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Do We Really Want The City Council To Have This Kind Of Authority?

In a recent blog, I wrote that Councilman Paul Beane may have a valid point when he says the city charter needs to be updated.  I pointed out that the charter gives the mayor the authority to draft citizens into the police department.

Here’s another example of another part of the charter that seems to be out-of-date:

Free admission of uniformed police and firemen. The Council may require, however, by ordinance, all streetcar companies operating within the City limits to provide free transportation to policemen and firemen in uniform, or wearing a badge, and may require all proprietors of theatres, moving picture shows and other places of public amusement to admit without charge all policemen, in the employ of the City.  [Article IX, Section 4]

I am a former police officer with the greatest respect for police officers and firefighters, but do we really want the council to have the authority to mandate that business owners give away their services?

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