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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government


The New York Times
April 13, 1914

Governor Says Vendors Impose on Township Authorities.

ALBANY, April 12.—Gov. Glynn has vetoed two bills relating to the purchase of highway machinery by the townships of the State.  The first bill would validate the illegal contracts made since 1909 between the townships and the manufacturers of road machinery.  The second bill would increase from $500 to $1,000 the amount which might be levied without the vote of a town meeting for the purchase of road machinery.  In explanation of his action in vetoing these bills the governor said:

"I intend to protect the taxpayers of New York from the audacious scheming of those who want to load up the townships with expensive machinery.  Some time ago I called attention to the fact that over $1,000,000 of the State's money had been misapplied in the purchase of stone crushers, steam rollers, and traction engines.  The highway law provides that State aid money cannot be used for the purchase of road machinery, but since 1909 the machinery manufacturers have persuaded townships to use State aid money for this purpose.  Hundreds of illegal contracts have been made.  The law has been violated.  Public money has been misapplied.  As the Executive, charged with the protection of the State taxpayers, I have vetoed this latest attempt to violate the law.

"The second bill is just as insidious.  It takes away from the taxpayers of the township the right to pass upon the purchase of expensive machinery.  If the townships of the State are to purchase machinery, I believe that purchase should be made in open meeting, where every taxpayer will have the right and the opportunity to be heard.

"No man can travel through the State without seeing road machines rusting beside our highways.  The Town Superintendents under the present law have been deceived by the plausible arguments of machinery agents, and as a result the townships are loaded up with hundreds of dollars' worth of road implements which, in many cases, are not practical for local work."

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