CLAY WOLF REESMAN JR. was born in Pennsylvania around 1884. He married Alice Gibbs in the early 1900s.
He was living in Philadelphia PA in 1910. In November of 1911 he is listed as a member of St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church at Thorofare, Gloucester County, New Jersey.
The Reesman family is not listed in the 1914 Camden City directory. However, by September of 1918 the family had moved to Camden, and had bought a home at 44 North 24th Street in East Camden. Clay Reesman was then working as a traveling salesman. The family at that point included two daughters, Alice and Mary, and a son, John Andrew Reesman. The Reesman family had moved to 2772 Mickle Street in East Camden by 1924.
After moving to Camden, Clay Reesman soon involved himself in the civic and political life of Camden. He was charter member and first vice- president of the Camden chapter of the American Business Clubs. Other members included auto dealer DeMotte Eggie, Jack Weinberg, and William Shirley.
A member of the Republican party, he defeated Sergeant Ray Smith, who was backed by Jake Schiller, in the 1926 election for ward committeeman in the Twelfth Ward. Clay W. Reesman was elected May 10 on May 10, 1927 to the Camden City Commission on an all-Republican slate. He took the oath of office May 17, 1927. The other commissioners were General Winfield S. Price, Mayor; T. Yorke Smith, William D. Sayrs Jr., and Dr. David S. Rhone. One of his duties as commissioner was to oversee Camden's city-owned radio station, WCAM.
Although he had been elected to the City Commission as a Republican in 1927, Clay W. Reesman was chosen to succeed Otto Braun as City Clerk when control over hiring of city employees passed from the Republican Party to the Democrats in October of 1936, This change was the result of a New Jersey State Supreme Court decision which finally settled the disputed May 1935 election for Camden's City Commission.
Clay W. Reesman was close to one-time Burlington County Chief of Detectives Ellis Parker Sr., who was sentenced to federal prison for his involvement in the kidnap of a witness involved in the Lindbergh kidnapping. Clay Reesman and his wife visited Parker only a few days before his death in February of 1940.
Clay and Alice Reesman were still living at 2772 Mickle Street as late as 1947. He then still serving as Camden's City Clerk, a position he held up to his passing, on January 3, 1949. Long-time assistant Mary MacClennon served as acting City Clerk for over five years, when in August of 1954, John Odorisio was named to the post. Alice Reesman remained at the Mickle Street home until her death in November of 1976.
Camden Courier-Post - January 3, 1928
IS GIVEN $4000 JOB OVER HOT PROTEST BY ‘REBEL’ IN G.O.P.
Joseph H. Van Meter, insurgent Republican freeholder from Collingswood, today declared that David Baird Jr., Republican leader, had admitted that Theodore Kausel was “not the man for the job” to which he was appointed by the Board of Freeholders yesterday.
Van Meter quotes Baird as follows:
“I’ll admit that Kausel is not the man for the job. But you have to help me out because we promised to take care of Kausel when he came over to us in the city election. And it was through Kausel that we got Hitchner and a lot of his crowd.”
“We’ve got ourselves tied up with him. We’ve got to take him, and I want you to go along, and help me out”.
“I know his business record and I know his political record. I know the freeholders don’t want him and our conference don’t want him, but we’ve got to eat crow, and I want you to help me out”
Under the watchful eyes of organization leaders, Republican members of the Camden County Board of Freeholders yesterday took care of Theodore “Teddy” Kausel.
With David Baird Jr. and other chieftains of the party occupying front row seats, the board created the post of “general manager of county institutions and promptly named Kausel for the job at an annual salary of $4,000.
Like ghosts at a feast, Baird and the other party leaders sat silently at the freeholders reorganization meeting. Like actors in a carefully pre-arranged play, a little uncertain of their cues, 20 Republican freeholders cast furtive eyes at the group of spectators.
They said no word, these freeholders. They made no reply when Joseph H. Van Meter, of Collingswood, breaking from their ranks, declared that 20 of them had told him that Kausel was unfit for the position to which he was being appointed. They listened in uncomfortable silence while Van Meter gave voice to a scathing denunciation of their “lack of backbone” and while a running fire of sarcasm from Democratic members fell upon their ears.
Scene Was Drama
The scene was drama. It might have been a revised performance of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” with 28 furtive-eyed Uncle Toms and an impregnable line of Simon Legrees, cracking invisible whips in threatening gestures.
And the scene was also comedy. For of that score of men who, according to Van Meter, had agreed that Kausel was unfit for the job but “had to be taken care of,” none arose to protest against the action. Within their Hearts the chorus of Uncle Toms may have been saying.
The county may own out bodies, but our souls belong to the Republican Organization.”
But if they thought this, they said no word.
Today it was pointed out that it will not be long before freeholders come up for re-nomination at the primaries. Today, it was also predicted that Van Meter has signed his political death warrant so far as the Republican organization was concerned. But at least he received the ungrudging tribute of the Democratic minority on the board, who joyfully proclaimed that they had found “at last a Republican with guts.”
Van Meter Fights Hard
Van Meter spared no words, took no half-measures. He accused his fellow Republican members of coercion, double- dealing and weakness. He fought the appointment bitterly. He raked up the vocational school matter, in which $85,000 had been paid for the school site on Kausel’s recommendation, a price later declared to be exorbitant.
Democratic members joined the Collingswood insurgent. They charges that the $4,000 appointment was the price of Kausel’s allegiance to the Republican party. They declared that he wasn’t worth it. They recalled, later, that Kausel had shifted from the Republican Organization to the Non-Partisan movement and then back again after being one of the loudest to criticize the Organization. They asserted that after his removal as chairman of the vocational school board, he had sought the appointment as city purchasing agent. They avowed that the Republican City Commissioners had ‘refused to handle Kausel” and had “wished him off on the county.”
The 26 other Republican freeholders- all of those present, excepting only Van Meter- continued to listen in silence. And when the vote came, every one of the 26 voted for the creation of the position of “general manager of county institutions” and for the appointment of Kausel.
A little later the reprisals upon Van Meter began. He was removed from the central plant and county farm committees of the board, shifted to the elections committee and allowed to remain on the printing and agricultural committees, regarded as unimportant groups.
Reprisal Were Threatened.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “I was threatened with it. They told me they’d ruin me. But I couldn’t go back to Collingswood and ask the people to vote for me again if I hadn’t fought against this appointment.”
The defection of Van Meter came apparently as a surprise. The meeting had opened with the passage of the county budget on the first reading, the selection of Leslie H. Ewing, of Berlin, as director of the board, the calling of Frank P. Moles, of the Third Ward to be sworn in and his failure to respond or to appear for the gathering.
Minor matters had been attended to and then Fred W. George, clerk of the board, rose to his feet and began the task of reading a long list of proposed amendments to the rules. Buried far down in the list of revisions was that which, “for purposes of economy”, sought to place all county institutions under a central head to be known as general manager.
George lost his breath before he had more than half completed the lost of amendments, and George Rothermel, pinch-hitting for Walter Keown as counsel for the board, took his place. Then Director Ewing called for a vote.
Frederick W. Schorpp, Eighth Ward Democrat, was the first to speak
“ I want to congratulate you gentlemen,” he said, “on the wonderful way you have camouflaged these changes.
“ We have heard a long list of amendments to the rules read. But what the whole thing is can easily be seen. You gentlemen of the majority have a lame duck to take care of, and so you create this job. But I can’t see, really I can’t see why it is necessary to create a $4,000 plum for your lame duck and saddle it on the taxpayers.”
There was silence in the room. In the seat of the absent Freeholder William A. Robinson sat Baird. At the press table were Sheriff Walter Gross and City Commissioner William D. Sayrs, Jr. Ranged along the front row of the spectators’ section were Mayor Winfield Price and Commissioner Clay W. Reesman. They said nothing.
Louis C. Parker, Gloucester City Democrat, was next to speak.
“All these changes in the rules accomplish is to create a new job,” he declared, agreeing with Schorpp.
S. Raymond Dobbs, Fourteenth Ward Democrat, objected and moved that the resolution changing the rules be laid over until the regular January meeting. He was overruled by Director Ewing. Schorpp sought to have the rules voted upon separately, but James Davis, chairman of the committee, refused to accept the suggestion.
The roll call began. In alphabetical order the names were called and the freeholders voted. Republicans voted in favor of adoption of the changes. The three Democrats voted against the resolution. Van Meter’s name was the last to be called.
“No”, he said calmly, and there was a gasp pf surprise in the room. The clerk recorded the vote on the resolution as 26 to 4 and then began reading again. This was a new resolution. It named Theodore T. Kausel to the position just created and explained that he was to report to the “Lakeland Central Committee.”
Van Meter Protests
Van Meter rose slowly. He obtained recognition from the director and began, quietly but decisively.
“Gentlemen,” he said calmly. “I have studied this proposition. I have known about it for three days and three nights. I have talked to 20 Republicans member of this board and I have done all I could to get then to agree with me.
And they did agree with me. They agreed, every one, that Kausel was not the man for this job. After what happened on the vocational school project, when Kausel was president of the school board, he is not the man. On his recommendation, the vocational school site was purchased for $85,000. And now you want to send him where he will handle about a million dollars of the taxpayers’ money.”
Van Meter’s tone was serious as he turned to his fellow members. Most of the latter sat silently in the seats. They did not glance at the Collingswood insurgent. Baird, Gross, Price, Sayrs and Reesman listened intently. A few of the freeholders craned their necks towards the windows as the Camden mummers, returning from the New Years Day parade in Philadelphia, marched past the courthouse. But Van Meter went on.
“There is not one of you that has backbone enough to come here and fight this thing.” Van Meter continued.
I can’t see it go through. I couldn’t ask the people of Collingswood to vote for me again if I let it go through without a fight.
“You agreed with me that Kausel was not the man for the job. Haven’t you any backbone with which to fight his appointment now?”
Slowly, in complete silence that followed, he turned till he faced Horace G. Githens, the majority floor leader.
“Mr. Githens,” he said quietly and in a measured tone, “ if you will throw away your messenger’s cap and wear a leader’s hat, I will follow you.”
He sat down and the silence continued.
Schorpp Lauds Van Meter
Schorpp rose again.
“I’m glad to see one Republican who has backbone,” he said. “I told you there was a lame duck in this and here is the lame duck.
“Woods (Samuel Woods, Republican freeholder from Haddonfield) and you others criticized Kausel and other members of the vocational school board for their purchasing of the land for the school, claiming that it was an exorbitant price to pay for the land.
“And now these same men who criticized Kausel are putting him in a position where he will handle millions of the taxpayers money.
Dobbs followed on the floor.
“I don’t want to stand here and talk until 10 o’clock tonight just to give you reasons why Kausel shouldn’t get the job,” he said.
“In the first place, I couldn’t give all the reasons in that time, and in the second place, they wouldn’t register with this bunch.
“This is entirely unfair. It’s too high a price to pay Kausel to come back into the Republican ranks. The Republican leaders should pay it, however, and not saddle the price on the taxpayers.
“Personally, I don’t think he’s worth much politically. We had him for awhile and have had some experience as to the value of his services. I thought he could be bought for less than $4000 anyway.”
The resolution came to a vote. The Republicans, with the exception of Van Meter, again voted solidly. Twenty-six votes were cast for the appointment of Kausel. Van Meter and the three Democrats did not vote.
Van Meter issued a statement after the meeting, explaining his stand. He said:
“The reason I opposed Kausel’s appointment is because the man is extravagant. Director Ewing was one of the 20 Republicans I talked to who were opposed to hum, but were afraid on the floor. I didn’t talk to the Democrats.
“Ewing and the other Republicans said, “What can we do. We must take care of him. We promised to.’
Charges Unfair Tactics
“I knew when I went ahead with this that I’d be an outcast, but I was determined to do the right thing. This appointment is not the right thing.
“They told me I’d be ruined if I opposed them. Even up to the last minute before the meeting they came to my desk in the freeholder’s room and tried to throw a scare into me.
“I knew I’d be thrown out of committees and barred from the caucuses. They’ve let me remain on the printing committee. I’ve been on it a year, and it hasn’t met yet. Nevertheless, there is a $50,000 appropriation for printing.
“I’ve always tried to be on the level on this job. Why they had the workhouse slated for $120,000 but I fought and fought, and finally- well look at the budget- it’s cut down to $50,000.
“It’s not the first time I’ve saved them money. I don’t know Kausel personally, but I do know his record. It was because of his extravagance that he was fired from the Castle Kid Company.
And when I say he is extravagant, I can prove every word of it.”
The new Lakeland central committee, authorized in the resolution appointing Kausel, was announced by Director Ewing at the close of the meeting. Ewing is to be a member, ex-officio, and Horace G. Githens becomes a member by virtue of being chairman of the finance committee.
The chairman of the asylum committee, of the County Hospital committee, of the Almshouse committee, of the Detention Home committee, and the Tuberculosis Hospital committee all will become members.”
Name ‘Official’ Papers
An earlier vote had been taken in which the Democrats moved to designate The Evening Courier as the newspaper in which the budget was to be officially printed. The Republican majority had designated two weekly papers, the Camden Argus and the Berlin Breeze.
“It’s obvious,” said Dobbs, “why these designations have been made.”
Parker, Gloucester City Republican, agreed with this view and declared that the newspaper with the largest circulation in the county should be given the official county notices for publication as advertising.
Schorpp ironically suggested that the Christian Science Monitor be substituted for one of the two weeklies designated and the roll was called. The Argus and the Breeze were officially designated.
The appointment of Kausel bought the meeting to a conclusion. Of all the Republican freeholders, Davis was the only one to speak. He merely declared that he was one not one of the 20 men who Van Meter had said agreed that Kausel was not the man for the job.
Camden Courier-Post * January 18, 1928
13TH WARD G.O.P. CLUB PAYS TRIBUTE TO RHONE
A meeting which was described today as "a gathering in honor of David S. Rhone, director of public safety", was held last night at the Thirteenth Ward Republican Club, Haddon Avenue and Mechanic Street.
Arrangements were by made by the club for its annual ball to be held February 21. Plans were also discussed for the remodeling of the club's headquarters.
Camden Courier-Post * January 24, 1928
CITY BLASTS HOPES FOR BROADWAY LIGHTS
Hopes of the Broadway Business Men’s Association
to obtain 75 more lights on that thoroughfare have been blasted,
Commissioner Clay W.
Reesman says no funds are available to make possible the
reply to the request for additional lights was contained in a letter
received yesterday by Harry P.
Pelouze, president of the organization. Members of the association
have sought the new lighting for more than a year, contending that present
facilities are inadequate for the volume of business.
office today, it was said a smaller budget this year leaves no money
available to pay for additional lights. The new standards themselves, it
was reported would be erected by the Public Service Company, but the cost
of obtaining them would amount to approximately $5,500 a year or from $72
to $75 for each new light.
The request for better lighting on Broadway was made by the businessmen to the previous city commissioners, who assured the merchants that provisions for the additional lights would be made in 1928. No appropriation, however, has bee voted. The association will decide on what further steps to take at its next meeting.
Camden Courier-Post * January 27, 1928
DENIES LIGHT FUND SHIFT
February 20, 1928
Fifth Ward Republican Club
Trenton Times - August 14, 1929
H. Stehr - Dr.
David S. Rhone
V. Dickinson - Frank
- Clifford A. Baldwin -
H. S. Riddle
Camden Courier-Post * December 11, 1930
H. Stehr - Dr.
David S. Rhone
Camden Courier-Post - June 10, 1932
Camden Courier-Post - February 7, 1933
Palese Peddles Tickets For His Own Testimonial
Selling tickets for his own testimonial dinner is a distinction enjoyed by Assistant Prosecutor Rocco Palese.
The dinner, arranged as a testimonial to "the Polish Ambassador," proved a surprise to Palese last night when 28 friends, members of the "Srelsihc Club," let him share the secret in Hotel Walt Whitman.
The dinner, among other reasons, was tendered him because he was the only member of the club to put together a Courier-Post "Hi-Ho" puzzle. For a week prior to the affair he sold tickets to friends, not knowing the affair was in his honor.
With former Judge John B. Kates as toastmaster, wit and repartee passed the festive board, while entertainment was furnished by Bobby Heath and Billy James, famous writers of popular songs.
Those who did honor to Palese are: Judge Kates, Prosecutor Clifford A. Baldwin, Chief of County Detectives Lawrence T. Doran, John R. DiMona, Carl Kisselman, Herbert H. Blizzard, Robert Brest, Charles F. Knapp, Edward V. Martino, William Freeman, William Duby, Louis J. Gale, Edward Gorman, John J. Fitzgerald, City Commissioner Clay W. Reesman, Anthony Maltesta, F. J. Haws, Edward Neuman, Clifford Stratton, Jules Derowski, Bronislaw Derowski, Richard Troncone, T. Harry Rowland, William F. Lehman, William McDonald, Judge Frank F. Neutze and Robert W Saeger.
Camden Courier-Post - February 9, 1933
MONTANA WED TO MISS PALLADINO
|Camden Courier-Post - February 10, 1933|
ADOPTS CUT BUDGET AFTER CLASH
The Camden City Commission yesterday approved the 1933 city budget after hearing and rejecting economy recommendations of several civic and labor organizations.
Eight speakers representing five organizations urged budget reductions and protested the total of $3,353,124.60. Verbal clashes over opinions were frequent between Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of finance and revenue, and former Councilman Frederick von Nieda and Thomas B. Hall, representatives of the Congress of Civic Associations of New Jersey.
300 persons attended the hearing, in marked contrast to the 5000 who
marched on city hall last year to demand budget reductions. The hearing
lasted three hours. The departmental budget appropriations of
$3,353,124.60 with the local school appropriation of $1,250,000 and other
appropriations, totaling $960,060.55 to be added in the tax ordinance yet
to be adopted, will give the city a total expense of $5,563,185.15 for
Tax Bill About Same
The tax rate will not be known until the tax ordinance is adopted. After the hearing Commissioner Bennett declared that due to equalization of assessments, the bills of some taxpayers will be a few dollars higher than last year, and a few dollars lower in other cases. The commission, after approving the budget on a motion by Commissioner Bennett, adopted a resolution leasing WCAM to the Broadcast Advertising Company for $1000 per year and a percentage of all receipts over $24,000. All maintenance costs will be born by the company, of which Rudolph Preisendanz, Jr., is head.
the budget was adopted Bennett declared the City Commission would take
into consideration an allegation of Frank J. Hartmann,
of the Civic Congress, that the $125,400 appropriation for street lighting was $26,450 higher than it should be
according to figures obtained by him concerning the city's .lighting
equipment. "If there has been an error the budget can be amended at
Commissioner Bennett said.
Clay W. Reesman, under whose department street lighting comes,
declared that figures in his office concerning street lighting were
different from those quoted by Hartmann. The figures he used,
said, were obtained by him from City Comptroller Sidney P. McCord.
Von Nieda was the first citizen to address the commission. Shifting papers in his hands, he faced the commissioners and said: "We have here $40,000 for your Recorder's Court in 1932, and $25,000 for 1933."
Commissioner Bennett jumped to his feet.
1932 figures," Bennett said, "were merely an estimate of the
receipts to be taken in, but that amount did not come in. This year we
anticipate only $25,000, which we consider a fair estimate."
fine" said von Nieda, "but we have never had a chance to sit in
with you on these figures."
can sit in with us at any time," responded Bennett, "We're glad
to have you."
see here," said von Nieda, "that the transportation inspector is
paid from fees, but you show no fees and the inspector should be paid by
the Public Service. I also suggest that you turn Convention Hall over to
the poor. Now in dealing with Station WCAM, I see you show a profit for
the last three months of $1000, while in 1932, you show no records of
receipts, and we are just wondering.'.
Worried by WCAM
"Do you want that answered now?" asked Bennett. "WCAM has given myself and the other commissioners some concern during the past year. It is our duty to see that we receive as much income as possible. Different methods have been used in the radio station to make it pay during the past three months, and during this time that station has been in the black. We figure that in 1933 there will be no deficit in this station, and we look for a profit of more than $1000."
"Now in this matter of eliminating deputy directors," von Nieda said.
He was interrupted by Commissioner Reesman.
tell you," said Reesman, "about my deputy director Carlton Harris.
My deputy receives $1750 a year. He has charge of all labor in the
Department of Parks and Public Property. He is on the job every
morning at 7:00 AM, and often works until 10 p. m., with the labor outside."
speaking of the assessors," von Nieda continued, "we
should have assessors who are not influenced by politicians or political
know I won't stand for that," answered Bennett. "The
readjustment of ratables is only a small part 1 of the work we are doing.
Each property is assessed on a basic principal. Any
time you have a suggestion that will help us in our work we will
be glad to hear from you but I firmly believe that real state must be
relieved of its heavy tax burden by an income and sales tax, and this tax
must come sooner or later.
"As far as the city commissioners are concerned, we are studying it from day to day, in efforts to get out of the wilderness.
speaking of the purchasing department," von Nieda
know what happened there last year. You fired your purchasing agent, and
if you had not fired him it probably would have afforded the public some
interesting reading about this purchasing department.
of my men are working overtime,' replied Bennett. "It is true the
purchasing agent is out and his work is being done by an assistant (William
Dilmore) at half his salary. We have got rid of as many people in
these departments as we can. I had to let one girl go in the purchasing
department and one girl in Controller McCord's department. One man went on
pension in the tax office and two were let out in efforts to balance the
"In .one of my departments where there were three girls I had, to make a $900 cut by leaving one girl out. called the three girls into my office and told them that one had to go and asked them what their home responsibilities were. One had to take care of her family, including a 77-year-old aunt; another a family with a 66-year-old aunt, and the third was supporting three or four brothers with the help of another brother, who is a barber working for practically what tips he could get.
"But I had to make a $900 cut. The girls asked me not to dismiss any of them, as they each would take a $300 cut in addition to cuts .already applied. Another man took an extra $260 cut so that he would not be out of work. But I had the budget to take care of, and I am ready to challenge any city the size of Camden to show so nearly a balanced budget. Our plan is to pay as we go."
cite two or three instances," protested
von Nieda. "But I want
to show you scores of families which have no money and they are taxpayers.
You say you have cut to the bone, but you should cut through the bone.
This is no grandstand play by us. Maybe we can give you some help. Then,
too, the debt interest must be paid on this tragedy," he shouted,
pointing to walls of the commission chamber.
you can tell me how to get rid of the bonds," suggested Bennett.
"You must remember this year we have cut $900,000 from the
Von Nieda said the Civic Congress recommended that work now being done by two city solicitors should be done by one, that when more policemen and firemen are needed "little fellows” be restored first wherever possible; that the city incinerating plant be closed; that the personnel of the city's two' sewage disposal plants be reduced; that the city's lighting bill be cut $40,000; that inspectors of lighting be abolished and their work done by policemen and the city's engineer's department. Personally he favored an income tax, he said, to relieve the I burden on real estate.
realize,” von Nieda
said, "that the city commission has done a fair
job, but of the congress, with conservatively 15,000 members, think you
can do even better.
Commissioner Frank B. Hanna, director of public works, interrupted von Nieda on the subject of the incinerating plant, which von Nieda declared could be abandoned because it did not burn garbage, but only rubbish.
you see me at 9:00 AM tomorrow and go through my department with me?"
“Any time," replied von Nieda.
Warns of Tax Strike
"However," von Nieda continued, "we are wondering what the figures in the right hand corner of the tax bill will be. Assessments may be lower and the tax rate higher, and that does not give a true picture. I fear the bills will be more for 1933 and for one am willing now to take the 1932 assessment on my home.
congress vigorously opposes this personality tax. You expect to tax the
homeowner for everything he has. I warn YOU gentlemen that if this tax is
imposed in Camden there will be a run on banks and building and loan
associations. If that happens homeowners and renters will leave this
unfortunate city. There will be a tax strike here, and so help me God, I'm
reiterated demands of the union for increased relief payments to
unemployed, urged a municipally-owned lighting plant,
operated at a profit, the same as the city's water department; a municipal
lodging house; use of hand labor instead of machinery in all city
contracts and the employment of labor to "tear down the slums in
was the next speaker. He read from a prepared statement which he declared
was an analysis a\of the city's 1932 lighting expenses, and which, he
said, could be lowered “had we used larger lamps.“
After enumerating the individual costs of lamps of various candle power, and contending a change in the lamps would effect a saving this year, Hartmann charged the city has overpaid for electric energy in street lighting.
Commissioner Reesman declared that figures used by Hartmann were in error and that therefore, his computations as to possible savings were wrong. He announced, however, he would study the situation to discover if there was any error in the budget concerning street lighting, as alleged by Hartmann.
Civic Congress is now circulating petitions for a referendum on a
municipal lighting plant," Hartmann
said. "We now have 10,000 of
the required 11,000 signatures, and we do not intend to stop until we have
25,000. You commissioners can stop these petitions by adopting a
resolution declaring a referendum on the question."
then asked that the work of the city electrical inspector be taken over by
the National Board of Fire Underwriters,
and that "when the next tax sale is held, all properties be
advertised, including banks, garages and to whomever the property
Bennett then arose and said: "I've used' discretion on that. There
are some who are paying as low as $5 per month, and I think these people
should be helped. We commissioners do not want to sell the home of anyone.
That is what we are trying to stop. We are in perfect agreement on
about the Bridge Garage?" some one in the audience shouted.
Bridge Garage has just paid $1500," Bennett said, "and promises
to pay something every month. We are trying to make the tax bills lower by
getting in all the monies we can,
and where possible to take in delinquent payments no matter how small.
Clarence Moullette, secretary of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey, then arose. He asked for a moratorium on the city debt service for five years, and urged the commission to adopt such a resolution memorializing the Legislature for that relief: He announced opposition to the personality tax.
are not questioning the actions of the commissioners, Moullette
“Spending less money will not help the situation. Commissioner Hanna.
told me if he had $51,000 additional in his department six closed garbage
trucks could purchased. This will help give work. By cutting down salaries
you decrease purchasing power. Work must be had. Eventually you will pay
asked that Convention Hall be abandoned and the building used for
hospitalization work for the needy, and urged the city commission to
"meet in the evenings so that citizens will know and see what is
going on." He asked for abolition of the positions of plumbing,
building, sewer and heating inspectors.
'Close High Schools'
"The commission should face conditions as they are," he said. "I speak for myself, and not the Civic Congress. I ask that the high schools be closed. I heartily approve closing of the Vocational School, but if choice was to be made between high schools and the Vocational School, I would say close the high schools. Before selling the home of anyone to meet impossible taxes, I say cut to the bone by getting rid of everything that is not absolutely necessary.
commissioners must be made to realize that increased taxation is what has
destroyed purchasing power in America. Meet this condition!
Bennett challenged the statement of Hall that government costs were
responsible for conditions of today.
are numerous causes," Bennett said.
would rejoice in debating it with you or anyone you select," Hall
replied, "including United States senators, and convince them in 20
debate that with him," shouted Morris Stempa of
Audubon from the audience. Stempa later addressed the commission,
speaking for the Socialist party, and urged the moratorium advocated by
Moullette, also a Socialist.
Wasilewski, speaking for you the South Camden Civic Association, denounced
the commission for failing to call in civic association representatives in
their preparation of the Budget.
called in the bankers, but not those others of us who also are interested
in city costs," Wasilewski said. "You tell us now there is a reduction in
assessments and then come along and wallop us with a higher tax rate. That
is not fair. You were elected to look after our interests and that you
have failed to do. You are making us eat red herring, and we want you to
eat red herring with us."
last citizen to address the commission was Salvadore Guadelli, president
of the Citizens-Taxpayers' League. He made a general indictment of
conditions, ,and asked that the city commission "do not let
sectionalism creep into city affairs."
Bennett then arose and addressed his fellow commissioners and the
"All these things suggested here today have been considered," he said. "We five men came into office with the idea of serving the people. I know the business of financing the city is a. serious problem. We have endeavored to move the budget into that realm of 'pay-as-you-go! We appreciate everything presented here. Every taxpayer we look upon as an employer.
at it from every angle, this budget cannot be delayed any longer. You'll
find we were severe in preparing this budget; you'll find we were severe
last year. Last year we cut a half million. This year we cut $702,890.74,
and to that the board of education, we hope, will add a cut of $250,000.
That is a total cut of $952,890.74. Other cities in New Jersey show
nothing to compare with it.
hesitate in making more cuts. I speak from experience when I say I'm a
taxpayer. In the past two weeks I've been trying to raise money to pay
taxes. I want all of you to know we commissioners can sympathize. It is
not easy being at the head of a government in times like these. I hope
that municipalities will receive federal relief in payment of debt
service. There has been a tremendous cut in our budget, including the
board of education figures. I feel the commissioners are to be commended
for the work they've done this year.
we pass the budget we won't stop at that particular point, but will see
what else we can do all along the line. I feel the essential thing is to
pass the budget. I'm proud of the fact we came through 1932, and are
started in 1933 the same way, although I make no promise for the future. I
wish for a moratorium for interest on bonds. There are the bondholders on
one side and the taxpayers on the other, and the man out of work to be
are in sympathy with the man out of work. I say let the federal or
government put some money into to the interest rate. We must pass this
budget this afternoon. Do not delay longer. This is not an arbitrary 10
stand on my part. I make a motion the budget now be passed."
Clerk Frank S. Albright called the roll and all five commissioners voting
'unanimously. No demonstration followed passage
of the measure.
*Eugene Wasilewski referred to in this story was Eugene Waleskiewicz, who was later known as Eugene Wales.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 10, 1933|
Stewart Answers Civic Congress Demands For
be made to have all city employees pay up their back taxes within three weeks, Mayor Roy R. Stewart
promised yesterday. The
mayor and Commissioner Clay
issued statements to the press
answering recommendations by the Congress of Civic Associations
of the economies suggested by the Civic Congress was that all municipal
workers be forced to pay whatever taxes they owe.
"I feel that this is entirely proper and an effort will be made to see that taxes on properties owned by city employees are paid within three weeks,” Stewart said.
a recommendation that the city eliminate electric inspection
was urged that the position of transportation supervisor be abolished. The
mayor declared that it would be inadvisable because the 8upervisor now is
doing, in addition to his own job, the work of the mechanical inspector,
who has been dropped from the payroll. Furthermore, Stewart stated, the to
salary is more than paid for by fees collected from the transportation
salary is more than paid for by fees collected from the transportation
mayor defended the maintenance of telephones, at the city's expense, in
the homes of some employees. These phones, he said, are necessary for the
efficient operation of the department of public safety, Those employees are required to be on
call for any emergency. Many telephones found to be unnecessary have peen
eliminated, he said.
a suggestion for separate control of the police and fire bureaus, Stewart
answered that "arrangements" already have been made to
accomplish that purpose. He recalled that in the police department there
are now only two captains, six Lieutenants and 16 sergeants on the force
where there used to be six captains, eight lieutenants and 19 sergeants.
recommendation concerned elimination of policemen in the parks. The mayor
said he interpreted that to mean the elimination of park guards. He
asserted that park guards have been released except three in Farnham
park. Isolation of the park, he said, would create a rendezvous for
Reesman declared that Convention Hall could not be closed, as urged by one group, or turned over to a board or private interests because under the law the responsibility for maintaining the building rests with the city commission.
Camden Courier-Post - June 6, 1933
REESMAN TO ADDRESS AUDUBON G. O. P. WOMEN
W. Reesman, chairman of the Camden County Republican Executive
Committee, will speak at the season's last meeting of the Audubon Women
Citizens Republican Club tomorrow night in Patriotic Order of America Hall
on East Atlantic Avenue.
A musical program has been prepared for the occasion.
Camden Courier-Post- June 7, 1933
WILL DINE COUNTY LEADERS
testimonial dinner will be tendered Mrs. Elizabeth C. Verga and City
Commissioner Clay W. Reesman
by the Republican County Committee on June 29.
was announced yesterday by Carlton M. Harris, Twelfth Ward committeeman,
who has been chosen to direct arrangements for the event, to be held in
the Walt Whitman Hotel.
director of public works, recently was elected chairman of the county
committee and Mrs. Verga, who is vice-chairman of the state committee, was named to the same position
on the county board.
is planned to limit attendance at the dinner to 450 persons. Tickets are
to be distributed by each member of the county committee.
Camden Courier-Post - June 14, 1933
DICKINSON TO GET HOLLOWAY'S PLACE
The Board of Freeholders will appoint Thomas Dickinson Jr. as acting custodian of the courthouse and the city hall-courthouse annex at its meeting this afternoon.
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Verga will be appointed to a new term of five years on the Board for the Supervision of Old Age Relief, of which she has been secretary-treasurer for one year. The post carries no salary.
Dr. Leslie H. Ewing, director of the freeholders, revealed the pending appointments. In the case of the custodianship, his announcement came as rumors spread that one of the bigger politicians would be named to the job left vacant since the death of Edward Holloway, the incumbent, last month.
"Dickinson, who was assistant to Holloway, will be named acting custodian to serve for the balance of the year," Dr. Ewing said. "The freeholders will make the appointment tomorrow."
Prior to Dr. Ewing's announcement, rumors circulated at the city hall and courthouse mentioning postmaster Charles H. Ellis, City Commissioner Clay W. Reesman, Assembly- man F. Stanley Bleakly and former Sheriff Walter T. Gross among possibilities for the custodianship, which pays $2520 a year under the general county cut of 30 percent.
Reports that the aforementioned were candidates for the job could not be confirmed, and in certain quarters they were considered without foundation, mainly because the pay would be smaller in most instances than what those mentioned all possible candidates are now receiving in their other posts.
Other possibilities mentioned include Robert Brennan, First Ward Republican county committeeman, and Freeholders William P. Cotter and C. Leonard Brehm. Brennan had been employed for some time at the city hall and courthouse in maintenance of the building. Dickinson also is reported to be a candidate for the custodianship.
Acting custodian Dickinson will continue at the same salary he has been receiving as assistant, Dr. Ewing said. The director added that the freeholders may consider the custodianship vacancy again early next year, but whether the post will be filled is problematical because of the economic situation in the county.
Camden Courier-Post - June 22, 1933
EDGE TO SPEAK HERE AT G.O.P.
Former Ambassador Walter E. Edge today sent word to the committee in charge, that he will speak at the reception and dinner being given June 29 to Commissioner Clay W. Reesman and Mrs. Elizabeth C. Verga in honor of their election as chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Camden County Republican Committee.
In addition to Ambassador Edge, United States Senators Hamilton F. Kean and W. Warren Barbour have accepted invitations. Others on the speaking list are: Mrs. Edna B. Conklin, member of the Republican State committee from Bergen county; former U.S. Senator David Baird, Congressman Charles A. Wolverton, Registrar of Deeds Joshua C. Haines and Assemblywoman Isabella C. Reinert, retiring chairman and vice chairman of the county committee.
The reception is being held at the Walt Whitman Hotel, with tickets being distributed through county committee members.
Camden Courier-Post - June 23, 1933
Camden Courier-Post - June 29, 1933
G.O.P. CHIEFS SPEAK HERE TONIGHT
A testimonial dinner will be given tonight by the Camden County Republican Committee in honor of party leaders with former Governor Edward C. Stokes as principal speaker.
Those to be honored are Mrs. Elizabeth C. Verga, vice chairman of the county committee and state committeewoman; Assemblyman Isabella C. Reinert, former vice chairman; Commissioner Clay W. Reesman, new chairman of the county committee, and Joshua C. Haines, register of deeds, the retiring chairman.
Other speakers will include Mrs. Edna B. Conklin, national committeewoman from Bergen county; Congressman Charles A. Wolverton; former U. S. Senator David Baird, Jr., U. S. Senators Hamilton F. Kean and W. Warren Barbour and E. Bertram Mott, state chairman.
State Senator Albert S. Woodruff will be toastmaster. Carlton M. Harris, chairman of the dinner committee, said last night that reservations have been made at the Hotel Walt Whitman for 500 guests and the committee is swamped with applications.
Other members of the committee in charge of the dinner are William D. Sayrs, Jr., treasurer, and Mrs. Pauline Caperoon, secretary.
Camden Courier-Post - June 29, 1933
Beer Here Is Up to Reesman As Four Rulers Split
With four members of the city commission deadlocked on the is sue, Commissioner Clay W. Reesman last night appeared to hold in his hands the final decision as to whether Sunday beer sales will be permitted in Camden.
This was revealed when he announced that his deciding vote on the issue would ·be guided by a "sounding of public sentiment."
On April 26 Mayor Roy R. Stewart and Commissioner Harold W. Bennett declared they would vote against any resolution permitting Sunday sales, while Commissioners Frank B. Hanna and Dr. David S. Rhone declared they would favor such a resolution. Reesman asserted at that time that “it would be foolish for him to comment until the measure before the legislature becomes a law."
Measure Now Law
The state measure, which permits Sunday beer sales upon resolution of municipal bodies, became law yesterday when Governor A. Harry Moore signed it. The bill, primarily, extends the state temporary beer act until August 31.
When asked last night how he stood on the Sunday beer sale question in Camden, Reesman said:
"I can't state any opinion at this time, for I really have none. I want to sound public sentiment first. What ever the people want, that is the way I‘ll be guided," He added that he would be unable to say how much time would be required for him to arrive at an opinion.
As soon as the city commission learned that the governor had approved the measure yesterday, it met in special session and adopted a resolution calling for an additional fee from Camden beer retailers for the extended period of two months.
At the same time. the Beverage Tax Division of the State Tax Department announced that all retailers of beer and wines must make tax payments by July 7 on all purchases and sales of beer by them between April 7 and July 1.
Tax Experts Coming
To assist retailers in determining their tax liability representatives of the Beverage Tax Division will sit far one week, from July 1 to July 7, in seven South Jersey towns, as follows: Camden, Room 212, court house annex; Burlington, city hall; Bridgeton, court house, July 1 and 3 only; Atlantic City, Room 729, Guaranty Trust building; Gloucester City, clerk's office, city hall; Cape May Court House, court house, July 6 and 7 only; Salem, city hall, July 5 only;
Retailers who have purchased beverages from any source outside New Jersey will be subject to a tax of three cents a gallon if the tax has not already been paid by the manufacturer or distributor.
Mayor Stewart, in expressing his opinion on Sunday beer sales, declared it would have a bad effect on the community and its people, and that employees of restaurants and inns were entitled to a day of rest as other workers.
Commissioner Bennett declared sale of the beverage would not help observance of the Sabbath. Commissioners Hanna and Rhone took the view that Congress had legislated 3.2 percent beer as non-intoxicating, and that it was therefore as equally non-intoxicating on Sunday as any other day, and that its sale would make little difference.
New Fees Cited
The Beverage Tax Division also pointed, out yesterday that the extension beverage act require manufacturers to pay an additional license fee of $400, and distributors an additional fee of $100 if their licenses are to be automatically extended. Security for the extended term must also be furnished and acceptable to the State Tax Commissioner.
Licenses for the extended period will be issued in South Jersey at the offices of Deputy Beverage Commissioners Frank B. Middleton, Jr., in Camden, at 130 North Broadway, and Frederick Stahle, 4105 Sunset Avenue, Atlantic City.
Various South Jersey communities, following the lead of Camden, are expected to announce new additional fees far municipal licenses before a week has passed.
The city resolution provides that the additional fee must be paid to Frank S. Albright, city clerk, before tomorrow night, and that all the beer regulations adopted, by the city April 6 remain in “full force and effect."
Under the measure, according to Albright, distributors in the city that do not pay a state beer license must also pay an additional $50 fee.
Retail beer servers began paying their new fees shortly after the city commission passed the resolution.
In approving' the state measure, Governor Moore said:
"I am constrained to sign this temporary act, which expires .at midnight, August 31, because without it there would be no effective regulation whatsoever covering the manufacture and sale of beer.
"Then too, each municipality must determine for itself by, resolution of its governing body whether the sale of beer shall be permittel1 after 1 p. m. an Sunday. Without such action, it cannot be legally sold."
The governor signed the measure at 12:30 p.m.
Before Moore reached his decision to approve the bill, it had been a question for several days whether he would veto it because it contained, no provision for a referendum on Sunday sales, as proposed by the Democratic legislators in Trenton.
Camden Courier-Post - June 30, 1933
Won't Rule on Sunday Beer Sales Unless People Demand
"The Camden City Commission will take no action on the Sunday beer sale question unless the people express a strong desire for Sunday beer."
This is the declaration made yesterday by Mayor Roy R. Stewart.
And not only are members of the city commission divided on the Sunday beer issue but saloonkeepers are themselves.
Fred J. Stuebing [owner of the Stag Cafe- PMC], president of the Camden County Beverage Dispensers' Association, revealed that some members of the association are against Sunday sales and some are in favor of it.
"We have not gone on record for or against Sunday sales." Stuebing said. “Some of our members are against it. The question will be brought up at our own meeting a week from today.
Wants His Day Off
"Personally, I would not want to keep my place open on Sunday afternoons. I want a day off after working all week. I might open up for a while Sunday evenings, though, if it were permitted."
In the event of a resolution being introduced in the city commission to permit Sunday sales after 1 p.m., the final decision would rest in the hands of Commissioner Clay W. Reesman since he has refused to commit himself on the issue, while Mayor Stewart and Commissioner Harold W. Bennett have announced against it, and Commissioners Frank B. Hanna and Dr. David S. Rhone have pronounced themselves in favor of it.
"I don't think there is any insistent demand for Sunday beer," said the mayor. "If there is, I haven't heard about it.
"Furthermore, I see no real reason for Sunday beer. In the so-called good old days before prohibition, saloons were closed on Sundays. Why should they be opened now?
"And as I said in a statement some time ago, the men and women employed in the retail beer business deserve a day off a week for recreation and worship just as any other workers .
"The City Commission will take no action unless the people express a strong desire for Sunday beer."
There was a rumor in circulation yesterday that quite a number of Camden saloonkeepers had been "interviewed" by certain politicians on the Sunday sale situation.
"You don't want to sell beer on Sunday, do you?" is the question that is said to have been put to them. And it was put in such a way that a negative answer was expected, the rumor has it.
This report apparently is borne out by the attitude of Mayor Stewart. The mayor's statement came as a surprise particularly in view of the fact that Camden saloonkeepers recently contributed to a fund for the purpose of having the ban on bars removed and also to bring about Sunday sales.
Camden saloon and restaurant keepers have been complaining because the roadhouses in the suburban districts were permitted to sell beer on Sunday and that they also were allowed to remain open later that the closing time specified for similar places operated in the city limits.
These same Camden saloonkeepers also have complained about the political clubs within the city being permitted to remain open after the regular closing hours and also that they have been allowed to remain open on Sundays.
Meanwhile, City Clerk Frank S. Albright yesterday announced approval of 19 new applications for retail beer licenses, bringing the total in the city to 239. Three new wholesale licenses also were sanctioned.
Following are the retail permits:
John Pennington, 818 Broadway; Salvatore Spitalore, 201 Royden Street; Samuel Friedenberg, 575 Van Hook Street; Fred Steubing, 318 Market Street; Frank Markiewicz, 673 Ferry Avenue; Matthew Orland, 3, 5, 7 and 9 Ferry Walk; Anthony Laskowski, 1200 Everett Street; Albert Ross, 1425 Mt. Ephraim Avenue; Samuel Hurwitz, 703 Chestnut Street; Clito Viviano, 522-524 Walnut Street; Harry Adams, 406 North Seventh Street; Daniel Cirucci, 305 Benson Street; Charles A. Bieri, 318 Kaighn Avenue; Max Kleinfeld, 101 Chestnut Street; John MacDougall, 839 Market Street; Alexander Wrightson, Southwest corner Ninth and Chestnut Streets; David Plasky, 2362 Broadway; Luigi Corda, 702 South Second Street, and Irving Cartin, 201 Mechanic Street.
|Camden Courier-Post - June 30, 1933|
|Camden Courier-Post - August 10, 1933|
BEER PLEAS FACES TEST TODAY
The Camden City Commission may consider a Sunday beer sale ordinance today.
That was admitted last night by several members of the commission, although all claimed they had no idea who would advance the ordinance.
A conference of the commission is scheduled for noon, prior to today's regular meeting at 2:30 PM. It is believed that if an ordinance is to come up it will first be considered in caucus.
Request for Sunday beer was made in a resolution adopted unanimously by the Camden County Division of the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association.
Proprietors of more than 60 of the city's leading establishments voted in favor of Sunday beer at the time the resolution was adopted, a week ago.
Copies of the resolution were sent to each member of the city commission. They pointed out that "several communities bordering Camden permit the sale of beer in Sundays."
Commissioners Frank B. Hanna and Dr. David S. Rhone are known to favor Sunday beer sales. Mayor Roy R. Stewart and Harold W. Bennett, director of finance, have expressed disapproval of it. Commissioner Clay W. Reesman has been straddling the issue.
Camden Courier-Post - August 29, 1935
S. Woodruff - Elizabeth C. Verga - Emma
Hyland - Harry L. Maloney - Hotel
Camden Courier-Post - January 22, 1938
Camden Courier-Post - February 4, 1938
OF CITY FOR INSURANCE PLAN
Voting to date by Camden City employees on a, group insurance plan indicates an overwhelming majority in favor of the proposal, City Clerk Clay W. Reesman revealed yesterday.
Of 184 votes cast so far, 177 are affirmative while only seven are opposed, said Reesman, in whose office the cards are deposited.
The plan would provide life insurance for 871 of Camden's 880 municipal officers and workers at a cost of $1.20 per month per $1000, of which the employee would pay 90 cents and the city 30. For the plan to become operative, at least 75 percent of the 871 eligible must participate. The age limit is 70.
Reesman explained the comparatively few votes by pointing out most of the semi-monthly pay checks had been distributed Friday before the voting cards were sent to the office of Comptroller Sidney P. McCord. He pointed out the police and fire departments got theirs yesterday.
Those who voted against the plan said their opposition is based on the uncertainty of continuing in the city's employ, and the fact that the policies have no cash surrender value. Although convertible into regular individual policies upon severance of, municipal employment, they cite the possibility they might find themselves unable to pay premiums if unemployed.
Some dissatisfaction also was voiced with the salary classification system whereby workers receiving $1500 or less annually were restricted to $1000 policies; those in the $1501 to $2500 pay range, $2000, and all above $2500, $3000. It was argued the city should contribute less proportionately toward the larger policies of the higher-paid employees and officials. The cost to the city on a straight 25 percent basis, the maximum permitted under the law, if all 871 men and women accepted the insurance would be $5035.80 annually.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 7, 1938|
Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1938
CONFERS WITH HARTMANN ON LIGHT PLANT BILL
A conference on Camden's proposed legislative light plant bill was held yesterday by State Senator Albert E. Burling, Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann and his assistant, Walter S. Anderson. The session was held in Burling's private office.
Neither Burling nor Hartmann would disclose if they had decided on any action to introduced a bill to provide enabling legislation to obtain Federal PW A funds for the proposed municipal electric light plant, for which voters of the city twice cast a majority vote.
"The conference was held at the request of Commissioner Hartmann,” Burling said. "We discussed possible legislation which may be favorably acted on by the Legislature.
"It was agreed that our plans not be discussed or made known for the present and not until the matter can be more thoroughly analyzed and discussed."
Commissioner Hartmann was reluctant to discuss the conference.
"Out of courtesy to Senator Burling I do not desire to discuss the matter," Hartmann said.
Anderson appeared before Burling and the Camden county Assembly delegation at the weekly forum Saturday with suggested revisions in previous bills, after contacting Dr. Clark Forman, of the PWA legal staff in Washington. Today's conference was the outgrowth of that discussion.
City Clerk Clay W. Reesman, of Camden, asked the Legislators to amend the election law to defer certification of polling places until Fall in years when primaries are held in September.
Cites Election Law
Reesman pointed out that Article 8, paragraph 87, calls for municipal clerks to send polling place lists to county boards of election before March 1, and directs the county boards to certify them ·back by April 15.
"That was all right when primary elections were held in May each year," Reesman said. "But now they are held in September except in Presidential years, and the dates should be changed to August 1 and September 1 except in Presidential years. As it now stands, changes are made all Summer after the list is certified, until the original list be comes unrecognizable."
Clarence Dunkleberger, of the Eleventh Ward, reappeared to ask that a way be found to provide an underpass for school children who cross the railroad tracks between Cramer Hill and the Westfield Avenue section. There are no crossings between Twenty-seventh and Thirty-sixth streets.
Asks About Trade Mark
Dunkleberger said it is his understanding that an existing law requires railroad companies to provide crossings at every other block, but if this is not so, he asked that a bill be introduced to compel railroads to provide crossings every half mile in second-class cities.
Charles Dieck, of Philadelphia, representing non-residents in business in New Jersey, appeared to ask questions concerning the Foran trademark bill which, it is estimated by its sponsor, would provide $10,000,000 this year to help finance relief.
Dieck said he had been unable to obtain a copy of the bill, which was introduced in the upper house last Monday.
"I have been to the Courier-Post and the bills are not available," Dieck said.
. "You come down to my house and I'll show you the bill," put in Assemblyman Millard E. Allen, of Laurel Springs, who wants all employees of the publication "led to the guillotine. "
. "How can you show him the bill?" asked Assemblyman Rocco Palese, "when they haven't been printed yet?"
Maybe He Has Got It
"I got my bills yesterday” Allen insisted.
"Was that bill among them?" inquired Burling. "I haven't been able to get one yet."
"I think it was, but I'm not positive," admitted Allen. "At least I have some information on it."
"I don't think you have the bill," Assemblyman Lawrence H. Ellis said. "I was told in Trenton they haven't been printed yet."
"Well, I said I'm not positive," Allen declared. Shortly afterward he left the session.
The legislators voted to dispense with the regular weekly meeting next Saturday, because' it is Lincoln's birthday. They will be resumed February 19.
Camden Courier-Post - February 9, 1938
May we not at this time proffer a suggestion to Mayor Brunner, Eddie Kelleher and the other party sachems that should be a sure-fire plan to make Camden county safe for Democracy? We advise that the Democrats gather a fund of $4000, the money to be expended in giving testimonial dinners to Republican leaders, near-leaders and persons who figure themselves to be both.
Engage tables enough to accommodate about 350 persons. Invite representatives of all the various G. O. P. factions in the county, give a half dozen tickets to boisterous Democrats, so that the latter can sit back in their seats and enjoy the subsequent dogfight on a full stomach.
This idea that I am advancing to register about 5000 more Democrats in the county and paralyze the remnants of the once-powerful county G.O.P., was born when I attended the recent testimonial dinner to Louis Bantivoglio, freeholder from the Fifth ward.
Naturally my attendance was purely in a professional capacity. Speeches were made by divers and sundry spokesmen, the high-light being the sales talk for Bantivoglio and Baird by David Baird, Jr. The latter waxed wrathfully but warily in castigating the "half-breeds," as he once sarcastically termed the Republicans of the ilk and stature and political. leanings of Commissioner Mary W. Kobus.
Rarely, too, have we ever attended a banquet, either in the capacity of guest or reporter that ever awakened so many echoes of the past as did the dinner to the Fifth ward freeholder.
MRS. KOBUS ELECTED LOUIS
First came the information from friends of Commissioner Kobus that she was responsible for the election of Bantivoglio from the Fifth ward as freeholder. In view of the fact that Squire Baird seemed to feel that the freeholder's election was a personal triumph; this appeared strange to yours truly.
We moseyed about, however, and discovered that whether the squire likes it or not Mary W. Kobus and her minions did elect Bantivoglio. The leaders of the Kobus faction who put, the thing across were headed by a woman named Madeline Salvatore and a gentleman named "Bucky" Branch.
Bantivoglio was elected by something less than 40 votes, These votes could easily have been given to his opponent but there were strategic reasons why the Kobus faction didn't want a Democrat chosen from the Fifth ward.
So Branch, who is a policeman, I believe, and who was not working on election day, it being his regular day off, went into his precinct and put over the votes that elected Bantivoglio .
And Mr. "Bucky" Branch, I have been informed, has been so sore at the fact that he did elect Louis Bantivoglio that he moans and cries and berates himself ever since the trick was turned ..
Politicos who told me the story about the Kobus support for Bantivoglio gave a rather sensible reason for the step that was taken by the anti-Baird folk. The New Dealers among the Republicans sensed that the division between the Republicans and Democrats in the 1938 Board of Freeholders was going: to be exceedingly close.
Too close, in fact, to take any chances. So it was decided to support Bantivoglio in the Fifth ward, because he was a regular Baird Republican and couldn't be won to the coalition, The reasoning of the Kobusitees was clear and correct.
Had Bantivoglio been beaten by a Democrat, the board would have been divided equally, The Democrats would then have been able to deal with an individual rather than a faction, One vote would have given either side control. Thus by putting Bantivoglio across the Kobus faction made it imperative for the Democrats to deal with that clique; in fact Brunner and his minions had to do that little thing.
In view of this analysis I'm con tent to believe that the Kobus claim that the New Dealers elected Louis Bantivoglio is absolutely okay.
LADY " COPPER" NOT TRADE PARTY
Now don't get the information askew. Mrs. Kobus had no official or personal hand in this matter. It was the keen thought of some of her lieutenants, whose judgment appears to have been excellent, that fashioned this plan and executed it.
Meanwhile numerous politicos have been jibing Baird's statement that he would "rather have one Louis Bantivoglio than 1000 ingrates.". These political seers and soothsayers declared that such a declaration proved that its author was all wet in his political judgment and short sighted in his political history.
These politicos ambushed Mackay the other day, crammed him. into a corner and told him that if it "hadn't been for Bantivoglio Baird would have control of the city commission today."
These chuckling anti-Bairdites not only bearded me in my den, but dared me to disprove their statements by taking a look at the record. A stranger to politics in Camden, I didn't know the import of this statement until I squinted at the ward returns for the 1935 city commission election.
There in black and white is the proof that Baird lost the city commission fight because of the Bantivoglio-Leo Rea alliance in the Fifth ward. Just to take a look at the record again and to refresh jaded memories, the regular Baird slate received the following votes in the Fifth ward:
Bennett, 1016; Leonard, 1001; Lummis, 962; Rhone, 963; von Nieda, 1081. The New Deal ticket, then supported by the Messrs. Bantivoglio and Rea, polled these votes;· Baker, 1032; Brunner, 1022; Hartmann, 1001; Kobus, 1024, and Reesman, 930.
Leonard and Hartmann polled exactly the same vote, 1001. And the recount revealed Hartmann a winner by SEVEN votes, the box score showing Hartmann, 17,338, and Leonard, 17,331. And the Fifth ward turned the trick, for it would have been easy for Louis and Leo to have given Hartmann the same vote that Reesman received, or 71 less, and elected Leonard. There would have been no recount then.
Which scrutiny of the returns would seem to show that Bantivoglio as a friend of the squire proved his valor and vigilance in the cause by seating a New Deal commissioner and owing his seat in the Board of Freeholders to the Kobus clan.
In connection with this fund which the Democrats should raise to give testimonial dinners to G.O.P. leaders et cetera we might suggest that on each occasion they have, David Baird Jr., named for a new office. In order, that my friend, Florence Baker, can show her loyalty and friendship to the Old Guard Field Marshal by asking his election to the said office.
This suggestion to, the Messrs. Brunner, Kelleher and the others is made tax-free, and no charge for usage. If that scheme doesn't make Camden county safe for Democracy, nothing will.
BIDDERS FOR MID-CITY PLOT
The City Commission yesterday authorized the legal department to make provisions for offers on a month-to-month rental of the tract.
No bid will be accepted unless the rental bid is more than $375 monthly, payable in advance.
Monroe Y. Brett, present holder of the lease, was awarded the rental contract on his bid of $441 a month. Since taking over the plot for a paid parking space he has lost money, he informed Commissioner Hartmann last week. Brett's lease expires Monday.
Available March 15
The resolution provides the lease shall be awarded the highest bidder for a term beginning March 15.
The lease, together with the terms agreed upon, will be filed with City Clerk Clay W. Reesman and shall lay over for two weeks to be open for public inspection.
Nothing is contained in the resolution that requires the city-owned plot shall be used for parking purposes. The resolution sets forth the "piece of ground is not needed for public use by the City of Camden."
Anticipated action on a proposed lease for radio station WCAM failed to develop.
The lease with the Broadcasting Advertising Company expired February 1, and since that time the station has been operated by the city under supervision of the Department of Revenue and Finance of which Mayor Brunner is director.
Housing Plan Deferred
Hartmann withheld a resolution he had prepared, providing a municipal housing authority composed of five members to supplant the present housing committee.
Hartmann announced he desired to study similar authorities in other cities. The legislature has not approved four Assembly bills providing the enabling legislation necessary to secure U. S. Housing Authority funds for slum clearance and low-cost housing, he said.
Mayor Brunner said he has been directing operation of the radio station
with negligible profits.
Camden Courier-Post - February 25, 1938
von Nieda - Frank
J. Hartmann Jr. - Clay
W. Reesman - Firmin
Camden Courier-Post - June 2, 1939
ASKS CAMDEN TO
BACK HOUSING BILL
Clerk Clay W. Reesman
yesterday received from U. S. Senator
Robert F. Wagner a letter asking the Camden City Commission's
stand on Senate Bill 591, current housing bill before Congress. Pointing
out that when the original housing act was before Congress in 1937 the
Camden Courier-Post - August 26, 1941
Magin Laid to Rest By War Veteran Buddies
Funeral services for City Commissioner Henry Magin were held today with his colleagues in official and veterans circles participating.
were conducted in city commission chambers on the second floor of city
hall, in charge of Rev. Dr. W.W. Ridgeway, rector of St. Wilfrid's Episcopal
The casket was carried by war veteran associates of the public works director, who died from a heart attack Friday. A color guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion preceded the casket, followed by the four remaining members of the city commission, Mayor George Brunner and commissioners E. George Aaron, Mrs. Mary W. Kobus and Dr. David S. Rhone.
A guard of honor lined both sides of' city hall steps, 22 policemen on one side and 22 firemen on the other, representing Magin's age, 44 years.
Hundreds of men and women waited
outside the building to pay their respects as the solemn procession
filed by. Mayor Brunner had declared this morning a holiday for city
employees. The casket was borne by Thomas Jackson and Samuel Magill,
both past Legion commanders; Leon McCarty, past commander of August
Walter Chapter, Disabled American Veterans; Richard Jermyn, past
commander of Post 1270, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Benjamin P.
Thomas, past captain of Sparrow Ship No. 1269. V. F. W.; and William
Miller, past State commander, D. A. V.
Three trucks were required to carry
the floral pieces from the scene of the services to the National
Cemetery at Beverly, where burial took place.
An estimated 8000 persons from all walks of life paid their respects to the late official by viewing the body as it lay in state in the commission chambers.
The throng of mourners of Camden city and county was the largest to converge on a public building since the funeral of Fire Chief Charles Worthington, who was killed while fighting a fire almost 20 years ago. His body was placed on public view in the rotunda of the old county courthouse.
File Past Bier
A continuous progression of people filed past the flag draped bier for more than three and one-half hours. Scores of Republicans and hundreds of Democrats joined in the tribute.
Services were conducted by Camden
lodges of Elks and Moose. Military rites were conducted by the
Fairview Post, American Legion, of which Magin was a founder and past
commander. The tribute was led by Mitchell Halin, post commander, and C.
Richard Allen, past department commander.
James W. Conner, chief clerk of the
city water bureau and past State Commander of the V.F.W., conducted
rites at the grave.
Mayor Brunner and Commissioners
Kobus, Aaron, and
came early and remained throughout the hours of
viewing. Mrs. Helen Magin, the widow, and daughter Helen, attired in
deep mourning, arrived shortly after 7:00 PM.
Embraces Widow, Daughter
Commissioner Kobus, who knelt in
prayer before the bier, arose and went over to Mrs. Magin and her
daughter. Mrs. Kobus
embraced and kissed the widow and daughter of the late commissioner.
They were in tears.
American Legion and V. F. W. members
in uniform alternated as members of the military guard of honor. A
detail of 50 policemen was under command of Acting Lieutenant John
Garrity. Fifty firemen, under supervision of Deputy Chief Walter
assisted the patrolmen in handling the crowd, which at times choked the
stairways leading to the
Albert H. Molt, director of the Board of Freeholders and
John J. Tull, Oscar Moore, Ventorino
and Emil J. McCall arrived shortly after 7:00 PM. Moore and Tull wore American
Legion overseas caps. Albert S. Marvel, clerk of the board, accompanied
of the various bureaus in the department of public works, headed by
Commissioner Magin, came in delegations with the highway bureau having
150, the largest number.
A. Abbott, acting director of the department, accompanied by James P.
Carr, superintendent of Streets;
highway bureau employees.
Abbott is deputy director of revenue and finance and first
assistant to Mayor Brunner. He was named by Brunner as
director until the City Commission elects Mr.
Clerk Frank J. Suttill, City
Clerk Clay W.
Fire Chief John H. Lennox and
James A. Howell, chief of
city electrical bureau, attended, as did Albert
Austermuhl, secretary of
the board of education. Every city department sent a floral piece.
Outstanding Floral Tribute
floral chair was sent by the Camden Police and Firemen’s Association.
The word “Rest” was made up of flowers. The offering of the Veterans League
an organization formed by Commissioner Magin and of which
was the first president, was a large floral pillow.
The freeholders and county officials
gave a large floral basket. Floral tributes came from the employees of
the board of education, the RCA Manufacturing Company, the police and
fire bureaus, Pyne Point Athletic Association, the Elks, Moose and
several Democratic clubs.
The floral tributes came in such
numbers yesterday afternoon that Funeral Director Harry Leonard and his
assistants could not find room for them in the commission chamber
proper. They were banked on both sides, in the rear and over the casket.
Among prominent officials and
citizens who came to pay their respects were Congressman Charles A.
Wolverton and his son, Donnell, Assemblymen Joseph W. Cowgill and J. Frank Crawford, Sidney P.
comptroller, Thomas C. Schneider, president of Camden County Council No.
10, New Jersey Civil Service Association.
Others at Bier
Others were Sue Devinney, secretary
to Mrs. Kobus; Fred S. Caperoon; Henry Aitken, city sealer of weights
and measures, Horace R. Dixon, executive director of the Camden Housing
Authority; George I. Shaw, vice president of the board of education.
Smith, chairman of the Elks
Crippled Children Committee and commander of East Camden Post, V.F.W.; Albert
Becker, commander of Camden County Post 126, Jewish War Veterans; Dr.
Howard E. Primas and Wilbur F. Dobbins, members of the Camden Housing
Authority; Postmaster Emma E.
Hyland; Samuel E. Fulton, member of the
Camden local assistance board.
former Assemblyman Rocco Palese, former Freeholder Maurice Bart and
wife, County Detective James Mulligan, Deputy City Clerk William D.
Sayrs, Mary King, secretary to City Clerk Reesman, Charles W. Anderson
and John W. Diehl Jr., former members of the housing authority, Walter
P. Wolverton, chief clerk of the public works department; Thomas J.
Kenney, Maurice Hertz, Isadore Hermann, chief of the city tax title
bureau; S. Raymond Dobbs; acting chief of city property, John Oziekanski,
building inspector, Harry Langebein, city assessor.
Oliver H. Bond,
housing manager of
Clement T. Branch Village; former Judge Joseph
Varbalow, acting city
counsel John J. Crean, assistant City Counsel Edward V. Martino, Paul
Day, secretary of city board of assessors, former Assemblyman William T.
Iszard, Harry Roye, district director of NYA; Victor J. Scharle and
Martin Segal, Democratic and Republican registrars, respectively, of the
Camden County permanent registration bureau.
Mrs. Marian Garrity and Mrs. Mary F. Hendricks, vice chairman and secretary respectively, of the Republican City Committee; Dr, Ethan A. Lang and Dr. Richard P. Bowman, members of the board of education; Edward J. Borden, Carl Kisselman, Harry A. Kelleher, Samuel T. French Sr., former Freeholder Walter Budniak, Coroner Paul R. Rilatt, County Treasurer Edward J. Kelleher, William Shepp, of the city legal bureau, Marie Carr, stenographer, mayor's office; Samuel T. French Jr., member, board of education.
Also John C. Trainor, member of the
Camden County Board of Elections; Antonio
Mecca, funeral director;
Alexander Feinberg, solicitor of the housing authority, former
Freeholder John T. Hanson, Sterling Parker and Paul Reihman, member of
the county park commission.
James O’Brien, commander of the
Camden Disabled American Veterans, was in charge of services by veterans
at the cemetery. Former Freeholder Edward J. Quinlan, county
vice-commander of the American Legion, directed last night memorial
services and was in charge of the firing squad at the grave.
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