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Other than that there has been nothing very dramatic in Massachusetts. We simply can say we are ready to keep on with our fight, we propose to do so, and expect to win.
Mr. Edward K. Sumerwell submitted the report from the Civil Service Reform Association of New Jersey:
The civil service reform movement in New Jersey owes its origin and inspiration directly to the National Civil Service Reform League. The fact is pertinent, both as to a matter of history and as an encouragement to you in a work not always too bright with hope.
Attending your meeting in Washington three years ago, as Secretary of the New Jersey State Civic Federation, the writer became deeply impressed by the need of a comprehensive civil service law in our state, and, with the aid of your Secretary, Mr. Elliot 11. Goodwin, and some of your leading members, enlisted the Federation in the formation of a State Civil Service Association. Senator Everett Colby became our President and has labored unceasingly for the law.
The first year our bill was held in committee, but a senate committee was appointed to consider the subject. A hearing was accorded us, at which Mr. Goodwin and a large deputation of our members attended. After full discussion it was decided that the bill, with a few changes, should be re-introduced. This was done and through the entire session of the legislature we watched every step and used every means at command to secure the passage of the bill, which thus became one of the most prominent legislative issues.
We have been careful throughout to avoid aligning the Association with either political party and have kept strictly within non-partisan lines, pleading our cause with equal fervor in both of the hostile camps. We have found good men and true in both and are grateful for their interest and support. We make no comment at this time upon the political aspects of the case, but merely record the facts as they have occured.
The legislature was divided politically. The state has been republican for the past twelve years, but at the election of 1906 the democrats gained control of the assem
bly. This led each side to seek favor for itself through the advocacy of popular measures, without actually enacting laws opposed by the political leaders of either side. The result was that out of a large number of laudable measures only a few were finally passed, the civil service bills going with the hopeless majority.
The outlook at first was most promising. The Governor in his message and in personal conferences, took high ground in favor of the enactment of a civil service law. Our bill, which was considered a model, was drafted mainly by Mr. Goodwin; approved by the Council of the League; revised slightly to meet the views of the senate committee and our own Association; passed by the senate; and, so far as we could learn, was received with favor in the assembly Despite our best efforts, however, its progress was slow, and when it was finally put upon its passage, it was changed in several vital respects, and was lost in the rush of the closing hours just before the recess.
Upon the reconvening a new bill was introduced and passed in the senate. Again the assembly defeated it, after changing it to provide for an elective instead of an appointive commission.
We can state with the utmost confidence that the feeling among our people at large is very strongly in favor of the law. No one openly opposes it, while civic bodies all over the state have urged its adoption, and many of our best citizens have personally visited the capitol to plead for its enactment.
In the campaign just closed, the dominant party in its platforin and through its candidates, has advocated a comprehensive civil service law to embrace the state, county and municipal employees. The democratic platform favored an elective commission, but the gubernatorial candidate was silent on the subject, although reguested by us to state his views.
We have thus briefly sketched the struggle for the enactment of a civil service law in our state, which has already enlisted the earnest support of many of our leading citizens of both parties, and in which we are confident of success in the near future. Our hope lies in the nota
ble accession to political life of a distinctly new element. The past few years, already so fruitful of reforms in our systems of taxation, limitation of franchises, primary election and direct primary laws, popular expression in the choice of United States senators and the regulation of railway and public utility corporations, have opened the eyes of our people to the evils of the spoils system in all its ramifications and have prepared them for a more determined stand in favor of the merit system.
We are grateful for the support rendered us by your League, especially through the services of your able and indefatigable Secretary and Assistant Secretary, both of whom have been invaluable to our cause.
The outlook for the early enactment of the law is greatly improved by the results of the recent election, at which the republicans elected their candidate for governor and regained control of the assembly, thus enabling them to carry out their platform pledges. It may, therefore, be of interest to append our letter to Hon. J. Franklin Fort, the Governor-elect, and his reply, viz. :
"East Orange, N. J., October 8, 1907. “Dear Sir:
“As Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the New Jersey State Civil Service Association, I have been requested to ask an expression of your views relative to the enactment of a civil service law in New Jersey.
"As you are aware, a bill was prepared under the auspices of this Association, introduced by Senator Everett Colby, passed by the Senate, amended in the Assembly and there defeated upon its final passage, despite the earnest efforts of Governor Stokes and many of our citizens in its behalf.
“So far as we are aware, no substantial objection to the bill was made in the Committee or on the floor. Opposition to civil service laws, as tending to take away the fruits of political activity, was expressed, and the Assembly held out for an elective, instead of an appointive commission and deferring the date for putting the law into effect.
"In view of the importance of the subject and the general interest shown in it, we feel warranted in asking a
definite statement of your views upon it, including the
"Yours very respectfully,
"Chairman." "East Orange, V. J., October 26, 1907, “Edward K. Sumerwell, Esq., East Orange, N. J.,
“My dear Sir :-.I have your letter of the 21st, and I answered your letter of October 8th some time ago.
"Of course I am in favor of the most effective civil service law with relation to municipal, county and state offices which it is possible for the legislature to enact. The days of the spoils system have gone. Any recommendation which I can make, if el ted governor, to bring about the enactment of an efficient civil service statute will be made.
"Yours very respectfully,
"J. FRANKLIN Fort.” Mr. Albert de Roode submitted the report from the Civil Service Reform Association of New York:
At the last meeting of the League the report of the New York Association was presented by the Hon. Jacob F. Miller, a member of the Council and Chairman of the Executive Comniittee of the Association. Mr. Miller died on December 11, 1906, and this report of the New York Association would be incomplete without recording the sense of loss felt by the Association in his death.
Mr. Miller's services to Civil Service Reform began at an early date. As a member of the state legislature he introduced a civil service bill, the provisions of which were afterwardi incorporated in the first civil service law of New York. The influence of Mr. Miller as Chairman of the Executive Committee for nearly ten years is reflected in the improved condition of the civil service in the . state of New York,
A report of the New York Association deals largely with administrative problems. We have a constitutional requirement for civil service reform and an excellent law, and the activity of the Association cannot chronicle such heroic struggles as in the cases of the younger
sociations in those states where civil service reform is not an established fact.
With Mr. Hughes as Governor during the past year 10 effective assault on the merit system in the legislature was possible. The Association, however, was unable to secure the passage of the constructive legislation which it urged, notably the bill to prohibit political activity on the part of officehollers, and the bill to include in the competitive class corporation inspectors in New York City.
It is gratifying to the Association to be able to report that the Governor refused to re-appoint the notorious collector of political assessments, Harry ll. Bender, a Fiscal Supervisor of State Charities. This refusal to reappoint was undoubtedly due, to a large extent, to Mr. Bender's record as collector of political assessments.
In New York City, Mayor McClellan, in waging an ineffectual contest against the leader of Tammany Mall, ised the exempt positions as spoils. An incident in this contest was the removal of one of the civil service commissioners, an adherent of the Tammany leader; but the succeeding appointment was unexpectedly a most excel
In spite of the action of the Mayor in using the exempt class to further his political ends, the New York City commission has maintained an absolutely independent attitude and has been doing creditable work in strengthening the rules and increasing the efficiency of the service. The commission has done a great deal to elimiate the suspicion which has previously attached to civil service commissions in New York City. The Association is able to co-operate with the Commission in the most friendly spirit. The commission has often not been willing to go as far or as rapidly as the Association might desire, and it has failed to make use of the wide investigating powers that it has. On the other hand, it has done much more than was expected and has been steadily growing toward the reform point of view.
In New York City, investigation of the office of one of the borough presidents disclosed gross inefficiency, if not actual corruption, arising almost entirely from the