December 17, 1913

December 17, 1913

With Huerta-like disregard for, and defiance of the will of petitioning taxpayers the city council Tuesday night posponed the initiative petition cutting off salaries from councilmen and the mayor, and without a protesting vote, hid behind a technicality to thwart threatened economy in city business. Councilman Millar alone said he was willing to waive subterfuge with the people at the polls, but voted with his colleagues. Joy approaching religious hysteria moved mayor and council after the vote protecting the salary grab.

The law allows 30 days before the recorder is compeled to act, although the council can place the amendment upon the ballot if it desires. City Attorney McCabe stated that the council would utilize every one of the days allowed in the hope to defeat the petition and save their salaries. If the council were not resorting to Mexican Congress tactics, it would not take a "city working" day to determine the validity of the signatures, and five minutes to put the salary issue on the city election ballots.

City Attorney McCabe discovered the "salary saving" loophole, and announced it when Councilman Summerville moved the petitions be laid over for consideration after their reading. There was little parley over grasping it, and citizens present gasped at the assumption of czar powers. The council and mayor were never more joyous.


Intimidation of voters by enforcing section 55 of the city charter is the latest threat of the city council. The charter provision reads as follows:

"No person shall be entitled to vote at any municipal election of the city who is not a qualified voter of the state of Oregon, who has not been a resident of the city of Medford for three months, and for twenty days in the ward nex preceding the date of said election, or who shall have neglected to pay any fine imposed upon him by any court of the city, or who have neglected to pay any poll, road or city tax assessment, lawfully payable by him during the year prior to the date of said election."

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