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Mail Tribune 100

April 13, 1916

COUNCIL SHOULD ACT

The dilatory actions of the city council in the matter of the Blue Ledge railroad, together with the outspoken remarks of some of the councilmen, indicate a determined effort to keep the matter from being submitted to the people for a vote. We may be mistaken, and hope we are.

The people's business is public business and when the public servants bar the public from their deliberation of public matters, it does not look well. Secret sessions of the council have accomplished nothing except delay and there is a widespread notion that that is why they are resorted to.

No council is wiser or bigger than the people that elect them and the council that disagrees with the people had better bow to the inevitable or resign—for it was the self sufficiency, betrayal and egotism of public officials that created the Oregon system.

When it is apparent that a large percentage of the people desire to pass upon a public issue, it is the part of the public officials to comply with their constituents' desire. It is not their duty to block it or try to block it, in the mistaken egotism that their individual judgment is superior to the people they represent. What if it is—it is not democracy.

In the present instance, all the people desire is that the council put the matter in such shape that they can vote upon it, and this is the least the council can do, for it relieves the members of responsibility.

Some six months ago the people, by defeating the paving re-bonding plan, ordered the collection of paving assessments or at least interest thereon. No effort has as yet been made to collect them. No case has been brought to test their validity.

If the same tremendous speed is shown by the council in handling the Blue Ledge railroad proposal that has been shown in collecting the paving assessments, and there is evidence that the same lightning energy is at work, Medford might as well abandon all hopes of progress and resign ourselves to vegetate in peace.