The New City Government January 1, 1898 Part VII


The Board of Estimate

The commissioners of estimate, to whom reference has once or twice been made, are to be three in number and will be named by judges sitting at a special term of the Supreme Court, in the district in which the said commissioners will be called upon to fulfill their duties. Acting under oath, these commissioners will then view any land, tenements or other property which the city intends to acquire, and to give an honest and fair estimate of the loss and damage to owners and other parties interested, making their report to the Supreme Court which appointed them. Any appeal from the decisions of the commissioners may be made to the appellate division of the Supreme Court. In preparing their report the commissioners may issue subpoenas and administer oaths to witnesses.

The Inferior Local Courts.

A wise provision is made in regard to the qualifications of justices of the Municipal Court of the City of New York is that which declares that the justice appointed to any district must be a resident and elector of that district, and must have been an attorney and counselor at law of the state of new York for at least five years prior to his appointment. These justices will be paid at the rate of $6,000 a year in the Boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, and $5,000 a years in Queens and Richmond. The City of New York will be divided into twenty-three districts, two in the Bronx, eleven in Manhattan, five in Brooklyn, three in Queens and two in Richmond. The cases in which these courts will pass judgment are all of minor importance, and no action to recover a sum exceeding $500 can be heard in such courts.

The police justice will no longer exist. In his place appears the city magistrate of the second division charged with administering justice in the inferior criminal courts. His salary is the same as that of the civil justice and he will try all cases of misdemeanor in the City of New York, excepting the determination of charges of libel. There will be eleven of such city magistrates, and in the case of both civil and criminal magistrates arrangements are made for the completion of their respective terms of all police justices in the Borough of Brooklyn, as well as in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Richmond. Such city magistrates may be removed for cause by the appellate division of the Supreme Court.

Home Rule in the Boroughs

Throughout the whole of the charter special consideration of the needs of the boroughs is noticeable, but it remains to note a few of the special regulations regarding the government of each of the divisions of the greater city.

At the head of all government relating exclusively to any particular borough is the borough president, a resident of that particular borough, who has been elected by the people to serve for a term of four years, at a salary of $5,000 a year (in the case of Queens and Richmond the sum is only $3,000 a year). This officer is, by virtue of his office a member of the local board of every district of local improvements in his borough and chairman thereof. He may vote on every question of local interest, but cannot veto.

The offices of these officials will be designated by the Municipal Assembly, but until such time as that body sees fit to confirm the use of temporary quarters or advice the erection of other buildings the offices of the presidents of the Boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn will be established in the buildings formerly used as the City Halls of the two cities.

The president of the borough may only be removed on charges and the approval of the Governor of the state must be expressed before such action on the part of the Mayor is considered effective.

The local boards are of infinite importance to the welfare of the city, so they have power to recommend any improvements in the boroughs for which they act, in regard to streets, sewers, lighting, etc., and may send the same directly before the board of public improvements. They will also receive petitions and suggestions, all of which, if they are practicable and desirable will be embodied in resolutions and forwarded to the board of public improvements, where the president of the borough will see that they receive the proper attention.


Website: The History
Article Name: The New City Government January 2, 1898 Part VII
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle January 2, 1898
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