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assistants to the Commissioners for resolution of the kind of problems that members of the Corps of Engineers can assist in resolving, but the purpose of having one of the Commissioners be a member of the Corps of Engineers, I understand, was an outgrowth of the problems that the Commission and the District government got into in 1878 or thereabouts. I do not see any reason for the special designation of one of the Commissioners having this particular background.
If the President chooses to name two Commissioners, under this plan, from the Corps of Engineers, he has the opportunity to do so, but it may well be that he would want to designate people with other interests and the people of the District, under my plan, would like to elect someone who has some other background, too.
Mr. FRASER. That is to say, as the District Government is now managed, the District Engineer has some direct administrative responsibilities in the engineering field?
Mr. BROWN. Yes.
Mr. FRASER. Under both your plan and the Chairman's plan, the central administrative responsibility is centered on the managing director?
Mr. Brown. That is right.
Mr. FRASER. So that the imoportance of having an engineer on the Board of Commissioners is not, it would seem to be, as great as long as that direct administrative responsibility no longer exists?
Mr. Brown. Yes. Essentially that is correct. Again, my plan provides for the opportunity to get engineering advice for the Commissioners, to get engineer advice if they feel they need it, and the President feels they should have it, by the designation of three members of the Corps of Engineers. They would not be serving in other than a staff capacity, as I envision it.
Mr. FRASER. As a matter of fact, it seems to me I recall statements where the Engineer Member of the present Board of Commissioners has said from time to time when he has been called upon to make a choice between arbitrating the differences betwen the other two Commissioners on issues which he is not particularly competent-that is, policy questions rather than where a road should be built and what kind of a modern supply system should be maintained-so that it may be useful to have Commissioner members of a broader background than simply enginering training,
Mr. Brown. I think that would be very useful, yes.
Mr. FRASER. You have gone over the nonvoting delegate difference. I would like to ask you about the school board. Will you provide for the election of a school board by wards? I think the other bill does, too. In my home town our school board is elected at large from our city. Other school districts throughout the state, as I best recall, they do also provide school boards elected at large.
What is your view about that matter? Do you think that board representation at large is a desirable thing in the administration of the school system?
Mr. Brown. This is also true in my home community, which is a relatively small town by comparison to Washington. I am inclined to think that the divergence from neighborhood to neighborhood over a large city would profit from having members of the board elected by wards, because the needs of education in one part of the community may not be the same as the educational needs of youngsters growing up in another part of the community.
For that reason, having those different viewpoints all being represented or having a spokesman on the board of education I think would broaden the board to some extent. There is a possibility certainly in at-large representation that only the silk stocking area, or only the area wherein youngsters who are not likely to go to college are reared that you do not have a board of education serving broadly the interests of the entire community. So in this way I think in this community you can get at least all of those views represented on the board of education.
Mr. FRASER. I do not know enough about how other cities do this. My own city is half a million and we are at large. Would it in your judgment be feasible to combine the concepts of having some representation on a geographic basis and some of it on an at-large basis?
Mr. Brown. I suppose that is possible, surely.
Mr. FRASER. Your bill does not seem to provide any specific elections. I do not know if this is an area of great importance, but do you spell out in your bill the states, and so on?
Mr. Brown. Yes, sir. Those are in the legislation. Title VII, starting on page 22, is the language of the legislation. Page 29
Mr. FRASER. I won't pursue that because I should have read the bill more carefully. Let me cover one last point.
With respect to service on the school boards, you provide that nobody who is nominated or nobody who controls the job is an employee of the District of Columbia or the Federal Government or any position which would be compensated out of the District or federal funds. The Federal Government is, by and large, the largest employer in this area. I wonder why you automatically disqualify anyone who works for the Federal Government in view of the fact that service on the school board is not full time. It is only part time.
Mr. Brown. Mr. Fraser, in view of that fact, as we have given this thing reconsideration we began to share your concern in unduly limiting that they not be employees of that nature.
Mr. FRASER. I appreciate that. I think that kind of language was found in the President's Reorganization Plan but, as I understand it, it was contemplated that service would be very substantial in amounts of time.
Mr. Brown. I might say that if I am to add another dimension to this point, I think maybe we were too restrictive in this area and not restrictive enough in the area of the appointive Commissioners and the thought that they might be restricted from other federal positions for a time after their service as Commissioners of the District of Columbia.
That, of course, I think is suggested for obvious reasons because I would like to see the Commissioners independent and not subject to the brandishments of an offer of an appointment to other positions for consideration of their actions when they are Commissioners.
Mr. FRASER. Your view on the nonvoting delegate is that he might be replaced by the voting delegate, but until that happens it would be well to go ahead with the nonvoting delegate provisions ?
Mr. Brown. Exactly.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Gentlemen, we do not have but twenty minutes left this morning and we have some other witnesses.
Mr. Winx, Mr. Chairman, I want to commend the gentleman from Ohio for his deep and thoughtful study of the Reorganization Bill. I would like to ask you if, during the hearings before the Government Operations Committee, did you at anytime hear solid evidence that the President's plan is any better than the type of government which the District has now?
Mr. Brown. From the standpoint that one gets through an appointed city council, theoretically some representation of the community, the argument is made that it brings in representation of the community viewpoint. I am not convinced of this. I think, as I said in my prepared statement, whether that is the main purpose or not, the result of the President's plan is to concentrate the government of the District of Columbia in the White House. For this reason I am not at all enthusiastic about the plan.
Mr. Winn. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Brown, you and I share past experience. I also attended a Washington, D.C. high school when my father was a Member of Congress and therefore have some experience as a boy in the District of Columbia. I want to commend you for the concern that you obviously have about the welfare of the nation's capital and the people who live here.
I will try to be as brief as possible because the only matter of great salient concern to me is this question of executive action in the government of the District of Columbia, the question of whether that action is going to be effective in terms of swiftness, swift action required, and certainly in terms of decisive executive action.
I know that you have referred to this decisiveness as singleminded administration. I believe that you and I are soulmates on that question. The single executive responsibility has proved effective in the great corporations, business corporations of America, municipal corporations, state government, and Federal Government itself of the United States for a great number of years.
My question is whether or not in your opinion the office of Management Director or the Management Director himself does in fact under your proposal possess executive power to make an effective decision by a singleminded individual.
Mr. Brown. I think the biggest problem one would face should this branch be adopted, in all candor--and hopefully the Commissioners will cooperate in this concern and make it not a problem—is whether or not the Commissioners who are now involved in the dayto-day routine of the operations of the District Government would withdraw themselves from that and actually let the Managing Director operate as he should.
Where such a plan has been traditional for sime time, the functioning head of the city on a continuing day-to-day basis, or day-to-day, week-to-week basis, is the city manager. The Commissioners serve as a board of directors would serve in a corporation, as you have suggested, wherein they contribute their information, knowledge, background, to the broad decisions that are made in terms of the direction of the company but may not be involved in the day-to-day implementation of those decisions. This would be the ambition that I have for this kind of operation.
Mr. Jacobs. You do not think it might be desirable to spell that ambition out more specifically in the legislation in terms of the power that the manager might have and the restraint that the Commissioners might exercise in interfering with that day-to-day operation?
Mr. Brown. Well, it is a little bit difficult to spell it out and not either restrict the Commissioners completely or give them a state of broad authority which they may choose to interpret as a more specific authority. The effort has been made to frame this in the language of the legislation as well as we can.
I would be more than happy to discuss any specific change with you, but I would like not to see the job of policy-making completely yielded to the Manager Director who is merely appointive.
Mr. Jacobs. Frankly this is the problem that I have. Throughout these hearings I have been concerned principally with passing up any efficient form of government that has demonstrated its efficiency and just merely any kind of enterprise Americans have engaged in collectively, business or governmental, in the history of our country. It seems to me that if the manager is merely the creature of a threeheaded executive, he must then necessarily be greatly restricted in his executive activities and must look over not only one but three of his shoulders in order to proceed with ease in a given executive decision.
That is the thing that bothers me.
Mr. Brown. I think, Mr. Jacobs, this is the same problem every city manager faces where he serves at the pleasure of a council or of a council
and mayor and that every executive or business corporation faces. The board of directors can decide that somebody else ought to do the job if he is not doing it adequately or not reflecting their general viewpoints. This is the kind of control that I think should be exercised by the Commission representing this tri-party interest, the local community, the President and the Congress.
I would dislike very much to yield up complete executive authority into the hands of one man appointed by the President, elected by the voters of the District or designated by the members of Congress. I think that would tend to frustrate the interests of the other people and certainly to do so to the manager-director while it is not quite as bad if you have him selected by the three Commissioners, I think it is unnecessary. I think that he can work in conjunction with the three Commissioners if he operates effectively on the day-to-day basis and the three Commissioners will restrict their areas of decision to letting him administer while they make policy.
Mr. Jacobs. Within the framework of your proposal, I do not know myself just exactly how you would insure that restraint on the part of the Commissioners, that they would not look over the shoulder of the manager and say, “No, turn that nut two more turns. Tighten it down on that piece of machinery: Or "Have the firemen wear red hats instead of white hats.” That kind of executive decision you would uphold and come to rest there, and not be a matter of a symposium or matter of continued buck passing and indecision, a matter of good form. This is the reason, frankly, that I do believe that just as an indication of the presidency or the governorship or mayor of a city
where legislative bodies have the power to make policy decisions, we in the Congress make policy decisions for the United States in terms of statutes and legislation. Nevertheless, there is reserved to that executive certain finality in terms of executive decisions which can not be overruled by a symposium or discussion kind of authority,
Mr. Brown. You and I operate in the same framework. We have a 450,000-member board of directors back home who give us the responsibility of representing them and voting on matters that come before this Congress and our individual decisions in those matters collectively become final. The final authority, however, rests with those 450,000 people back home who, if we do not do the job they think we ought to do, will have somebody else in our jobs.
Mr. JACOBS. That is the very analogy of the thing, and I am glad that you mentioned that analogy. That precise illustration is what I am concerned about. Rather than saying this Managing Director has two vears to use his best efforts and then have him demonstrate an attitude hopefully before this selection, rather than saying he has two years to make those decisions and then be judged on the decisions he has made and either kept or not kept. Accordingly, each individual decision, each minute decision by the system that is proposed in this bill still remains in the hands of the Commissioners if they want to intervene.
As a practical matter, when a man is elected to Congress he would stand or fall on the decisions he makes. He is empowered to make those legislative decisions in order that we get someplace and do not get bogged down with indecision perpetually. That is what I am concerned about.
Mr. Brown. The Commissioners in this case have the right to make policy-making decisions. Not at the pleasure of the President or, as noted in effect, at the pleasure of the people for three years. But not at the pleasure of the President. That is, they do not get their job lifted by the President because they can only be removed for cause. The Commissioners then are given a certain amount of independence to operate. They in turn, presumably under the language of this legislation, if the language is not clear in that respect, perhaps it can be cleared up in some way but I think it is abundantly clear, can give the authority and do give the authority to the Managing Director to make the routine day-to-day decisions.
They still retain policy-making control. Where is the line from policy making to whether the firemen wear red or white hats drawn? I would presume if the Commissioners make a habit of trying to run the city directly in lieu of the Managing Director, that the President and the Congress in their position in the Senate of confirming and the people of the District, if this plan were adopted, will make a decision on the Commissioners.
Mr. JACOBS. I think that is a fair statement. What I am concerned about is, can we not give this managing director, mayor, county squire, or whatever you want to call him, can we not give him some measure of independence so that he can rely on this area of responsibility, whether it is turning a nut down on a piece of machinery or assigning police officers to a high crime area, so that he can make that decision and with finality and independence for his term of office and have confidence in his powers to meet that problem in that way.