« ForrigeFortsett »
Mr. Brown. I think this is a problem that we have in every piece of legislation that we write: Where the ultimate authority rests and where the administrative power is. In this legislation I would hope that we have spelled it out adequately. If you have any language you would like to see in this that would clearly refine that so that both of us would be satisfied with it, fine. My guess is that it is almost impossible to write that language to assure it. Tradition and the operation of a plan such as this in time, I think, will accomplish exactly this kind of relationship.
Mr. Jacobs. I realize that time is running out, but I consider this a terribly important thing and for any other reason than the logic contained in the individual executive.
Mr. Brown. I think it is very significant and its operation will make it more significant.
Mr. Jacobs. Certainly in the case of the mayor of a city and city council, the mayor does have certain independence to make executive decisions. Many of those decisions, if they reach a large proportion, can not be carried out without the cooperation of the city council
. On the other hand, there is independence, there is authority, there is power to act independently and finally on executive matters. In case of the presidency, the President can make a decision, some decisions on what is defined and others. Certain decisions are fairly well defined and the President can made them without fear of veto from the legislative body.
This kind of provision that I have in mind, as I say, I do not much care exactly what you call it, city manager, mayor, commissioner, whatever else
a rose by any other name would smell as sweet-but I do think he ought to have independent power to act within some defined area of executive responsibility.
Mr. Chairman, I realize the hour is late. I thank you.
Mr. ABERNETHY. That completes the examination by the members of the subcommittee. We have another member of the full committee here, Mr. Adams. We have heretofore permitted him to ask questions of the witness.
If you care to ask any questions, you are at liberty to do so.
Mr. Adams. Mr. Abernethy, I know that time has gone by. I echo completely Mr. Jacobs' statement that experience in this area indicates that executive authority by a group is like the old story that a camel is like a horse that a committee put together. I think that compromise in the legislative area is very good but in the executive area somebody has to make a final decision.
I just want to support Mr. Jacobs' position on that.
Mr. Brown. May I respond to that euphemism by saying in certain areas camels get along a lot better than horses.
Mr. Adams. In reply to that, I would say I hope we won't create a desert here.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRED SCHWENGEL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF IOWA
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate this opportunity to appear before this committee this morning to talk to you about a subject that is very, very close to my heart, the District of Columbia.
It is close to my heart because I have some concerns about the rights of the people in the District and the inattention we have given to them which comes from an experience I had when I was a member of this committee and when I visited in over 40 school areas and spent a lot of extra time in 22 different schools. What I saw there indicated to me we in the area were far from any model city of government. So I come with deep convictions about the need for some better attention on the part of those of us who have the power to give that attention to some serious problems.
What I would like to do this morning is very briefly point to some principles which I believe should undergird or be a part of any reorganization plan. Let me say at the outset, and because maybe there is no alternative at this time, that I am not opposed to the plan which has been submitted by the President.
I have studied in some detail H.R. 10521 introduced by Congressman Nelsen, a member of the committee, which I believe is the President's plan. I support this because I believe it is an improvement. I do believe, however, that the method selected for his implementation needs improvement.
Essentially, as I see it, as I read it, it is a “take it or leave it" proposition. I do not like that. So I would like to suggest that his plan, if taken, and I hope it would be, be amended to change without rejecting the entire proposal. I believe whether we adopt this plan or any plan we ought to not admit that this is any solution. Based upon my studies and much thought, and all of you know I was involuntarily on sabbatical leave, and while I was on that involuntary sabbatical leave I continued my studies and interest in the District. During that time I discovered that what I believed is needed most is a very serious study of some of the problems in the District, the fiscal needs of the District, the immediate needs and long-range needs. So I have introducell House Joint Resolution 526. Its purpose is to establish a commission to conduct a study of the adequacy of financial resources available to the operation of the District. Then a continuing study of the ways and means to underwrite that cost.
It is my further opinion that the legislative route is preferable to the method which has been employed by the President. I would like then to see the bill amended in that regard. It seems to me that any plan which recognized the District of Columbia Government should be done in the light of the goal of home rule for the District of Columbia.
A reorganization plane should help prepare for the time when home rule comes. I would hope that any reorganization plan would not throw any stumbling blocks, practical or theoretical, on the way to home rule. While I realize these hearings are not on home rule, in my view it is impossible to separate the two subjects. They are inexorably tied to each other.
Finally, it should be clearly understood that government reorganization does not and can not take the place of home rule. In my opinion, any reorganization plan should not include the topic of congressional representation in the District. Some have made this proposal. However, the Judiciary Committee has already had hearings on that topic.
The District of Columba should have voting representation in Congress. This can come only through a constitutional amendment and not a reorganization bill. I have long championed an elected school board and any reorganization bill should contain a provision which allows the residents of the District of Columbia to elect those who set their educational policies.
Parenthetically, I would like to insert here, the way we have treated some educational leaders in that area is almost shameful. I am talking particularly about Hansen. I did not agree with him on everything but, generally speaking, Mr. Hansen was a recognized school leader. He was doing some things they were doing in other parts of the country but he never had a real good chance to implement any plan that he had. He never got the support, especially the financial support to build a school system here he should have had in all the time he was here. Much more could be said on this. Because of the various commission boards and committees, many who apparently have conflicting responsibility, a reorganization plan should be streamlined, should streamline the 1).C. Government so that responsibilities are clearly defined and so that definitive and positive action can be taken without seeming delays over jurisdictional disputes seen so often today.
Certainly the central problems in a reorganization plan are the questions which arise concerning the makeup of jurisdiction of the local governing body in the District Commissioners. In my opinion, a five-man Board of Commissioners should be created, three of which could be elected by the people of the District of Columbia and two of which would be appointed by the President and with the advice of the Senate. The board should elect its own chairman. This would be one approach I would like to suggest, a change.
Consolidation of all reasonable authority into effective administrative government in the District of Columbia Government. The new board should be a part of the reorganization plan. The board should have sufficient authority to hire, fire, qualified personnel, the agency heads and the like. Gain permit me to express appreciation for the opportunity to testify this morning. The task faced by this committee is serious and important. If there is any place in this whole country, in this great land where local government should be exemplified, where we should have a model city, where we should have a model school system, it is this city that has within its boundaries the greatest capital in this world, where more is happening to find its basic freedoms, establish them and gradually extend them throughout the world.
Why, oh why shouldn't the 800,000 people who live in the shadow of that dome of the Capitol where it all happened have the same rights and opportunities, responsibilities, that the people in Iowa have?
Gentlemen, you have a great responsibility. Many of you far beyond the call of duty, year after year. But we can not really help because our first interest is, as it should be, in the districts we represent. So necessarily the people here are second. They do not deserve this treatment. I appeal to you to consider the rights of the people. If you want to create a true image of America vou can do it right here in the shadow of the Capitol. I beg you to do that.
Mr. MCMILLAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Schwengel. Have you completed your statement?
Wr. SCHWENGEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. FRASER. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank our colleague for coming. I know his interest in the District is of long standing. I wish to note the sentiment of the House seems to be that we can not get home rule this session. We must look to other ways to improve the administration of the District. I think you are right that we need to keep this in mind and this has to be our goal.
Mr. Jacobs. I have nothing, other than to thank our colleague for appearing before the committee. Mr. MCMILLAN. Mr. Adams. Mír. Adams. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman. Mr. MMILLAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Schwengel.
Mr. Carliner, do you have some others with you? Do you want them to sit at the table with you? I remember you and the chairman of this committee had a little controversy the other day. I am sorry that I was not here at the time. I promised you would have an opportunity to testify. However, there are certain rules and regulations that we havo to abide by in this committee before you testify. You have to be on the witness list and come in at the proper time. I am certain that you did not know about all those regulations, and I am certain you want to correct any misrepresentation that was made. Mr. Abernethy is not here but if you want to apologize you may do so at this time before you start.
Jír. CARLINER. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF DAVID CARLINER, CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE COM
MITTEE TO SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT'S REORGANIZATION PLAN; ACCOMPANIED BY JOHN M. THORNTON, NATIONAL CAPITAL VOTERS ASSOCIATION, INC., AND TREASURER, COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT'S REORGANIZATION PLAN
Mr. CARLINER. Mr. Chairman, I regret the episode which took place when I was here when the committee had earlier hearings. I intended no disrespect to the committee and I did not intend any disrespect to Mr. Abernethy or to you, the chairman of the full committee.
I do wish to apologize for the episode which took place.
Do I understand, Mr. Chairman, that I will have the opportunity to testify at this time?
Mr. MCMILLAN. Yes. Proceed. Without objection, your statement will be made a part of the record. (The statement follows:
PREPARED STATEMENT OF DAVID CARLINER, CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE TO
SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT'S REORGANIZATION PLAN
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS REGARDING THE PRESIDENT'S REORGANIZATION
PLAN FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
1. Why does the Committee to Support the President's Reorganization Plan believe that the Plan will be an improvement over the cxisting District of Columbio Government?
(a) The present Board of Commissioners is comprised of three commissioners of co-equal authority who exercise individual responsibility over separate jurisdictions. The Commissioner of Public Works is responsible for sanitary engineering, highways and traffic, buildings and grounds, motor vehicles, licenses and inspections, surveys, veterans' affairs, urban renewal, and parking facilities. TheCommissioner of Public Safety is responsible for the Metropolitan Police Department, the Fire Department, the Office of Civil Defense, and the Office of the Recorder of Deeds. The Commissioner of Health and Welfare is responsible for health, welfare, correctional institutions, vocational rehabilitation, minimum wages and industrial safety; insurance, parole, alcoholic beverage control, and the office of the coroner. No commissioner is responsible to any other commissioner. Nor is any commissioner necessarily responsible to the majority of the members of the Board of Commissioners for policy making functions assigned to him. The result has been divided responsibility for programs which require a unified direction.
The replacement of three commissioners with a tripartite division of authority with one commissioner who has complete administrative responsibility for the conduct of the District of Columbia Government will centralize executive power and will eliminate the inevitable confusion and lack of coordination which result from divided authority.
(b) The Board of Commissioners exercises both policy making and policy implementing functions. In every other governmental body in the l'nited States, whether federal, state, or municipal, these functions are separated. Policy making in a democratic society requires a body which represents the entire community, and which permits an exchange of viewpoints and a deliberative process. It must necessarily be made by a political structure large enough to include the major groupings in the community. The execution of policy requires an effective administrator. The two functions are so dissimilar that they should be exercised by separate agencies.
The establishment of a nine-member council, to be “broadly representative" of the community, will provide an appropriate body to make municipal policy for important governmental programs. The establishment of the office of the Commissioner to execute the policy will provide a single executive with the full responsibility for the administration of municipal programs. The combination of the two will provide a system of checks and balances which has been the hallmark of the American political system.
2. Has the need to reorganize the District of Columbia government in this manner been established?
Yes. Every authority who has studied the subject and virtually all persons who have been associated with the District of Columbia government have testified to the need for centralizing responsibility in a single executive, for dividing administrative from policy-making functions, and for establishing a more representative body to determine policy for the District government.
These authorities include the present members of the Board of Commissioners, the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, Director of General Administration for the District of Columbia from 1952 to 1967, the Burean of the Budget, the Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies.
Earlier recommendations for similar reform of the District of Columbia government include a Report on District of Columbia Affairs submitted to the Congress in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt who stated that "a single head in place of three Commissioners ... [will] . . . increase efficiency, determine responsibility, and eliminate delays and uncertainties inevitable under the present system,
The Brookings Institution, after a comprehensive study of the District Gorernment in 1929 by Dr. Laurence F. Schmeckebier, recommended the abolition of the Board of Commissioners and the creation of generally the system proposed in the Reorganization plan. Similar recommendations were made by the Jacobs Report in 1937, the Griffenhagen Report in 1939. and significantly by the House Committee on the District of Columbia in 1948. That Committee. then chaired by the Hon. Everett M. Dirksen, then a Representative from Illinois, adopted a proBoard of Commissioners and the creation of generally the system proposed in posal both for home rule and for reorganization of the District government, declared among other defects of the commissioner form of government that:
"The present organic law, passed in 1878, ... represents a crazy-quilt pattern poorly suited to the requirements of modern municipal government. ... There is no clear separation of legislative and executive functions which students of municipal government consider essential.”
Similarly, the Committee of One Hundred on the Federal City in 1948, theu headed by Hon. C. Melvin Sharpe, a one time member of the Board of Com