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Just as the Governor of a State has the executive and administrative responsibility to take decisive action and the buck stops with him and if anything goes wrong he is responsible for failure to execute the laws properly, we feel there should be that kind of figure in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Winn. Do you think the proposed 9-man Council serving on a part-time basis will be able to improve the situation over the present 3man Commission?
Mr. CARLINER. I may say, Mr. Winn, the Congress of the United States is a 435-man council for the entire country and, although'the year is getting longer and longer, there was a time when you served only part of the year. You came here in January and went home in July and August.
I do not mean to denigrate or minimize the work that Members of Congress do, but it is a part-time function.
I am glad you brought this up, Mr. Winn, because under the proposal of the bill sponsored by Mr. McMillan and Mr. Nelsen, the Commissioners will have legislative responsibility; and to the extent the Commissioners do not have supervisory functions, they will be only ceremonial and legislative.
Mr. Tobriner has testified before the House Government Operations Committee that he has kept careful records of his use of time, and that 17 percent of his time was spent on legislative functions working with the other members of the Board of Commissioners and 14 percent of his time was spent on ceremonial functions. He has not indicated how the other 69 percent of his time was spent, but I infer that 69 percent of his time would be spent
Mr. McMILLAN. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. McMILLAN. What section of our bill gives the Commissioners authority to legislate?
Mr. CARLINER. As I understand it, Mr. Chairman, Section 202(a) says, Subject to the supervision of the Board of Commissioners, the managing director shall supervise and direct the activities of the Board, offices and agencies of the government except the courts thereof."
It goes on to enumerate other functions which the director, managerdirector shall have. There is nothing in the bill which divests the Board of Commissioners of the authority which they have under various statutes passed by Congress to adopt police regulations, welfare regulations, Health Department regulations and zoning regulations and all other regulations they have.
I assume that in the absence of any statute changing the authority of the members of the Board of Commissioners, that they will continue to have it.
In response to your question, I think that one should make a distinction between the use of the word "legislation" as it relates to the kind of legislation which Congress adopts and the word “legislation” as it relates to adoption of municipal regulations. I am using legislative function, I am talking about the legislative function of adopting municipal regulations.
Mr. MCMILLAN. You must mean regulations, not legislation ?
as this Chair, committee well knows, are rather far-reaching. One of the police regulations which the Commissioners adopted several years ago was one to forbid discrimination in employment and discrimination in housing. This is obviously Newark, Detroit, and Rochester. This is a legitimate police regulation. Nonetheless it is one of basic significance and it is one which I would think should be exercised by a legislative authority in the District of Columbia and not by someone who also has executive responsibility.
Mr. Winn. I want to thank the gentleman.
Mr. CARLINER. If I may complete the answer to Mr. Winn's question, if the bill which Mr. McMillan and Mr. Nelsen have sponsored were to be enacted, and if all the administrative and executive functions were handled by the managing director and the Commissioners were to have only the rule-making functions, we would have a rather absurd situation, it would seem to me.
Persons appointed by the President of the United States, persons who receive a higher salary would be using only 17 percent of their time for rule-making and legislative activity and 14 percent of their time for ceremonial activity. What would they be doing with the other 69 percent of their time?
If they are going to be only exercising the legislative responsibilities, I would think we would not need a full-time council. If they are going to continue to exercise administrative functions, then they will simply by getting in the way of a manager-diretcor.
Mr. Winn. I would like to thank you very much. I would like to point out one more thing. When Mr. Pollak appeared here in an offthe-record meeting, I specifically asked him if the President's reorganization plan, was a step toward home rule. A group had just left my office a few minutes before that saying that that was why they were in favor of the reorganization bill. They felt it was a step toward home rule.
Mr. Pollock said that was not the President's intention. I asked him if it was his own, Mr. Pollock's intention, and he said it was not his intention that it be a step toward home rule. I thought that to be interesting
Mr. CARLINER. Mr. Winn, let me say that I have no inside sources of information as to why the President does what he does. I had no occasion to meet him or speak to him about the bill. Mr. Pollock, with whom I have spoken, never indicated that this was an intention of the bill or that it was intended to out-maneuver the House District Committee.
You might say that as a person who favors home rule, I recognize that the reorganization plan does not provide representative government, and I recognize the statement which Mr. Broyhill has made to me in other places and which Mr. Brown has made, if the reorganization plan is adopted this may mean the death of movements for home rule.
I am prepared to take that risk. That is why I favor home rule. For myself, I support this bill because it provides for an efficient government. I support the concept of a 9-man legislative council even though they continue to be appointed by the President because nine men by arithmetic are more representative than three men. Personally, I am hopeful that once this plan is adopted, this Congress in its judgment and wisdom will permit us to elect these officials.
Mr. Winn. I have no further questions.
Mr. McMILLAN. We have here several statements and letters which will be included in the record at this point.
STATEMENT OF HON. ANDREW JACOBS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF INDIANA
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to have this statement included as a part of the official record of the hearings conducted by your subcommittee on proposals to reorganize the government of the District of Columbia.
A friend of mine has a plaque on the wall that shows two people slouching in chairs in the midst of stacks of dirty dishes and other household disorder. The caption of the plaque says “Next week we've got to get organized.”
To organize is to put things into their proper places. And, so far as the legislative and executive functions of the District of Columbia ernment are concerned, I believe that the Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 is a long stride toward putting things into their proper places.
The plan does not alter the denial of self-government in the city of Washington. But it does, at least, assure that the appointed government won't trip over its own heads.
The three commissioner system of scrambled executive and legislative responsibility has been a pretty good arrangement in America for small towns and uncomplicated counties. Such units need so little time and effort to be spent on community problems that three people can divide their attention between legislative and executive problems, reach slow and compromised executive decisions and still have time to go out and farm. Such situations don't require full-time government.
But big cities require not just full, but overtime government.
Executive action for big cities, just as for big countries and corporations, must be dynamic and, in many instances, swift in order to keep abreast of the teeming agenda of executive responsibility.
Legislative action must be deliberate but also deliberative. By its more far-reaching nature, legislative action must and can involve more delay than executive action.
For the same person to attempt both functions at the same time in the huge enterprise of big city government is to divide his efforts so as to give each function less than full devotion.
"All that you do," my mother used to say, "do with your might, for things done by half are never done right.”
We all believe in the separation of powers even though those powers flow from the same source. And this means that, though the three logical branches of government may overlap for the purpose of collaboration, no one branch should run the whole show. This has a lot to do with liberty.
There has never been much of a problem along these lines in the small town or county, because the affairs of government are close enough to, and uncomplicated enough for, the governed to keep close tabs and control.
But this is not so with huge enterprise.
Once you accept the principle of separation of powers in the District of Columbia government, there is still the question of whether to have one or three executives.
That a three-member executive in a large enterprise represents weak and indecisive action can hardly be doubted. Indeed, when it was the wish of some to emasculate the United Nations Secretariat they proposed that the Secretariat be divided into such an arrangement.
The answer of the large business corporation to the question of whether to have a one- or three-headed executive is invariably to choose the individual executive in order to accomplish the daily decisive action indispensable to meeting executive responsibility. The answer of fifty States is one individual executive.
The answer of most big cities is one individual executive, the chief executive.
And one of our former chief executives is said to have placed this plaque on his desk displaying the words, “This is where the buck stops."
No three mortals can act in concert as one. And the only supernatural aspect to such an arrangement, where a torrent of big city executive decisions must be made daily, is an eternal triangle around which the buck forever orbits.
OLDEST INHABITANTS, INC.,
Washington, D.C., July 5, 1967. Representative John L. MCMILLAN, U.S. Congress, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.O.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN: There is much consideration at this time to help the poor Washingtonians to establish citizenship privileges and we most heartily appreciate the interest of our President and Congressien. However, in the present re-organization plan of the President I cannot accept. I feel tbat the Three man Board as presently formed should remain with extended powers to each member and consolidation of departments. The Commissioners as formed should have several assistants under them with more power in their respective assignments. Please turn down the Reorganization plan. Yours Sincerely,
PAUL V. BROWN, President.
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
Washington, D.O., July 28, 1967. Hon. JOHN L. MCMILLAN, Chairman, House District Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. MCMILLAN: The League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia continues to urge the acceptance of the President's Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 which calls for a single commissioner and a 9-member council for the District of Columbia.
It is our opinion, after careful consideration, that a 3-man commission form of government is not adequate to cope with the complexities of a large city. We are convinced that many of the delays, difficulties and frustrations we have encountered as we have studied and worked with the D.C. Government are directly attributable to the present system. Three separate commissioners, each responsible for separate areas of the city, provide a fragmented response to overlapping problems.
We in the D.C. League of Women Voters believe that reorganization of the District Government may be required at many levels. We have adopted as an agenda item for this year the study of the structure and function of the D.C. Government and related independent federal agencies and hope to come to fur. ther conclusions in the near future. We welcome the prospect of study, hearings and action by the District Committees as they too probe these areas. But the
time is short. There is a wide citizen support within the District for this first step. The President's Plan is ready now. It is possible now. As members of Congress responsible for the government of the nation's capital city, you have an opportunity to provide the framework for a better government for the District of Columbia. We urge you to do so by accepting the President's Reorganization Plan No.3 of 1967. Sincerely,
ELIZABETH S. JOHNSON, President.
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PARK CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION,
Washington, D.C., July 30, 1967. Subject: D.C. Government Reorganization. Hon. John L. MCMILLAN, Chairman, Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representatives, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. MCMILLAN: The American University Park Citizens Association supports the proposal of the District Committee for a city manager and election of school officials by wards, and retaining the present three commissioners. A city-wide election would leave the minority without representation. We believe that an elected school board as proposed by your Committee would provide a board membership free from virtually total domination by the extremists which characterizes the current board majority and that of the preceding board.
The President's reorganization plan must be defeated. We are convinced that few cities in the Nation have more responsive governments than does the District of Columbia. We have dealt with the Government of the District of Columbia for many years and we have come to have a high regard for the quality of service provided under the present form of government. The one major exception of course was the mishandling of transit affairs in 1955–6 by the Board of Commissioners. Respectfully,
ALFRED S. TRASK, President. Mr. McMillan. The committee stands adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 1:05 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned to reconvene at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 2, 1967.)