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While the city is dependent upon the action of the State Legislature for permission to do a great many things that it desires to do, its financial concerns, on the other hand, are the subject of constant attack by individual members of the Legislature, both from this city and from other towns. The treasury of the city of Boston is regarded in many parts of the State as a fund to be draw upon by compulsory legislation for the benefit of the smaller towns; and many of the representatives from this city make it their habitual concern to introduce and advocate hills for the transfer of portions of the city's money for the benefit of special interests and classes. The result is that during the annual sessions of the Legislature a large part of the work of governing this city must be transacted at the State House in the advocacy of needed reforms, and in defence of the city treasury against agrarian and class legislation.
I shall not encumber these pages with a detailed account of this work,1 on the whole the most important that has devolved upon me during the past four years. It was inevitable, in the execution of this duty, that friction should be caused, enmities aroused, and misunderstandings created. Whoever undertakes such work in the public. interest is sure to be accused of advocating measures which he has in fact opposed; of being hostile to measures which really received his hearty support; of going to the Legislature too often; of going too little; and generally
1 Covering from fifty to a hundred appearances a year at committee hearings and
of interference with its work, or of neglecting it, according to the standpoint of the critic. Corporation lobbyists impugn his motives, real-estate speculators attack his character, and the horde of schemers who invade the Legislature with plans to plunder the taxpayers of this city become his personal enemies. On the other hand, the committees of the Legislature can generally be depended on to consider the municipal questions brought before them in a spirit devoid of partisan and personal motives.1
The following is a summary of the more important measures enacted during the last four sessions of the Legislature, and advocated by me either by pctition, letter, or personal argument.
CHAPTER 93. An act to authorize the city to anticipate its authority to borrow money within the debt limit during the current municipal year, so that loans can be placed early in the year and their proceeds made available for expenditure during the working season.
CHAPTER 206. An act to prohibit the borrowing of money for current expenses.
CHAPTER 301. An act authorizing a loan of $3,500,000 for park purposes.
CHAPTER 321. An act amending the public statutes so that the ordinary loans issued by the city of Boston may be made payable, if desired, in twenty years, instead of ten.
CHAPTER 323. An act creating a Board of Survey, and providing for the construction of streets by assessment.
CHAPTER 324. An act authorizing the city of Boston to borrow $1,000,000 outside of the debt limit, to complete the new Public Library building.
CHAPTER 344. An act authorizing the extension of the Charlesbank from the West Boston bridge south.
1 Except such questions as are, or are thought to be, political in character.
CHAPTER 365. An act creating a commission to consider the question of Rapid Transit.
CHAPTER 388. An act authorizing the construction of a bridge connecting L street and South Boston with Congress street and Ward 13.
CHAPTER 390. An act creating a special commission to consider the improvement of the Charles River.
CHAPTER 213. An act relating to the financial administration of our water-works, enabling the city to place its water-works, for the first time since their inception, upon a self-supporting basis.
CHAPTER 342. An act for the establishment or a commission to consider the advisability of establishing a system of metropolitan parks.
CHAPTER 371. An act authorizing the Board of Park Commissioners to acquire the property and franchises of the Jamaica Pond Aqueduct Company and the Jamaica Pond Ice Company.
CHAPTER 401. An act permitting the construction of sidewalks by assessment.
CHAPTER 402. An act relating to assessments for the construction of sewers.
CHAPTER 404. An act to provide an open space on the east side of the State House Extension.
CHAPTER 419. The new building law.
An act providing for the abolition of grade crossings on the Boston & Providence Railroad by raising the tracks.
CHAPTERS 170 and 464, being amendments to the Building Law of 1892.
CHAPTER 192. An act relating to loans of the city of Boston, authorizing the City Treasurer to treat money derived from the various loans as a general fund for the purposes authorized.
CHAPTER 211. An act remitting the provision of the park loan act of 1891, that no more than $700,000 could be issued in a year.
CHAPTER 261. An act relating to transfers of appropriations.
CHAPTER 300, as amended by chapter 411. An act authorizing the Board of Park Commissioners to incorporate into our park system streets adjacent to or leading into the parks, upon the request of a majority of the abutters. CHAPTER 339. An act for the extension of Boylsto 1
CHAPTER 342. An act for the protection of the public health, giving courts of equity jurisdiction to enforce an order of the Board of Health for the filling of flats and marshes below grade 11.
CHAPTER 407. An act to establish a Metropolitan Par< Commission.
CHAPTER 435. An act permitting the construction of aa embankment in the rear of Beacon street.
CHAPTER 459. An act authorizing the State Board of Health to investigate the subject of an additional water-supply for the city of Boston and its suburbs.
CHAPTER 460. An act providing for the enforcement of all the orders of the Board of Health by decree, thus furnishing a more efficient remedy than had hitherto existed for the abatement of nuisances.
CHAPTER 462. An act authorizing the establishment of building lines on public ways.
CHAPTER 474. An act relating to the Bay State Gas
Company, the result of which was the cancellation of $3,000,000 of its nominal capital.
CHAPTER 475. An act authorizing the Board of Metropolitan Park Commissioners and the State Board of Health to consider the improvement of the Charles River.
CHAPTER 478. An act providing for the construction of a subway under Tremont street, subsequently accepted by the City Council.
CHAPTER 119. An act authorizing the Board of Health to compel the owners of private passageways to pave
CHAPTERS 257, 382, and 443. Amendments to the Building Law.
An act authorizing the Metropolitan Park
CHAPTER 288. Commissioners to construct roadways and boulevards. CHAPTER 324. An act authorizing the laying out of public ways with reservations for street railways, bridle paths, drains, sewers, electric wires, trees, grass, and planting.
CHAPTER 335. An act extending the term of the Board of Survey.
CHAPTER 416. An act providing for the construction of Columbus and Huntington avenues on the betterment plan.
CHAPTER 439. An act relating to the extension and construction of Boylston street and other adjacent streets, in the territory between the Back Bay Fens and Brookline
CHAPTER 454. An act providing for the putting of all electric wires underground.
CHAPTER 509. An act authorizing the Metropolitan Park Commission to acquire the shores of the Charles river above Cottage Farm.
CHAPTER 532. An act authorizing the taking of land on the east side of the State House for an open space.
CHAPTER 548. An act to promote rapid transit.