990356

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The Charter Advisory Committee reported on presenting Charter amendments to the public. The committee suggested a delay until Autumn for revision work on the Charter. See full description in Digital Collections

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Trustees John Leary, President E O Graves, vice Pres Thos W Prosch, 2nd vicePres E F Wittler, Treasurer Percy Rochester A P Mitten B F Shaubut Hermann Chapin W E Bailey A Holman G Davies G H Heilbron U R Niesz Jacob Furth Seattle Chamber of Commerce (Incorporated.) Seattle, Washington Jan 29th 1891 Hon Mayor and Council of the City of Seattle Gentlemen: The Commission intrusted by you with the examination of the City Charter and the suggestion of the Amendments thereto, fully appreciated the magnitude and importance of the task, as well as the honor individually paid to its members in their selection to revise the work of the fifteen freeholders who have been truthfully declared the most able and distinguished body of citizens ever assembled in Seattle. Unsought as was this honor, and though shrinking somewhat from the trust, the members of the Commission undertook the work in good faith. Several meetings were held, officers elected, committees appointed and the work appropriately assigned. It was the opinion of all that there should be no haste, that there was time enough to do all that was desired, and that two or three months would

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2 Trustees John Leary, President E O Graves, vice Pres Thos W Prosch, 2nd vicePres E F Wittler, Treasurer Percy Rochester A P Mitten B F Shaubut Hermann Chapin W E Bailey A Holman G Davies G H Heilbron U R Niesz Jacob Furth Seattle Chamber of Commerce (Incorporated.) Seattle, Washington 189 perhaps be consumed in the undertaking. It was also the common idea that the Council wished to submit the amendments that might be offered to the people at a special election to be called for the purpose during the latter part of the coming spring or the early part of summer. It was supposed that this would be done in accordance with a provision of Section One of Article twenty of the Charter, which declared that amendments may be submitted to the qualified voters "at a special election to be called for the purpose by the City Council." Upon investigation it has been found that this provision of the Charter is in conflict with the State Constitution, which in Section ten of Article Eleven says that "such charter may be amended by proposals therefor submitted by the Legislative authority of such city to the election thereof at any general election after notice of said submission, published as above specified, and ratified by a majority of the qual-

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3 Trustees John Leary, President E O Graves, vice Pres Thos W Prosch, 2nd vicePres E F Wittler, Treasurer Percy Rochester A P Mitten B F Shaubut Hermann Chapin W E Bailey A Holman G Davies G H Heilbron U R Niesz Jacob Furth Seattle Chamber of Commerce (Incorporated.) Seattle, Washington 189 ified election voting thereon."The attempt of the city are a unit in their assertion that the Constitutional proviso above quoted absolutely prevents the submission of amendments to the Charter at a special election, and that in this particular the charter is null and void, in the view your Commission is compelled to acquiesce. This being the case, and the general election not coming until March 1892, it is thought to be unwise to attempt the proposed revision at this time, a year and more before the earliest date at which amendments that might be suggested could be presented to the people. We are convinced that in some respects that Charter can be amended to general advantage, but at the same time we hope that another year's trial will persuade the people that it is not so faulty a document as many now believe. Like new machinery, it may run more smoothly the second

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4 Trustees John Leary, President E O Graves, vice Pres Thos W Prosch, 2nd vicePres E F Wittler, Treasurer Percy Rochester A P Mitten B F Shaubut Hermann Chapin W E Bailey A Holman G Davies G H Heilbron U R Niesz Jacob Furth Seattle Chamber of Commerce (Incorporated.) Seattle, Washington Jan 29th 1891 year that the first, in which event changes new apparently quite desirable may, if presented, be directly the reverse We suggest that, as delay is unavoidable, the work of revision be postponed until the fall months, in the meantime the operation of the charter being watched closely by all concerned. With sincere thanks for the honor done us, the trust reposed in us is returned whence it came. Very Respectfully, Thos. W Prosch} representing the J F Ronald } Chamber of Commerce M Korn Board of Aldermen W A Snyder Board of Aldermen Frank Hanford House of Delegates S M Shipley Hose of Delegates E C Neufelder Board of Trade R H Goldie Board of Trade Thos J McCorry building Trades council Alexander Walls W C L W

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275 Communication from Chamber of Commerce January 29th, 1891 re amendments to City Charter

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