from three items, namely, the saloons, druggists, and county treasurer, the city received $2,347.01, the balance of the revenue amounting to $973.30 coming from sources still open to us under the ordinances as they now exist.
It is perhaps hardly fair to assume that the receipts from the sources left will be as great this year as last, because I find on examination that the fines for the first quarter of last year amount to five times as much as they do for the fourth quarter, and is accounted for by the fact that during the first part of last year the last of our railroad building was being done, and every person will doubtless remember that the railroad builders were very liberal contributors to this fund. I suppose that with the saloons will also go out some of the billiard table licenses. The clerk, who is perhaps best able to estimate the income from the present sources, places it at about $635.00. Now "the nut we are expected to crack" is now to run this city on $600 or $700, when it cost $3,423.73 to maintain the city during the year last past, and do this without imposing enormous taxes on an already tax-burdened people.
Certainly radical and practical economy and retrenchment will be required to enable us to accomplish this result. It will be observed from the foregoing statement that there was expended on the streets in cash the sum of $1,009.46. It does seem to me that with a faithful, efficient, and honest street commissioner, that the two days' work (or in lieu thereof three dollars) which every able-bodied male citizen between the ages of twenty-one and forty-five is required to perform or pay, will be abundantly sufficient to keep up and maintain in proper condition all the streets and alleys in the city. This source of revenue to the city seems to have been sadly overlooked and neglected, as I find that no report or accounting has been made or had at the hands of the street commissioner during the past year. I trust that with your assistance we may be able to make this department sufficiently efficient to keep up the streets without any expenditure out of the city treasury, and if possible create a revenue besides. This will save an item of $1,009.46.
I have a proposition from a gentleman who is in every qualified for the position, that if he be appointed city clerk, he will furnish to the city free of rent a suitable room for the sittings of the council, during the year. I hope that you will agree with me in this appointment, to the end that we may thus save to the city an item of $120 rent, and $27.20 fuel.
The item of $200, to a water works committee, I take it can very well be dispensed with entirely during the coming year. It seems to me that the officers' salaries ought to be brought within the sum of $1,000, especially while we are in our present condition, and graded and fixed at $500 for the marshal, $200 for the clerk, including registration services, $150 for the street commissioner, $100 for the city attorney, and $50 for the city engineer. If that could be done, it would save us on the item of official salaries the sum of $460.05 over last year. Thus on the five items of streets, rent, fuel, water works, and official salaries, we can, if we do our duty as we ought under all the circumstances, save the sum of $1,818.41, which would bring our expenses down to the sum of $1,613.63. I think that by exercising rigid and practical economy, we might reduce all the other items of expenses sufficiently to save $212.63 more, which would bring it down to $1,400.
We have seen above that we may expect from the ordinary sources under the ordinances as they now exist, about $700; rent from the county $120.00; and now we have on hand $194.18, making in all $1,014.16 as our present and future resources, leaving us only the sum of $385.84 to be raised in some way to be provided for by you.
If after mature deliberation and investigation, we find that we can raise that amount either by increasing the licenses already imposed by ordinance or by imposing other licenses on some transient or special business that will not militate against the reasonably accepted best business interests, growth and prosperity of our city, then I shall be in favor of so raising said sum in that way; otherwise, I am of the opinion that it ought to be raised by direct taxation.
In conclusion, gentlemen, I trust I shall have your cordial cooperation in reducing our city expenses to the lowest possible limit consistent with the efficient management of its affairs, and its material growth and development. I also trust that you will unanimously aid me in the organization of the executive force of the city in such manner as will insure the enforcement of all laws which are calculated to secure morality, sobriety, virtue, and protection to person and property in our midst during our term of office.
Let us not make use of our power in the reflection of the executive force "to reward our friends and punish our enemies, but let us have in view solely the enforcement of law, and good order and government.
I recognize the fact that upon the mayor largely depends the enforcement of the laws providing punishment for crimes peculiar to all cities, such as gambling, bawdyism, and the sale of intoxicating liquors; and I say to you here and now, that if you will provide me with subordinates who will faithfully and fully aid and assist me in enforcing the laws, that I will undertake to see that all the laws prohibiting these things shall be duly enforced.
I say this not in a bragadocio spirit, nor for the purpose of cruelly or harshly persecuting any person, or class of persons; but on the contrary, I say it in all kindness but firmness, believing that it is now my sworn duty, during my term of office, to see that those peculiar vices are made to feel the full penalty of the law.
Believing that you, each and all, have in view only the government of our city in such manner as will secure to us an orderly, moral, temperate, and law abiding community, wherein we may have our homes without "fear and trembling" lest our sons and daughters may be led away by these pitfalls of ruin, I confidently and implicitly rely upon you to do all things within your power to aid me "in enforcing all laws and ordinances for the government of the city" in such a way as to secure to us that priceless blessing.
M. G. TROUP, Mayor.
Winfield, Kansas, April 11, 1881.
THE WINFIELD COURIER APRIL 14, 1881.
Several of Conklin's subscribers are talking of circulating a petition asking him to refund their money or give them something to read.
Mr. H. G. Shivers, of Quincy, Illinois, has accepted a position with Jarvis, Conklin & Co. Mr. Owens leaves to take charge of their Kansas City branch.
Jarvis, Conklin & Co. have purchased a typewriter, the first one for Winfield. It is a handy little machine, and one can write with it much faster than by hand.
Robert Hudson is putting in an addition to his bath house, and will soon have two more tubs in running order. With his new improvements, he will be able to give as good a "Turkey" bath as you can get in Chicago.
THE WINFIELD COURIER APRIL 21, 1881.
In comparison with our neighbors, our city government did magnificently last year. With only four saloons licensed, we got through the year clear of debt and have a nice balance in the city treasury. Wellington with eleven saloons licensed comes out with a debt of $6,667.39 over and above all assets. Caldwell with saloons which we have no means to number, comes out with a debt of more than $3,000.
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