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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (July 1, 1921)
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A City Coal Yard and Public Market
The effort by Lincoln people to secure a mu
nicipal coal yard and a municipal public market
is now before the city council in the form of
ordinances. Mr. Charles W. Bryan was elected
as a member of the city council af the city elec
tion last spring: on a platform declaring in fav
or of a municipal coal yard, a municipal public
market and a municipal ice plant. Lincoln has '
the. commission form of government, consisting
of five councilmen or commissioners. Mr.
Bryan was voted for by the people and given the
majority vote over the other candidates who had
expressed a preference for the position of mayor.
The city commissioners, however, refused to
recognize the will of the people as expressed at
the polls and voted Mr. Bryan into the position
of street commissioner and selected the man
whom Mr. Bryan had defeated in the preference
Yote for mayor at the election.
A movement is now under way in Lincoln to
recall the mayor and also one of the other com
missioners at a special election, and petitions are
also in .circulation asking that the ordinances es
tablishing a municipal coal yard, public market
and 1ce plant be placed on the ballot so that
the people could vote on these issues direct.
In the meantime Mr. C. W. Bryan io holding
the position of street commissioner and has pre
pared anq introduced ordinances providing for
thq establishment of a municipal coal yard and a
munioipal public market. If the council will
adopt Jiese ordinances, it will not bo necessary
to L0I4 a, special election to have these ordi
jxaces adapted under the initiative and referen
dum provision, otthe. city charter.'
Below is a copy df a statement given to the
Lincoln press by Mr. rBryan commenting on the
ordinances which he Introduced and a copy, of
the ordinances also appears below. Mr. C. W.
"X have introduced a municipal coal yard
ordinan.ce and..a. municipal public market ordi
nance. The object-in asking for the adoption
of these ordinances is for the purpose of reduc
ing the price of coal and for the purpose of re
ducing the price of vegetables and produce and
establishing a market for products of gardeners
and farmers living in the vicinity of Lincoln.
"The price of coal has been .reduced at the
mine during the past six weeks, and during the
came period coal has been advanced in the city
of Lincoln. A municipal coal yard should save
to the people of Lincoln who desire to patron
ize a municipal coal yard about 3.50 a ton on
good soft coal. A public market in Lincoln,
properly established and conducted, should re
duce the. cost of vegetables, produce, home
grown fruits, berries, potatoes, apples and other
home-grown foodstuffs thirty or forty per cent
without reducing the price paid to the farmers,
"Withthousands of people out of employment
in Lincoln and" with incomes curtailed or entire
ly cut off not only of the laboring people but of
all the middle classes, a municipal coal yard and
a municipal public market would be a god-send
to all classes of people and would stimulate all
lines of business.
"The vote cast for me at the spring election
was a vote to reduce the cost of living by estab
lishing a municipal coal yard, a municipal public
market and a municipal ice plant. As the peo
ple's will was overridden as to their preference
for mayor, a great many people feel that the
majority of the council is opposed to establish
ing these municipal undertakings for the pur
pose of reducing the cost of living to the com
mon people. The people may be mistaken as to
.the sentiment of the council. I hope that they
are, and I sincerely hope that the council will
.approve these ordinances without delay,
"The United States government reports show
that the number of people out of employment
is increasing notwithstanding the fact that we
are in the middle of what should be the busy
season of the year fQr all classes of employment.
The quicker we. establish a municipal coal
yard and a public market, the fewer people
In Lincoln tlierd will be who will "have to be
taken care of opt of public funds-during, the
fall and winter, . . ; '
"The ordinances that I have introduced are in
exact form .tqose.that are beingvcirculatfcd by
the people asking, that these ordinances be sub-
mitted at a special election so that the pec-plo
may vote on them direct. The public should
not be compelled to go to the expense of secur
ing the legal number of signers to get relief from
the high cost of food and fuel or to bo compelled
to hold an election to enforce their will.
"So fearful are the people that a majority of
the council will oppose the establishment of a
municipal coal yard, a municipal public, market
and a municipal ice plant as other cities have
established that they have placed in circula
tion petitions asking for a recall of the two
members of the council whom the daily press
reported during the recent city campaign as be
ing opposed to establishing a municipal coal
yard, a municipal public market and a municipal
ice plant. When the people's will was over
ridden in the selection of a mayor, I refrained
from doing what was done in Wichita, Kansas,
under the same law that we hove here and un
der the same conditions. In Wichita the man
whom the council shunted into another position
notwithstanding he was the choice of the pub
lic for mayor, resigned from the council and
stood as a cand'date for mayor in a recall elec
tion, defeated the man whom the council put in
for mayor and relegated the usurper to private
"I could be of more service to the people in
reducing the cost of living in the position of
mayor than I can as street commissioner. How
ever, I did not enter the campaign with a de
sire to hold office but only for the purpose of
assisting to, reduce the cost of living and putting
Lincoln back on the map in a business way. I
felt like the surer and more practical way io
establish a municipal coal yafd, a municipal pub
lic market, etc., was to hold the position as street
commissioner and make the best effort possible
to secure the establishment of the coal yard and
public market through action of the city coun
cil while the people could undertake to secure
them under the initiative, then if I failed to get
relief for the people through the council, the ef
fort could go ahead to secure relief through
initiated ordinances without any loss of time.
- "The argument cannot be fairly made that ft
will cost too. much to establish a municipal coal
yard and a municipal rublic market. The estab
lishment of these two municipal projects will
save money to the people, and a great deal of
it. The municipal coal yard ordinance provides
for a revolving fund of $20,000. The $20,000
is to establish a credit on which to buy coal.
When the coal, is sold which it will be the
credit fund is restored. The coal yard, there
fore, pays its way and the $20,000 revolving
fund, or the greater part of it, will be constant
ly in the hands of the city treasurer. Omaha
set aside a fund of $25,000, and none of it has
been used during the three years the municipal
coal yard has been in operation there,
"A municipal coal yard, therefore, will not N
cost the taxpayers any money but will Teduce
the price of coal three or four dollars a ton and
should save the people $40,000 to $50,000 a year
i their coal bills without being unfair to the
private coal dealers.
"The $25,000 asked for for the municipal
public market is for the construction and equip
ment of a public market as other cities have.
Some members of the city council have publicly
expressed themeslves in favor of a municipal
public nvrket in the. past. Some of the civic
clubs of Lincoln, including the women's organ
izations, ministerial association, home economic
departments of the university, etc., have publicly
declared in favor of -a municipal public market.
A properly conducted public market should
save to the people of Lincoln $100,000 a year
as a conservative estimate on their vegetables,
produce, fruit, butter, eggs, poultry, meats, etc.
The public market, therefore, will not cost the
taxpayers anything but should save them 300
per cent a year on the small amount needed to
exblish a. public market.
'. ,"I hope the council wjlt Immediately pass
these ordinances and help carry them into effect
for the purpose of giving the people .relief as
early as. possible in the cost pf food, apd fuel.
Xl the people have to go to the expeqse of holding
a special election before .they can get, relief
from the combination on coal and he monopoly
in fruits, vegetables and, ,prqduce in.incQln, the
bTajine will rest ori the cjty. .council. .If the:coun
UtdefetSjte .901 .and publip4jniarjtej, ordinances '
,the- people jvill . feel that it is not
only necessary to adopt the ordinances
through the initiative but to also place men In.
tho council who may bo depended upon to carrj
the ordinances into effect after they boen
adopted by the people at a popular election.
"The olcction of two other members of the
council in a recall election would not be fdr
tho purpose of giving me the position of mayor
but for the exclusivo purpose of placing in tho
council a majority who wore in favor of reduc
ing the cost of living and again start Lincoln
on tho upturn. I have waived my claim to the
position of mayor notwithstanding that a ma
jority of tho people selected me for that posi
tion, and I will hold the position of street com
missioner to help carry into effect the ordinances
for tho establishment of a municipal coijl yard,
and public market if approved by the council, or
if necessary, through initiated ordinances.
"I cannot believe that tho so-called business
interests will join in a united effort to help
freeze the poor people of Lincoln out of $4.00
a ton for their coal or to oppose a public market
that may enable hundreds of families in Lin
coin to buy as much food as tholr physical neods
ORDINANCE FOR MUNICIPAL COAL YARD
An ordinance providing for tho establishment
and maintenance of a municipal coal and wood
yard, and appropriating money therefor, and
repealing all ordinances or parts of ordinances
in conflict therewith.
Section 1. Immediately following the pass
age and approval of this ordinance the city
council shall either provide a place or purchase
and build or lease the necessary buildings and
grounds for the establishment of a municipal
coal and wood yard within the limits of said
Section 2. The managment and" supervision
of tho municipal coal and wqod yard rhalt bo,
under the superintendent of the department of
streets and public Improvements, who with tho
approval of the-council, may prescribe such. rule3
and regulations as may seem advisable.
Section 3. Coal and wood- shall T)e purchased
as direct from the original sources of supply
as possible, and sold to cltizenB of Lincoln at
a reasonable price. No one purchaser of coal
shall be permitted to 'purchase more than tviq .
tons of coal at any oiiq time. '
Section 4. There Is hereby appropriated
of moneys now intho hands of the city
treasurer not otherwise appropriated, or which
may hereafter be in the hands of the city treas
urer, a revolving fund in the' sum of $20,000
or so much thereof as may be necessary, to
make effective the provisions and purposes ol
Section 5. All ordinances or parts of ordi
nances In conflict herewith are hereby repealed,
ORDINANCE FOR MUNICIPAL PUBLIC
An ordinance providing for the establishment
and maintenance of a municipal public market
appropriating money therefor, and to repeal all
ordinances cf: parts of ordinances in conflict
Section 1. Immediately following the pass
age and approval of this ordinance, the city
council shall either provide or purchase and
build pr lease the necespary grounds and build'
ings for the establishment of a municipal publi
market centrally located with'n the limits of said
city, where produce, vegetables, fruits, poultry,
eggs, butter, meats and such other foodstuff
as are usnally offered for sale In municfpal publU
markets may be offered for sale, with .such, pro'
visions lor heat, ice and cold storage faciiitiei
as may seem necessary to .successfully operate
a public market.
Section 2. The management and supervision '
of the municipal public market shall be undei
the superintendent of the department of Public
Section 3. Venders of foodstuff may te as
signed stalls or space for the sale of such food
stuffs on such terms and under such rules at
the superintendent, with the approval of th
council, may determine.
Section 4. There is hereby appropriated vou(
of moneys now in the hands of tjie city treas
urer not otherwise appropriated, or which may
hereafter be in the hands of the city treasurer,
the sum of $25,000 or so much thereof as miiy
be necessary, tomake effective the provisions
and purposes of this ordinance.
Section 5. AH . ordinances . or parts -.of .ordi
nances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
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