« PreviousContinue »
Q. Made after Chief Egan made his report, February 16?
Q. Now, can you tell us from the books what the expense of providing these fire appliances and making the changes at Rainsford Island was?
A. By referring to the books I can; yes, sir.
A. Why, yes, I presume I could, but I question whether I could pick them out. They would have to be picked out of various collumns and out of the bills. It would be much easier to find it from the Auditor's office, from the bills there. They are put on our books, but the details of the bills are not kept on our books.
Q. Well, don't you annually, in making up your report, getting up data showing expenses, give it by various items?
A. No, sir; not by items.
Q. Well, the Commissioners' report shows almost everything by items, doesn't it? Where do you get these data
you don't make them up in your own office ?
A. Oh, yes, sir, from our bill books.
Q. You therefore must keep books in such a way as to sbow what the expense would be on various accounts ?
A. Oh, yes, it can be picked out, but when you speak of the evening session I say it will take some time to do it. That is what I mean.
Q. If you can do it this evening I would like to inquire in regard to that, and would also like to inquire from you, if yoni
have the books liere with you, in regard to the expense attendant upon the reservoir which has recently been put in operation at Long Island. Perhaps you kpow that?
A. I don't know that exactly. The bills for that, I think, some of them, are not paid. There are some of them in the present draft — the expense for cement.
Q. And I should like to ask you in regard to the expense of the various other improvements and appliances at Long Island during the last nine months — that is, since the Visitors' Report – if you will kindly have those books here.
A. Would you like it in detail ?
Q. Well, would prefer the information in a lump with the ability to verify it in detail.
4. Perhaps I can say to you that we have all our expenditures classified in the manner which you see in the report there. That amount I can give very readily, because we have it footed up from month to month, and now that the last thing is put in I can give it to you.
From that we can refer to the different bill books, the dates, and get the details. It cau be done, of course, but not in an hour.
Q. If you have tlie books here I think the questions which I wish to put to you, you could readily answer. It is mainly in the lump that I want to ask about, but I should like to have the ability to following the details from the books, if you will kindly bring them.
A. I will bring the books; yes, sir.
Q. I would like to suspend the examination until you bring the books you understand what I want, general?
A. I think you want the books the amount of money expended in improvements at Long and Raiosford islands for the past year up to this time?
Q. Yes, that would give it. Whatever would be necessary to enable you to answer those questions — you know and I do not.
Mr. REED. - You cannot answer that in a general way now, can you?
Mr. BRANDEIS. He has stated that he connot.
A. Paid on bills. The reservoir bill was very easy, because the practical cost of that was only the cement and the tools.
Q. (By Mr. REET.) Do you have in mind approximately what that cost was?
A. I don't know how large it was in amount. There were 500 barrels of cement, 300 barrels at $1.25 and two hundred at $1.00, and several thousand bricks at $8 a thousand.
Q. (By Mr. BRANDEIS.) Well, you will have the books here so that I can continue the examination later?
A. Yes, sir.
(The committee at 6 o'clock P.M. took a recess to 7.30 o'clock P.M.)
The hearing was resumed in the Aldermanic Chamber at 7.30 PM.. Chairman HALLSTRAM presiding.
Q. (By Mr. REED.) Your name, please ?
Q. And have you there the books showing the transfer in 1891 to the appropriation for the new hospital on Long Island ?
A. Yes, sir.
A. There was $25,000 from the regular institutions, appropriation, $5,000 from the House of Correction, and $5,000 from steam-launch, making $35,000 in all.
Q. And that was transferred to the appropriation for the new hospital at Long Island, was it not?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you with you the bill for two tanks or drums for the Home for Paupers
ul. Sixty dollars apiece for the two tanks, $120, and two top safety valves, $10; making $130.
Q. Is that a transcript of the appropriations for permanent improvements ? (Handing paper to witness.)
4. Yes, sir.
That is all.
CRUSS-EXAMINATION. Q. (By Mr. BRANDEIS.) Mr. Mitchell, can you give us the cost of the recent fire appliances which have been put åt Rainsford and Long island ?
A. I cannot at this moment; no, sir.
1. Well, they were not done by contract. There may be several items. I think I can remember one bill for hose, and so on; and there were other bills for such things as that.
Mr. BRANDEIS. – Mr. Reed, who will be the better able to produce them - Mr. Donohoe or Mr. Mitchell? This is a matter that I asked Mr. Donohoe about.
Mr. REED. Well, I should say that it would be certain that Mr. Mitchell could do it.
Mr. BRANDEIS. — Well, have you any doubt as to General Donohoe being able to do it?
Mr. REED. — Well, it might take General Donohoe longer. I think that is what he is at work on now.
Mr. BRANDEIS. Well, if he is at work on that now, I won't delay Mr. Mitchell any longer.
Q. (By Ald. LOMASNEY.) Just a moment, Mr. Mitchell. Do you remiember that error in the appropriation or the mistake of the Commissioners in regard to not having sufficient money that occurred here last summer for one of the buildings out at Austin Farm ?
A. The date ?
Q. Well, what is customary? Does the Auditor's office pay contractors without in every case having the Commissioners certify along with the City Architect the correctness of the bill ?
1. As a rule the architect certifies to the Commissioners, and the Commissioner's draw the draft for him.
Q. They draw the draft?
4. Yes, sir — or request it draft of the Auditor; make a request for it.
Q. Well, have there been any bills paid without that being done?
4. At the time when the buildings were first started the Architect made the certificate himself without the Commissioners making a requisition for it.
Q. About how much money was paid on those buildings without the Commissioners' approval or on the certificate of the Architect?
. That I cannot tell without looking it up. I can tell very reulily. Q. You remember there wils some ? A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is that contrary to the ordinances or contrary to the custom ? Which is it— ordinance or custom ?
A. Well, where a department does their own work they make the requisition. In the case of school-houses, etc., the Architect has complete control; and in this case he started in that same way until corrected by the Auditor.
Q: The Auditor compelled the City Architect to secure the approval of the Commissioners before he did it?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Now, relating to that matter of last year, do you remember what the cause was of that shortage -- why it was that there was that deticiency?
d. Do you mean what excuse was offered for it? Q. Yes, sir.
A. I believe the Architect didn't take into account the money that had been paid for land.
Q. Well, isn't erery head of the department conipelled to keep a book by the ordinances in which a record shall be made of all contracts ?
A. The Auditor has nothing to do with that, sir. The Auditor makes a record of all contracts.
Q. Well, as a matter of fact, the auditor's office approves of the bills ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And they require that the bills shall be contracted and paid according the ordinances ?
A. Yes. sir.
Q. Well, don't the ordinances provide that the heads of departments shall keep a book in which shall be enterer the contracts entered into by that department?
A. I don't know that it mentions contracts. I believe it says that each department shall keep a set of books. Q. Well, I will read this section to you:
Every officer or board in charge of a department shall keep records of the acts and doings of the department, in books kept specially for the purpose, including a book in which he shall record all contracts and all changes and alterations made in contracts or specifications for work and materials furnished for said department, and files of its papers," etc.
Now, whose fault was that that was not included in the estimate for the new building ?
4. I don't know. The Auditor didn't make the estimate and I know nothing about it.
Q. Well, you have all the papers in connection with the estimates 'in that case, haven't you?
A. No, sir.
Q. Where are the papers in connection with it?
A. That I don't know. Whenever one of the departments wants to get an appropriation it sends a petition to the City Government for it. It is then referred to the Committee on Finance, and they present the report to the government and find the means.
Q. The cause of the deficit was that the price of the land was not included in the estimate ?
A. That, I understand, was the Architect's excuse.
Q. And were they approved by the Auditor, by the Mayor, and by the other oflicers?
1. The Auditor didn't approve any bills in excess of the appropriation made.
Q. Were they approved by the Commission ?
Q. He signed the contracts, and the Mayor approved them, in excess of the appropriation ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. (By Mr. RILEY.) That is, Mr. Witness, this provision of the law was broken:
No officer or board in charge af a department shall, unless specially authorized thereto by statutes, make any expenditure or incur any liability on behalf of the city for any purpose or object, until an appropriation sufficient to meet such expenditure or liability, together with all other expenditures and liabilities, which he or it proposes to make, and which are properly chargeable to the same appropriation, has been made therefor.
That provision of law was broken?
Ă. Well, the Architect was the man who made the contracts. The ordinances provide that he shall make them.
Q. Now, how much money was paid out on those contracts without the approval of the Commissioners of Public Institutions ?
A. I cannot tell you now; but I could tell you.
Q. If you should come here again -- and I think Brother Brandeis asked you to come again and bring some papers can you just as well as not bring us up any documents you have showing the price paid by the Commissioners for butter sent to the institution ?
21. Yes, sir. What particular date do you wish ?