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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/774

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

demanded for these purposes; the expense of removal would be trifling, and possibly at times could be done without cost to the city; and the improvements made by this means would abate the serious nuisances caused by stagnant water, and by wet and marshy lands, and add to the taxable property of the city. The harbor of New York would also be relieved from the dangers incident to the dumping of ashes and garbage in the neighboring waters, and the adjacent shores would be spared from the offensive nuisance caused by such a primitive and obnoxious practice. The removal and disposal of ashes and garbage should be done by contract, as the details of the work can be minutely specified. As a general rule, municipal work should be done by contract, as the direct employment of men by public officials, and the ownership of carts, horses, and stables by the corporation, are likely to lead, directly or indirectly, to abuses, personal or political, and private enterprise can satisfactorily accomplish nearly all public work at reduced expense to the city.

3. The city should be divided into districts of such size that one man would be able to sweep the streets of his district and keep them clean at all times. Nothing being swept or thrown into the street, one man would be able to keep in good order a considerable territory. To every twenty-five or thirty districts there should be an inspector or foreman, to note the service of the men, their efficiency, capacity, and faithfulness, and the character and result of their work. To these inspectors or foremen the sweepers in charge of districts should be directly responsible for the cleanly condition of the streets in their respective territories, and the inspectors should be responsible to a general superintendent under the Commissioner of Street-cleaning. The inspectors, as well as the sweepers, should be known to the citizens of their districts by a badge or uniform; and they should aid the police, by information and otherwise, in the enforcement of the laws and ordinances relating to the streets and their cleanliness. The inspectors should be men of the discretion and executive capacity necessary to their office; and the sweepers should be able-bodied, industrious, and temperate men, their qualifications to be tested by a fair trial, and their places secure during good service and behavior. Both inspectors and sweepers should be paid by the month, thereby elevating their respective positions above that of the day laborer, and making this employment desirable on account of its continuity and permanence.

4. The cleaning of streets and the removal of ashes and garbage should be conducted on strictly business principles, and can never be successful or satisfactory unless exempted from personal and political influences. The commissioner at the head of the department and all officers and employés, including street-