Brittain, Horace L.
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Stimulating thought on municipal affairs. A definition of "muddle." "Where Muddle Has Got Us." Some facts and dollar figures with regard to population of urban municipalities, taxation, and debt. "How May We Know When a Municipality Needs to Watch Its Step or at Least Carefully examine its Position?" Measuring differences between municipalities. Looking at debt, the relative average earning capacity of the inhabitants, the ratio of debt to taxation assessment, the relation of total unpaid taxes to the annual tax levy, etc. "Why Municipalities Get into a Muddle." Some of the fundamental causes, each with a brief discussion: Budgeting for a deficit; Issuing debentures where there are no or insufficient corresponding Assets; Failing to Budget Capital Expenditures Over a Term of Years; Electing Members of Council for One Year Terms; Sectionalism; Too many and "water-tight" departments; Carelessness in the selection of the Personnel of the Permanent Staff; Ease in borrowing money. What must be done to substitute planned control for drift or muddle. A list of nine specific suggestions. Some concluding words about too many local governments, too many public bodies with the independent right of spending public money, too many people on Councils, Boards and Commissions, and too many employees acting under their direction. Some supporting figures. Abolishing the county and enlarging the township. Loving our municipalities; hoping for fewer of them.