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Real estate record and builders' guide: [v. 30, no. 762: Articles]: October 21-28, 1882

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October 31—28, 1882 The Record and Guide. 29 THE RECORD AND GUIDE. Officje, 191 Broad-way. OCTOBER 21—28, 1882. INQUIRE WITHIN. Our columns this week will be found full of interesting matter for all who do business in the metropolis. Sir Oracle discourses upon the future of prices. Our Washington correspondent throws a side light upon the famous River and Harbor Bill, and fore¬ shadows the trouble the m.ajority will have in organizing the next Congress. Is the decision of the Court of Appeals in the Story case to be so interpreted as to give Jay Gould a lien on all the property on each side the elevated roads 9 This query will be found discussed editorially. Architects will read with great interest the article on apartment houses, while p)eople who are furnishing their houses will be instructed by the illustrated article on ivall paper. The great real estate sale of last Wednesday is fidly described, and a great variety of imformation on other topics will be found in the columns of this journal. PRICE OF RECORD AND GUIDE. Per Annum, - - - - - $5.0( With Supplement, - - - - 6.00 Record and Guide, Single Copy, - . . 10 cents With Supplement, - - - - 15 " COST OP ADVERTISING. Three months. Six months. Twelve months. Ten lines.................... $15 00 §27 00 $50 00 Twelve lines................. 18 00 32 00 00 00 Twenty lines................ 27 00 50 00 90 00 Twenty-five lines............ 34 00 63 00 112 00 Thirty lines.................. 40 00 70 00 135 00 Thirty-five lines............ 45 00 80 00 150 00 Forty lines.................. 50 00 90 00 175 00 Quarter column............. 48 00 90 00 165 00 Half column................. 90 00 175 00 ,325 00 Quarter page................ 150 00 275 00 525 00 Single insertion, 25 cents per line. One inch of space makes" twelve lines. THE YITAL POINT. It does not matter much who is elected Governor, Messrs. Folger and Cleveland are both excellent candidates and the State would be safe in the hands of either. Nor will there be much choice between the rival would-be Mayors. Two very worthy gentlemen will be in the fleld and the one elected will certainly endeavor to make a good record while in office. The real point of interest for the voters of this city is not who shall be Governor or Mayor, but will it be possible to secure a legislature that will pass a charter, giving New York city responsible home rule. On this point the local platforms of the opposing parties indulge in "glittering generalities," and there seems no honest intention in any responsible quarter to give the metropolis the amended city charter it so urgently needs. The Mayor of New York should be the official head of the city instead of a mere clerk as he is at present. All commis¬ sions should be abolished and single heads of departments substituted, who should be appointed by the Mayor, subjectto removal by the same officer if they failed to perform their duties to his satisfaction. The authority of the Board of Aldermen should be reduced to zero. It should not be permitted to thwart the Mayor in his appointments or removals. In view of the lessons of our past municipal history the legislator who would vote to leave this power with the aldermen should be regarded as a public enemy and made to understand by press aud voter that he was a marked man among our municipal politicians. The vital point, then, is a new charter or such amendments to the present one as will give the Mayor of New York the same authority and responsibility as that now wielded by the Mayor of Brooklyn. The heads of departments under our Mayor should have power to get rid of holders of sinecure positions, as well as to diminish salaries, but not increase them. A reform city government with a responsible Mayor could easily save $2,000,000 per annum, and yet every depart¬ ment of the city government could be more efficiently admin¬ istered than it is to-day. '1 he editors of the city papers, Messrs, Reid, Bennett, Jones, Dana, Hastings, Schurz and Hurlbut all know that it does not make the slightest ditft-rence except to politicians which of the opposing candidates shall be chosen Governor or Mayor. At the same time tliey are alao aware that a charter which would give us responsible home rule would be an unmixed public beneflt. This can only be secured by the election of a It^gisla- ture pledged to vote for the right kind of a charter. Will ihey second The Eecoed AND Guide in tryiug to flnd out the vif ws of the various Assembly candidates upon this most important matter ? " Gigantic Jobs." One of the miseries entailed upon us by the reign of riugs was a miserably sordid way of looking at great enterprises, public and private ; and this legacy is much worse than the cosfc of all the rings in money. It is the tendency to regard every oostly public work as a *' gigantic job." Take the case of the river and harbor bill. There was a go"eral and just impression that the House of Representatives last winter was disposed to be a very profligate body. The character of lis organization and its leadership prehgured this, and the public l»ad an uneasy feeling that there wei-e jobbers in Congress and that the jobbers had their way. The river and harbor bill was the scape¬ goat upon whicli this feeling was visited. It appropriated a large amount of money—avast amount of money from the point of view of the average citizen, though a mere trifle in comparison with the wealth of the nation, if the appropriation was needful—and its passage was secured by log-rolling. Everybodv says it was a' 'gigan¬ tic job." Perhaps it was. We do not pretend to any detailed knowledge of its provisions, or to any other guarantee that they were proper than is furnished by the certificates of the army offi¬ cers, who are by long odds the most competent and conscientious class of men in the public service. Perhaps it was, but that is not the point. The point is, that the first man you meet and the first newspaper you pick up will tell you that it is a gigantic job with¬ out g ving you any evidence and without showing any more knowledge than we have just claimed for our own parfc. People are so anxious to believe the bill was a job that they will believe it without evidence. Come nearer home. The two most costly public works iu this State are the Albany capitol and the Brooklyn bridge. People in general know nothing about them except that they are very costly, and on that knowledge alone denovmce them as "gigantic jobs." The argument seems to be something like this : Nothing ought to cost more than half a million, or, if the syllogizer is liberal, a mil¬ lion. Argal, all above that amount is stolen and the only remain¬ ing question is, by whom? It does not occur to any hostile critic to compute the amount of material and the cost of labor in a public work. It is less onerous to describe the work as a gigantic job and let it go at that. Now we are not concerned to defend either the Albany capito. or the Brooklyn bridge. It is very possible thafc a smaller and simpler building than the capitol would equally have served the needs of the State ; it is very possible that the public convenience secured by the Brooklyn bridge may not be great enough to justify the construction of so very costly a means of communication, even between the first and third cities of the Union. But to call a pub¬ lic work a misjudged or extravagant enterprise is one thing ; to call it a gigantic job is quite another. The latter epithet charges mis¬ appropriation of public money agamst the trustees of one work and the commissioners of the other, and since this can scai cely be possible without the connivance of the professional men in control of the works, it charges connivance upon architects and engineers and superintendents, who are all, so far as we know, men of un¬ spotted personal reputation and some of whom are men of the highest professional reputation. To make such a charge without evidence is either very cruel or very selfish; and where is the evidence ? Since the Albany capitol was begun every branch of its adminis¬ tration has been changed—commissioners, architects, supeilntend- ents—and every change has been accompanied by an investigation. When Governor Tilden came in, in 1875, there was a Democratic investigation of a Republican administration; when Governor Cornell came in, in 1880, there was a Republican investigation of a Democratic administration Last winter there was another Demo¬ cratic investigation, by a committee of the Assembly, of the second Republican administration. Every set of administrators have had