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missioners appointed by the President, one of the three being a senior officer of the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army, the Engineer Commissioner having been almost the keystone upon which this Government of ours has successfully operated since 1874-the Federal Bureau of the Budget, in its plan, would substitute for that kind of government the appointment by the President of a nine-man part-time city commission or council. And to assist in the administration of the affairs of the government of the District of Columbia, it was the thought that that part-time city council or city commission would appoint a full-time city manager.
The respective merits of these two plans were discussed on numerous occasions by representatives of the government of the District of Columbia and the Federal Bureau of the Budget. . There came a time when representative of our government and the Federal Bureau of the Budget made a trip to the Midwest, where consultations were had with experts on the same subject.
There came a time when subsequently the merits of these two plans were discussed with the President of the United States.
There also came a time when it became apparent to the people of the city of Washington, at a time when days if not hours were left on the schedule, which obviously required the President, if he were to reorganize the government of the District of Columbia under the Reorganization Act of 1949, to submit such a plan to the Congress not much later than the 1st day of May-when it became apparent to the people of Washington that there was a likelihood that the Federal Bureau of the Budget's plan for a commission or council-manager form of government might be approved by the President of the United States.
And there was an almost immediate reaction on the part of the people of this great city.
Of course, we are not permitted the privilege of voting in this great city, and perhaps for that reason we are more conscious of our form of government and are more conscious of our rights than would even be true perhaps if we had the right to exercise the privilege of voting.
There was an immediate reaction. And I think I can say, sir, that in my nearly 34 years in the city of Washington, where there have been subjects upon which people have disagreed, where there have been matters which have aroused public action, I have never seen a greater unanimity of opinion on a subject than was expressed with respect to the difference in evaluation between the plan for the reorganization of the government of the District of Columbia as presented to the press and to the public by the Federal Bureau of the Budget, and the plan which many months before had been presented to the public and discussed by the public as prepared by the Board of Commissioners; in consequence of which—and I would ask permission from the chairman to introduce into the record a copy of an advertisement which appeared in each of the daily papers in the city of Washington, in the nature of an open letter to the President, in which the following groups, whose names appeared upon this advertisement, indicated their definite and determined preference for the plan of reorganization as presented by the Board of Commissioners for the President's consideration and in opposition to the plan as presented by the Federal Bureau of the Budget.
This ad was signed by the following persons, representing the following organizations:
Dr. J. Ross Veal, president of the Federation of Citizens Associations, representing 65 member bodies;
Mr. Martin A. Bryant, department commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars, representing 30 posts;
Mr. P. M. Deming, president, the Junior Chamber of Commerce;
Mr. John B. Duncan, president, Federation of Civic Associations, representing 32 member bodies;
Mr. John L. C. Sullivan, president, Federation of Business Men's Associations, representing 27 member bodies;
Mr. C. Melvin Sharpe, chairman, Committee of One Hundred for the Federal City;
Mr. Thomas J. Groom, president, the Washington Board of Trade;
Mr. Leonard P. Walsh, president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia ;
Mr. Martin A. Cook, department commander, Catholic War Veterans, representing 11 posts;
Mr. William J. Holliman, department commander, American Legion, representing 60 posts;
Mrs. Harvey J. Wiley, acting president, Federation of Women's Clubs;
Mr. William H. Dyer, president of the District of Columbia Building and Loan League;
Mr. Glenn E. Watts, president of the District of Columbia Industrial Union Council of the CIO;
Mr. Walton L. Sanderson, president of the District of Columbia Bankers Association;
Mr. J. A. Kamerow, chairman of the board of the American Business Association;
Eva Manchester, department commander, AMVETS, representing 15 posts;
Mr. Edward R. Carr, president, Washington Real Estate Board; Mr. Jesse C. uter, president, Association of Oldest Inhabitants, District of Columbia; and
Mr. Dewey Zirkin, president, Merchants and Manufacturers Association.
The CHAIRMAN. The advertisement that you referred to may be printed in the record at this point.
(The advertisement referred to is as follows:)
[From the Washington Daily News, April 21, 1952]
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
THE CITIZENS OF WASHINGTON NEED YOUR HELP The citizens of the District of Columbia are vitally interested in achieving for our community the highest standards of local government. We, the undersigned, are bringing to your attention a situation which could do irreparable harm to the welfare of this city.
Now under your consideration are two plans for the reorganization of the government of the District of Columbia. One has been submitted by the District Commissioners, whereas the other has been prepared by the Bureau of the Budget. We wish at this time to offer our wholehearted support to the plan for the reorganization of the administrative procedures of the District government as submitted by our own District Commissioners. We also wish to
express our strong objections to that reorganization proposed by the Bureau of the Budget insofar as we understand that plan.
We are making this statement as representatives of a wide area of interests in this city. Among us are groups which hold different opinions on specific problems of reorganization and form of government. But we are united in our position to the hazily defined Bureau of the Budget plan, and we are united in our support of the reorganization proposed by the District Commissioners. We all want good government
You, Mr. President, have always been a leading figure in the fight for better government in the Capital City of the Nation. We feel certain that you will also wish to hear the views of those citizens now on such an important issue as reorganization of our government.
We have stated that we support the reorganization plan sponsored by the entire Board of Commissioners. This plan represents the considered judgment of our city officials, based upon years of analyses by individuals intimately familiar with the District's special problems. At public hearings, through the press and radio, at appearances by the Commissioners to explain their plan, and in civic discussions, the issues involved in this reorganization proposal have been completely brought to light. What is the Budget Bureau's plan?
In contrast to the Commissioners' plan, the reorganization proposals of the Bureau of the Budget would be an ill-considered experiment and should not be undertaken. More specifically, Mr. President, we are opposed to any plan of reorganization being adopted without the citizens first knowing the contents of that plan. In this case, not only has the community been abruptly presented with the plan, but its contents are barely known to anyone except, we presume, its authors. We, the citizens who would have to live under the new government, would have the plan served upon us without the least opportunity to examine its ramifications. These circumstances must shock you as much as they shock us for you have always indicated your wish that the citizens of Washington be heard in matters concerning their government. At present, however, our most interested citizens—and indeed our own Commissioners-are kept in the dark about a plan which would determine the future of our city. This is not effective reorganization
As far as we have been able to judge from the few facts made public by the Budget Bureau, there are specific shortcomings to this reorganization plan which we should now like to present:
1. No city of comparable size has a manager form of government, although one larger city tried and rejected it.
2. The complexity of the District of Columbia's combined State, county, and municipal activities is too great for the manager form.
3. The Budget Bureau proposal would unquestionably lessen the possibility of effective cooperation within the Washington area toward the development of a greater National Capital.
4. The concentration of all administrative authority in a city manager would militate against the close cooperation now achieved with the Federal agencies.
5. Under the Budget Bureau plan, the District of Columbia would be
shackled with this unwise experiment until January 1, 1954, We stand firm
These are but a few of the serious objections we feel would arise from the type of reorganization suggested by the Bureau of the Budget. These dangers are avoided, however, through the Commissioners' reorganization plan.
Our alarm at the prospect of a hastily presented and ill-advised plan for the reorganization of the District's government has prompted this group of leading organizations of Washington to make this appeal to you, Mr. President. We stand firm in our belief that a grave injustice would be imposed upon our community should you submit the Budget Bureau's recommendations to the Congress. We repeat:
We are opposed to any plan of reorganization being adopted without the citizens first knowing the contents of the plan ;
We are not in favor of the city manager form of government;
We support the Board of Commissioner's plan of reorganization.
65 member bodies. Martin A. Bryant, department commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars, rep
resenting 30 posts.
representing 24 member bodies. C. Melvin Sharpe, chairman, Committee of 100 for the Federal City. Thomas J. Groom, president, Washington Board of Trade. Leonard P. Walsh, president, Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Martin A. Cook, department commander, Catholic War Veterans, represent
ing 11 posts. William J. Holliman, department commander, American Legion, represent
ing 60 posts.
the CIO. Walton L. Sanderson, president, District of Columbia Bankers' Association.
J. A. Kamerow, chairman of the board, American Business Association. Commissioner DONOHUE. Thank you sir.
In addition, sir, I would like to insert, if I may, in the record a page and a half of mimeographed matter which would indicate that to the best of our knowledge and as far as we could obtain it, with respect to the difference of opinion as existing among our people concerning the merits of these two plans, there were 36 organizations which wrote their approval of the Commissioners' plan, if I may refer to them very briefly only by name.
Ürging that the present or commission form of government be maintained was the Columbia Heights Businessmen's Association. Endorsing the Commissioners' proposal in principle were the Democratic Central Committee and the Washington Building Congress.
Supporting the Commissioners' proposal in toto:
The Citizens Advisory Committee on Public Works, the National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Greater Washington Retail Jewelers Association, the Washington Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association, the North Washington Council of Citizens Associations, the Retail Gasoline Dealers of District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Pharmaceutical Association, the Redevelopment Land Agency, the Washington Taxpayers Association, the Central Labor Union, AFL, the Young Republican Club of District of Columbia, the Merchants Mutual Benefit Association, the Columbia Park Community Club, and the Keystone Automobile Club.
Organizations which supported the Commissioners' proposal and opposed the Budget Bureau plan were the following:
The Federation of Citizens Associations, the Federation of Civic Associations, the Federation of Business Men's Associations, the Federation of Women's Clubs, the Washington Board of Trade, the Merchants and Manufacturers Association, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the AMVETS, the Catholic War Veterans, the Committee of 100 for the Federal City, the Washington Real Estate Board, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the District of Columbia Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bankers Association, the Association of Oldest Inhabitants, the District of Columbia Building and Loan League, the District of Columbia Industrial Union Council (CIO), the American Business Association.
Objecting to the Budget Bureau proposal without opportunity for detailed public consideration was the Council of Veterans Auxiliaries.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you have the Republican Central Committee express its view ?
Commissioner DONOHUE. We had only the Young Republican Club, sir.
I don't think the older Republican unit has as yet expressed itself.
The CHAIRMAN. I just wanted to keep this matter on a nonpartisan basis. I hoped to have some Republican expression.
Commissioner DONOHUE. I think you will find that never, Mr. Chairman, in political experience, has it been true that as broad an area of public thinking has been united in favor of one plan and in opposition to another as is true with respect to the public support that was given to the present Commissioner's plan for the reorganization of the government of the District of Columbia.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you ask that that document be made a part of the record ?
Commissioner DONOHUE. Yes, sir, if I may, sir. The CHAIRMAN. It may be included in the record. (The material referred to is as follows:)
LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS IN FAVOR OF (1) COMMISSIONERS' PROPOSAL, (2) BUDGET
FOR COMMISSIONERS' PROPOSAL (36) Urge Commission-form be retained :
Columbia Heights Businessmen's Association Endorse Commissioners' proposal in principle :
Democratic Central Committee
Washington Building Congress
Citizens Advisory Committee on Public Works
Keystone Automobile Club
Federation of Citizens Associations