SIDNEY PIERCE McCORD SR. was born in Reading PA in 1869. He came to Camden in 1886, initially resding at 513 Clinton Street, and working as a plasterer for his uncle, Charles Hampshire. Sidney McCord followed that trade as late as 1900, as revealed by the Census. Sidney P. McCord was then single and boarding at 630 Berkley Street. The 1901 City Directory indicates that was then working as a clerk, and it is appears that this also was for his uncle, and that he had learned bookkeeping. In 1907 he began work as assistant comptroller for the City of Camden. In 1909 he also began work with the Federal government, where he received a course in accounting.
Sidney P. McCord was elevated to the position of comptroller in 1911, succeeding Colonel Samuel Hufty, who had retired on pension. A dedicated public servant, Sidney McCord served as Camden's chief financial officer through administrations of both parties as comptroller until his retirement in May of 1944. Sidney McCord was involved with many business and civic groups, was active in the fund raising drive that culminated in the building of the Walt Whitman Hotel at Broadway and Cooper Street. He was a member of Camden Lodge 293 of the Elks. As a young man he was a menber of the Crescent Wheelmen, a group of bicycle enthusiasts.
Sidney P. McCord married Eleanor Pike of Camden NJ on November 1, 1901 at the First Methodist Episcopal Church. There were six children born of this marriage. They were Heber E. McCord, who had a long career with the Camden Police Department, Merrit Ira McCord, Sidney P. McCord Jr., Charles William McCord, Sarah H. McCord, and Mary Adelaide McCord. Sidney McCord Jr. was well known in Camden as a lawyer, Judge, and New Jersey State Senator.
After retiring from city government, Sidney McCord returned to the family farm in Elverson, Pennsylvania. He passed away at a Reading, Pennsylvania hospital on October 4, 1944.
South Jersey: A History 1624-1924
SIDNEY P. McCORD—In the vital field of accounting, Sidney P. McCord holds a prominent position in South Jersey, and with offices in Camden is bearing a worthy part in the progress of the times. Well trained for his work and with wide practical experience, Mr. McCord has come to be recognized as one of the largely useful and constructive figures in commercial affairs in this section. The McCord family is one of prominence in Pennsylvania. In the city of Reading, Heber McCord, father of Sidney P. McCord, was engaged in business for many years as a contractor and plasterer. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having served in the Third Pennsylvania Reserves, and was captured .and held prisoner for a considerable period. Later in life he returned to a farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. After a long and useful life he died in 1909. He married Sarah Hampshire, who died in 1902. They were the parents of two children: Sidney, of this review, and Ira D., who lives at the homestead in Chester County and is a school teacher.
Sidney P. McCord was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, August 14, 1869, in the seventh generation from that celebrated group of Scotch-Irish pioneers, who survived the Indian massacre of Fort William McCord in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, April 1, 1756. His greatgrandfather, Benjamin McCord, married Mary Talbot, daughter of Joseph Talbot, an officer on General George Washington's staff in the Revolutionary War, and a nephew of Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, who lies in Westminster Abbey, England. Receiving his early education in the public schools, Sidney McCord later covered a comprehensive course in accounting while in the service of the United States Government at Washington. He received a certificate from the Association of American Government Accountants, and is a registered municipal accountant for the State of New Jersey. He has risen to his present position since he went to Camden in 1886, his early activity in that city having been as an apprentice to his uncle, Charles W. Hampshire, who carried on the trade of plasterer. For a number of years he continued in his uncle's employ as superintendent of his interests, and in 1909 entered the civil service of the United States Government. From 1907 to 1911 he served as assistant comptroller of the city of Camden under Colonel S. Hufty, and his appointment to his present position of comptroller was received in 1911. Ably fulfilling the duties of this position, Mr. McCord has won the esteem and confidence of every associate in the city administration. Meanwhile, in 1908, he established his own office as an accountant and organized the concern known as the New Jersey Audit Company, public accountants and auditors. Active as president of this organization since its inception, the offices have been maintained at No. 535 Federal Street, Camden, and the company holds a leading rank in its field. Mr. McCord is interested in many branches of community and general advance, and is fraternally affiliated with all bodies of the Free and Accepted Masons, Ionic Lodge, No. 94; Siloam Chapter, Van Hook Council, Royal and Select Masters; Crusade Commandery, Knights Templar; Excelsior Consistory; Lu Lu Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and with Camden Lodge, No. 293, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which he served as a member of its finance committee for fifteen years, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club. He is president of Penn Building and Loan Association, director of the Mutual and Public Safety Building and Loan Association, Camden Realty Company, and Parkside Trust Company. His family is identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Sidney P. McCord married, November 16, 1900, at Camden, Eleanor Pike, daughter of Merritt and Sarah (Armstrong) Pike. They are the parents of six children: Heber E., born June 23, 1902; Merritt Ira, born April 21, 1905; Sidney P., Jr., born February 15, 1912; Sarah H., born November 11, 1914; Mary A., born August 23, 1917; Charles William, born October 20, 1919.
The McCord family residence is maintained at No. 582 Washington Street, Camden.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 10, 1933|
CAMDEN TAX BILLS NEAR 1932
of assessments in Camden
will cause slightly increased tax bills this year to many taxpayers, and
will result in slightly decreased bills to others, it was announced last
night by Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of revenue and finance.
taxation ordinance is yet to be passed, and nobody knows what the tax rate
will be," Bennett said. “I can make no promises whether the average
bills will be more or less. They may be a few dollars above or below the
amounts paid last year.
hope that in most cases the amount paid for taxes will be more. Some may
be two or three dollars more or less. It depends on the locality of the
and will be entirely due to the equalization in assessments. It is our
object to keep city expenses as low as is possible with safety."
The tax ordinance, which will be introduced in a few days, calls for in total appropriations of $5,563,185.15, which is $231,061.18 lower than last year, Bennett said. The amount to be raised by taxation, however, will be $88,890.53 higher than last year. This increase, he said is expected to be offset in the reduced expenditures of state and county, in which the city will share.
item of $400,000 placed in the budget to be raised in helping meet
$800,000 in tax revenue loans due this year, will be responsible for 20
cents of the tax rate. It is the first time such an item has appeared in
recent years in a city budget measure. By this means for the next five
years the commissioners expect to liquidate total loans of $2,000,000,
city officials said.
The deficiency in anticipated collection of delinquent taxes during 1932 caused the commissioners to insert the $400,000 item in the budget, Commissioner Bennett said. Thus, general .taxation is being made to absorb the default of taxpayers now delinquent .
Comptroller Sidney P. McCord
agreed with Commissioner Bennett concerning the 1933 tax bill.
amount to be raised by taxation is higher, the amount of the estimated
revenues is lower, and the assessments have been slashed," McCord
said. "This ordinarily would indicate an increase in the tax bill,
but all these conditions will be offset by
the reductions the city will receive as a result of the cuts in the state and county mandatory expenses
the city has been compelled to meet in past years. These reductions have
been made possible by the bills recently passed by the legislature and
will be a great financial benefit
to Camden not only this year but in the years to follow."
also disclosed that the Camden city tax rate may be "as low as
$3.60." That is two points under the lowest tax rate estimated by the
commissioner several weeks ago, when he anticipated a rate of between
$3.62 and $3.65 for each $100 valuation.
on figures available, we are hopeful of as low a rate as $3.60,"
Bennett said. "In any event, the rate will not exceed $3.65."
to be Raised
The amount to be raised in taxation this year, listed in the ordinance the city commissioners is $4,348,085.15. The total last year was $4,259,194.62.
"We are setting aside so much each year to place the city on a pay- as-you-go basis, instead of depending on the payment of delinquent taxes, as in former years," Bennett said. "We are going to include such an amount in the tax ordinance for the next five years so that we can meet the outstanding tax revenue loans and get rid of them. Thus, we are eliminating an endless chain of borrowing, and we consider the move a wonderful step forward in placing the city on a cash basis.
"There has been no playing with the budget. It is straight, honest and square, and that's why we include the $400,000 to help meet the tax revenue loans due. It is a pay-as-you-go budget and honest in every respect. "
was asked whether non-inclusion of the $400,000 item would have cut the
tax rate 20 cents this year below the estimated rate of $3.62 to $3.65 he
revealed earlier in the year.
is true," he said, "but we had to meet the loans due this year,
and we could not do so from the collection of delinquent taxes, which have
been coming in very slowly. We were compelled to add the $400,000 to
general taxation, and because we knew we had to include it, we effected
economies much greater than that amount so that the tax-payer would not
have to pay more in taxes.
tax ordinance includes exclusively city appropriations of $3,353,124.60,
Tax Loans Due
records show that a total of $4,263,935 in tax revenue loans are due
between now and 1936, including the $800,000 due this year. The
appropriation in this year's tax ordinance and provisions to be made in
similar measures for the next few years are expected to help wipe out this
city indebtedness. Delinquent tax receipts, of course, are expected to aid
materially in clearing the debt from the city books.
The emergency revenue deficit of $125,000 is appropriated annually by the city to reduce temporary notes issued by the city in 1931 for a total of $750,000 to make up expenditures for state aid emergency poor relief and local relief. The first $125,000 appropriation was made last year, reducing the total to $625,000. The tax deficit of $42,061.51 includes part of tax losses the city suffered last year through assessment reductions and exemptions. The actual loss in taxes to the city last year, resulting from a cut of approximately $9,000,000 in ratables after property owners appealed their assessments, was about $230,000. However, the 1931 tax rate produced about $150,000 more than that year's tax ordinance called for, and that total was applied as a credit to reduce the total $230,000 tax deficit last year.
|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 continued, "we
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 said.
“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 - June 7, 1933|
DEADLINE IS NEAR
City's deadline for payment of the first-half taxes for 1933 will end
definitely tonight at 9 p. m.
unprecedented rush during the closing hours of the final day, June 1,
caused Commissioner Harold W.
Bennett, director of finance, to extend a grace period of one week.
The date of closing of the period was announced today by City Comptroller Sidney
for the first day of the extension period, McCord said, there has been no rush at the
tax collector's office. He added that adjustments relative to bills and
payment took up much of the clerks' time during the
Figures on the amount of taxes paid during the added week granted taxpayers were not available, McCord said. He indicated the number of persons taking advantage of the extension was small.
|Camden Courier-Post - June 8, 1933|
P. M. TODAY IS SET AS DEADLINE FOR TAXES
If you want to pay your Camden City first-half taxes for 1933 by mall, your letter must be in the malls by midnight tonight or else you will be penalized. If you call at the City Hall to pay your taxes, you must do it before the deadline today at 4 p.m.
An unexpected rush the last regular day to pay taxes, June 1, caused Commissioner Harold W. Bennett,, director of finance, to extend a grace period of a week. No more, extensions will be made.
That the extra week has been used to advantage by taxpayer.s is evidenced by the increasing amount of mail which has been deposited regularly several times a day in the tax office. So many payments have come in that many of the letters received this week have not yet been opened. Day and night work has been the rule in the office of City Comptroller Sidney P. McCord since last week, employees working until 10 p.m. Figures on the amount of taxes paid the past week are not available because of the rush.
|Camden Courier-Post - June 21, 1933|
45% Of TAXES DUE COLLECTED BY CITY
Camden city tax collections for the first half of 1933, due June 1, total $1,376,920.32, or approximately 45% percent of the aggregate of $3,030, 968.93 due for the first half. A penalty at the rate of seven percent a year is assessed delinquent taxpayers.
Tax receipts were made public yesterday by Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of revenue and finance, and Sidney P. McCord, the city comptroller. With the collections including considerable scrip, the tab ulation of the receipts was delayed because of the longer time required to count the scrip; most of which was in small denominations.
Bennett and McCord pointed out that the percentage of collections is higher than they anticipated in view of economic conditions. It is greater than in many cities throughout the country, Bennett said, where they have been collecting but from 20 to 30 percent of their taxes.
The city officials also pointed out that had a payment of approximately $100,000 been received, as expected, from one of the city's largest tax payers, the city's percentage of collections would have reached approximately 50 percent .
Camden Courier-Post - June 22, 1933
BLOCK-AID FUNDS, USED FOR
Funds raised in Camden's recent Block-Aid campaign are being used exclusively by Dr. A. L. Stone, city emergency relief director, to help in the housing of evicted families.
Dr. Stone revealed yesterday the Block-Aid fund turned over to him last month by Russell H. Nulty, executive director of the drive, totaled $32,312.41. The amount is exclusive of $2058.43 in salaries and other expenses connected with the recent campaign, which lasted from November to May.
"We have been spending the money at the rate of about $9,000 every two weeks," Dr. Stone said. "The fund is supplementary to an appropriation of $40,000 by the city commission to provide for homeless families. The city has been giving tax credits up to that total property owners for housing families on relief."
The director reported the relief organization has found accommodations for between 700 and 800 families in the last few weeks with the limited sums at hand, and all without display and with minimum inconvenience to the individuals benefited.
"Camden is the only city of its size in the state giving outstanding attention to eviction cases, both from the standpoint of the landlord and the homeless family," Dr. Stone said.
The director stated that he had hoped to use the Block-Aid fund for other relief purposes, but found the demand for it so great in the handling of eviction cases that he deemed it advisable so to apply it. Under the law, such funds may be employed at the director's discretion.
The Block-Aid campaign organization functioned under the direction of Mayor Roy R. Stewart as chairman and with Nulty as executive director during the six months' of its' existence. Its goal was $100,000.
Dr. Stone said that in spite of economic conditions generally the public showed its generosity. He commended and thanked Mayor Stewart, Nulty and the other Block-Aid officials and volunteers for their efforts during the campaign.
|Camden Courier-Post - June 25, 1933|
TO PASS MILLION THIS WEEK
Camden city scrip issued since April 1, will reach more than $1,000,000 worth when the city meets its end-of-the-month payroll with a new issue of $220,000 this week for 1500 employees.
County scrip since the first of April totals $481,000, according to County Treasurer J. Wesley Sell. Of that total, $311,000 has been re deemed. A new $25,000 county issue of scrip will be circulated this week in meeting the county payroll for 300 employees.
City and county officials said they did not know how much longer they will be issuing scrip or when they would be in a position to announce a definite redemption date.
The officials pointed out that through the issuance of scrip they have been able to meet current obligations and have averted payless paydays for city and county employees.
In addition to operating expenses, the city has to meet a total of $2,415,000 in bonds and interest due between July 1 and the end of the year. McCord said efforts are being made to have bondholders agree to refund these bonds to mature In later years, so that, along with scrip, the city will be able to conserve as much cash as possible. Cash conservation has been difficult, McCord said, because tax collections have been far below those in previous years.
County bonds maturing this year total $330,000, but these are to be refunded for later maturity under a resolution adopted by the board of freeholders June 15 which also authorized the refunding of $2,352;000 worth of bonds maturing next year. Sell said the county will not default on any of its obligations,
City Commissioner Harold W. Bennett, director of revenue and finance, said the end of June city payroll of $220,000 will be entirely in scrip, as wall the $48,000 mid-June payroll. It will be the last pay for city teachers until their return from vacation in September.
Bennett pointed out that one of the reasons scrip had to be resorted to was because the city could not borrow the money it needed to pay salaries and operate in anticipation of tax collections. The scrip, he said, conserves what cash the city receives to, meet debt items. Neither he nor McCord said he was free to reveal the amount of cash the City has on hand, nor the amount the city has received since April in proportion to scrip.
"We won't know until we balance out books at, the close of the year," he said. "I do know that one of the advantages of scrip is that less of it has been issued than the city would have borrowed cash in the market, and so the city saves at least in interest charges.
"Other than to keep the city going, I don't know what financial advantage scrip is to Camden, except perhaps for a saving in interest on loans we could not make. All I know is that scrip has enabled us to meet our payrolls; we don't have to borrow in the market, and we are conserving cash to meet our bonds, interest and other obligations when they come due. Cash receipts, how ever, are slow because of the slump in tax payments.
"The only way I see for the city to be in a better financial position is for it to receive more of the taxes due it for this and previous years. Non-payment of taxes, with delinquencies enormous during the last few years, has been one of the main reasons the city had to go on scrip. Little money was coming in and we couldn't· borrow it as in former years. So the city had to issue the scrip, a promise to pay with interest. Otherwise it would have been unable to pay its employees and it would have had to default on bonds and interest. Scrip, therefore, has kept the city going and it has been able to meet all its bills as they fall due."
Commissioner Bennett said prompter payment of taxes has been encouraged through the issuance of scrip. Taxpayers receiving it have redeemed it as taxes. In other cases, where they have cash, they have bought the scrip from others and used it to meet their debts to the city. Thus, he said the scrip has been kept in circulation and readily exchanged.
"Merchants of the city are to be commended for their co-operation," Bennett said. "They have received scrip since April for purchases made at their stores. In turn, they have met their taxes with the scrip offered by customers, many of whom have been doing their buying exclusively in Camden since circulation of scrip, thereby stimulating business here.
"In addition, various concerns and individuals have been buying up the city scrip for investment, saving it for redemption at a later date to profit by the interest it carries.
"Through scrip, city employees have been saved from going without food, clothing and other necessities. We have averted payless paydays, and we are better off than other cities, whose plight is much worse than that of Camden."
|Camden Courier-Post - February 20, 1936|
FUND PLAN; APPROVE
W. OLIVER KINCANNON
under Chapter 77.
that with what security you can give by resolution or ordinance, but
Disregard Chapter 60.
a business rather than a political basis.
an active Interest In the management of Camden County as well as Camden
city, acting as a committee of inquiry on county management.
are some of the points of advice given to the City Commission yesterday,
at a special meeting of the Commission, by its Citizens' Advisory
trip-hammer style, James W.
Burnison, chairman of the advisory group, read a report that
followed with these recommendations:
politics and work as a unit.
expenses and stay within your budgets.
a complete and honest budget.
the taxpayers decide when an emergency exists that requires an addition
to the budget. Fight shy of gamblers' Interest rates.
default; it's too costly.
on a cash basis and stay there.
every taxpayer in the city realize and live up to his tax
about Camden city and county in a patriotic rather than a political
to Act Quickly
commission voted to take quick action by passing a motion introduced by
Commissioner Harold W.
Bennett, director of revenue and finance.
motion empowers Bennett
to call, as quickly as possible, a meeting of
the commission, representatives of its advisory committee, the finance
committee of the board of freeholders, representatives of the city's
bonding attorneys, Hawkins, Delafield and Longfellow, representatives of
Lehman Brothers and other bond houses to determine what arrangement can
be effected to solve the city's financial problems. Setting forth that
it is not our intent or desire to criticize the performances of past or
present city officers, " the report nevertheless, contained
frank condemnation of emergency deficiency appropriations for items that
are and were left off budgets.
also implied condemnation
of all the city budgets
since 1930 and pointed out: "That Camden City receipts
running behind expenditures approximately $1,000,000 a year since
yearly budgets do not at present, and did not in the past, in the opinion of your committee, give a frank
clear picture of anticipated income and expenditures.
job of contacting bondholders to
procure interest reductions, "your 'committee finds, has not been handled as frankly as
it deserves. We can find no evidence of a sincere effort to layout a program and attack this problem logically. No
more than 30 cents can be lopped off the tax' rate if the contacting
program were completely successful. The committee has failed to receive a requested report of efforts to contact
committee was convinced that it is futile to expect any large-scale
interest cuts from bondholders.
of Rate Cut
believes the majority of high interest-bearing bonds can be refunded at
substantially lower interest rates
if constructive action is taken immediately. The committee has been
informed that the state has refused to accept "reasonable
rates" on the city's bonds held by the State.
"the present difference of opinion on this subject among members of
our present city commission would in itself effectively block any real
work along this line, " and "We feel that real results along
this line require a united front on the part of our commission and the county freeholders." "Our
sinking fund, we are informed, is stuffed with our own frozen paper.
Such financing, in our estimation, kills the purpose of such
present plan of singling out a
few wards in our city and call
tax sales is neither fair to the delinquent taxpayers in these wards nor
is it fair to the taxpayers throughout the city."
concluding his reading of the summarized report, Burnison informed the
commissioners the committee has completed a detailed report of "40
to 42 pages of homework for you" and said that will be submitted
will contain detailed recommendations, including some errors in figures
and in judgment, but we ask that you disregard the errors and use the
good in it,"
when he mentioned
30 cents as the maximum figure to be lopped from the tax rate of the
city were completely successful in obtaining interest reductions, he
figured that would be the result if the city got 2% to 3 percent rates on all its bonds..
a large number of these bonds you can't hope to refund at lower interest
rates, as the rates already are low. You couldn't get under 4 or 4%
percent on your first refunding under Chapter 77 and almost all of the
bonds not immediately refundable are around those figures, " he
immediately opened up argument concerning what the committee
thinks will replace his favored refunding plan- Chapter 60 combined with
Objection to 60 Plan
seems to give the other fellow more advantages than us; that's our
objection to it,"
you have been assured from some source that we can avoid an increase in
the tax rate without adopting Chapter 60," Bennett
see no way of keeping down this year's budget without 60. Politics is
out in my argument, but I honestly believe 60 and 77 combined make the
only plan for us. Under the present plan the rate will go up this year.
Won't you tell us your source of assurance that it will not?"
did not answer the question immediately and Bennett said: "We would
have to pass resolutions committing us to procedure similar to that
under Chapter 60, wouldn't we?"
Burnison answered, "but not binding you to as close supervision.
You can't continue to exceed receipts and improve conditions
said, "give us the advantage of your sources assurance.”
Brothers (New York bankers who have handled many of the city's bonds in
the past and were interviewed last Friday by the advisory committee)
also said if we showed a sincere frank idea of economizing and staying
within our budget, the bondholders would accept our bonds without
necessity of recourse to Chapter 60.
said 60 'meant no more to the
bondholder than resolutions and ordinances, if you get together and go on record to
give security and then do it.
don't think the city commission should have any compunction in binding
itself not to exceed the budget. Then, if you find it is impossible for
you to operate on what you are taking in under the present tax rate,
call in a group of taxpayers say
200 of them-and explain the situation and raise the tax rate.
reasonable man or group will
see the necessity and logic of that. They will go along with you.
under Chapter 60 you put yourself under a rigorous unbending set of
Mrs. Kobus Urges Action
quit arguing and do it," Commissioner Mary
W. Kobus suggested, and
asked: "If we take an average of the
income for the past three years would you not consider that average for
that point Bennett
made his motion for power to call a special meeting
of the freeholders, commissioners, citizens' group, bond attorneys and
bond dealers, and it was passed unanimously after Commissioner George E.
Brunner seconded it.
reserve the right own discretion about dealers will be asked” Bennett
may be that Lehman Brothers are the only ones who will trust us,"
Burnison said. "They know the lines we are working along. They work
with other houses, and there may be other sources of credit we can
42 of the largest cities in New Jersey with 62 percent of all at the
ratables of the state are under Chapter 60 now," Bennett
percent could be wrong,"
Burnison answered and laughed, adding:
"In my opinion, those cities going under 60 haven't looked very far
what we have done," Bennett
replied. "My department has done
that and that is why we are advocating 60.”
there are members on our committee
who know a good bit about that sort of thing and they say the city is justified in not going
under 60," Burnison said.
Legislature is going to pass a new budget law that will act just the
same as Chapter 60, though it will not be passed in time to effect this
Burnison, "I'd think the commission would prefer to adopt a
safe course voluntarily than to be forced into it."
have no assurance that those who will have charge of the city's affairs
for the next 15 or 18 years will follow the course we lay down for
said and added: "Past political experience
shows that they won't."
brought the argument to a close and
Burnison, questioned by a reporter,
are not unalterably opposed to Chapter 60. We oppose it, yes. We believe
under 77 a better job for us can be worked out."
City Comptroller Sidney P. McCord, with an aide, attended, and a stenographer from Commissioner Bennett's office took a complete report of the proceedings.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 26, 1936|
VOTES TO PAY EXPERT ON REFUNDING OF CITY DEBTS
They said they expect to make the selection today.
special gathering of the commissioners in Mayor Frederick
von Nieda's offices at noon today was arranged to hear applications of
candidates for the job.
candidate will be considered unless he has a plan to submit that looks
attractive to the commissioners they said.
to select the paid adviser came near the end of a hectic two and one-half
hour conference of the commissioners with their citizens' advisory
committee, members of the Freeholders budget committee, various bond
brokers, and bankers and attorneys for the city and the bond dealers.
commissioners decided to engage the adviser against the recommendation
and despite an eloquent plea of their bond attorney-L. Arnold Frye, of
Hawkins, Delafield and Longfellow, New York attorneys.
was at the suggestion of Commissioner Mary
W. Kobus that the decision to bring in paid help was taken.
action was taken under such a. way as to leave at least one bond house's
representatives under the impression the commission is actually, though
not legally, committed to accepting whatever plan their paid counselor may
questions on this line, however, brought no definite answer.
that, the commissioners did not commit themselves.
however, announced that the adviser's tenure will be "for whatever
period we decide to engage him."
George E. Brunner suggested that the advisory committee submit the names
of three prospects for the adviser's job and that committee's sub-committee
on finance withdrew and returned to offer two names. They explained they
could not suggest more than two.
names were held confidential and no one knowing them would reveal their
was some speculation as to whether they were
Jr., Philadelphia bond broker and former city director of revenue and
finance, and Norman S. Tabor, noted New York adviser on municipal fiscal
to Make Pick
commissioners, as soon as they received the two names in secret, withdrew
into the mayor's private office for ten minutes to discuss the suggested
helpers, but returned to announce that all applicants for the job will be
heard at noon today.
was accepted as tacit admission that no final agreement was reached on
either name suggested.
are going to pick the man on a basis of his helpfulness to Camden, I
want to say now 'that we will not
necessarily select the man who offers to help us at the lowest cost.
want those applicants for the position who appear tomorrow to have a
definite idea of what plan they expect the city to follow if they are
course, we do not expect any minute detailed plan from any man not already
acquainted with the situation, but we want it to be definite enough to
enable us to know whether we will follow it.
want to keep the cost as low as possible, and we advise now that the cost
of this help or advice must be low, but we will not pick the adviser on a
cost basis purely.
will make no commitments in advance. We will talk to no applicant until
the time comes tomorrow. My conception of how we will select the adviser
will come first. Then contacts, experience, the cost to the city and, of
course, the acceptability of the plan offered."
conference was called to discuss proposed refunding plans for Camden city,
with most of the talk centering on the controversy over Chapter 60 as a
Mrs. Kobus suggested appointment of the financial adviser at a meeting of the city commission to be held immediately.
thought similarly during the last few days," said Bennett. "I
realize it would be a big
expense, but the City is reaching a crisis and it might be money well
asked the advisory committee to submit three names for appointment as an
adviser. The committee suggested two names which were not revealed.
in requesting the commission not to employ an adviser, revealed himself
the principal author of New Jersey's two refunding or bond issuing acts
around which the commissions' difference of opinion as to method has
revolved-Chapters 60 and 77.
can finance your indebtedness
entire, Frye said, "under Chapter
77, or partly under Chapter 60 and partly under 77. I
personally have no preference, as
the principal author of both.
to your tax rate, set what you can set and what the taxpayers can stand.
Don't you think you could get together and settled this among yourselves?
Don't you think that
would be better?"
passed off Fry's suggestion thus:
Mr. Frye, I
think it can best be settled by
use of an adviser. I
am anxious to settle it quickly.
We have been unable to agree thus far and I
am on the uneasy seat for Camden
faces a crisis and I want to get it past."
suggestion carne after all of the bond brokers present, except Middleton,
had advised the city to use the stringent budget, making restrictions of
W. Burnison, chairman of the citizens' advisory committee, reiterated
that group's objections to Chapter 50, saying the same guarantees can be
provided for bondholders under 77, without putting the city under such
rigid state supervision for so long a period.
person present was invited to speak. Most of the freeholders viewed the
matter as a city and not a county problem, but promised cooperation.
meeting started as a closed session, but after 25 minutes behind closed
doors in the mayor's' office, Evered
came to the door and admitted reporters.
reporters, however, were given to
understand that the only statements they were to use were those from Burnison,
chairman of the committee; James
a member, or Evered,
and from other speakers only with their permission.
Attending were the five city commissioners, William H. Heiser, chairman of the Board of Freeholders' budget committee; Freeholders James S. Caskey, Maurice Bart, William Myers, and James W. Wood; George D. Rothermel, assistant county solicitor; City Comptroller Sidney P. McCord; Meyer Sakin and John R. Di Mona, assistant city solicitors; Burnison, Evered, Moran, and Michener, of the Citizens' Advisory Committee; E. Howard Broome, deputy director of finance; Middleton, John T. Trimble, counsel for Middleton; three representatives of Hawkins, Delafield & Longfellow, New York including Frye, Henry Russell and Alfred Gregory; Walter Shuman, representing Rollins & Sons, of Philadelphia and New York; C. C. Collings, of the C. C. Collings Company, Philadelphia; Russell McInes, representing Lehman Brothers, New York; J. M. G. Brown and Samuel S. Blackman, representing Analyses, Inc., Philadelphia, and Leon C. Guest and Herbert Glucksman, Camden bond brokers.
|Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1938|
REVENUES RISE $1,268,771.83 IN 1937
Camden City collected $1,268,771.83 more in current and delinquent taxes and miscellaneous revenues in 1937 than in 1936, it was revealed in an official report prepared by Comptroller Sidney P. McCord arid released yesterday by Mayor George E. Brunner.
Current tax collections increased from $3,951,300.99 to $4,153,493.71, a gain of $202,192.72, while receipts from tax title liens more than doubled as a result of the intensive liquidation campaign carried on by the department of revenue and finance through its certificate bureau, headed by Isadore H. Hermann.
Whereas revenue from liens amounted to only $229,027.99 in 1936, last years' collections from this source totaled $482,562.68. Delinquent tax collections were $14,667.23 and under 1936, due mainly to the improvement in current collections in 1936 as compared with prior years, which left less taxes outstanding at the end of the year of levy.
Cross-Receipts Levy Is Windfall
Contributing virtually half the record-breaking revenue increase was the windfall from gross-receipts taxes.
Against an anticipated $322,648.31 and 1936 receipts of $107,265.09, the city actually got $728,068.15. In addition it collected $284,939.46 in franchise taxes, compared with $185,008 for 1936.
These two gains followed the decision by the Court of Errors and Appeals holding State Tax Commissioner J. H. Thayer Martin without authority to disregard municipal assessments of utilities personal property and substitute his own figures, derived from its "unit-capacity-production" yardstick.
The largest advances in miscellaneous revenues, exclusive of these two sources, came from miscellaneous interest and costs. which jumped $79,558.83, and surplus from the water bureau, which jumped $65,999.21.
The water bureau, operated under Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann, turned over to the city treasury $253,804.24 as against a 1936 total of $187,805.03.
Water collections, aggregated $619,451.12, made up of $325,984.92 in current fiat rates, $206,431.53 in current meter, $52,213.36 in one-year delinquent flat-rates, $19,625.37 in one-year meters and $15,195.95 in miscellaneous revenue.
Other Sources Swell Revenue
The 1936 total was $570,919.01, broken down into $281,861.27, current flat; $198,972.68, current meter; $72,156.91 delinquent fiat and $17,928.15 miscellaneous.
Other sources of revenue which showed increases over 1936 were bank stock taxes, city clerk's office, city property, District Court, building bureau, treasurer's office, cemeteries, municipal markets and Convention Hall.
Accounts that decreased were the highway bureau, department of public safety, Recorder's Court, electrical bureau, health bureau, plumbing inspectors, radio station WCAM, South Jersey Port Commission and assessments.
Budget Estimates Far Exceeded
The Port Commission, which for years had returned only $50,000 of the $190,000 which the City annually appropriates to it, and from which Mayor Brunner received $66,750 in 1936, dropped back to $56,750 last year.
Actual receipts exceeded budget estimates of miscellaneous revenues last year by $694,003,06, of which surplus $405,419.84 came from gross receipts taxes while franchise taxes contributed $99,939.46. In 1936 the receipts were $108,062,27 above anticipations, marking the first time in many years that a deficit did not exist. A favorite trick of previous administrations was to inflate miscellaneous revenue estimates beyond all reasonable expectations to hold down tax levies and rates..
|Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1938|
FACES LOSS OF $2000,000 YEARLY IN FRANCHISE TAXES
Unless Governor Moore vetoes two measures passed by the Legislature which authorize the state tax commissioner to apportion gross receipt and franchise taxes of utilities on his·own valuations rather than those of local assessors, Camden ,City may face a revenue loss of $200,000 annually.
This sum, equivalent to more than 15 cents on the city tax rate, was estimated last night by Sidney P. McCord, city comptroller.
Reports from Trenton were that Moore would veto the measures, but repassage over the veto would be likely since 421 municipalities of the state brought pressure to bear on legislators for the legislation.
The subject of gross receipt and franchise taxes has been a subject of recurrent fights for years.
On protest of many communities that the larger cities received the "lion's share" of such taxes paid by utilities on the basis of five percent of all income, State Tax Commissioner J. H. Thayer Martin in 1933 installed a "yardstick" system of levying assessments and apportioning the receipts.
Large Cities Appeal
Camden, Newark, Jersey City and other large communities were adversely affected. They appealed Martin's action to the Supreme Court and won. Martin appealed this decision to the Court of Error and Appeals, but Camden and the other communities were upheld.
But not notified by Martin that his appeal was pending and that the decision might affect budgets, the smaller communities continued to anticipate in their 1937 budgets the amounts which they received under Martin's assessment and apportionment system in 1936.
When the Court of Error and Appeals decision came last July these communities discovered they had anticipated money they would not receive, and would be left with a deficit to be made up in 1938 budgets.
This situation resulted in the wide demand for legislation to invalidate the court decision and return the method of assessing utility property and apportioning of' the taxes in accordance with Martin's plan.
School Taxes Adjusted
A third bill passed by both houses along with the two franchise and gross receipts measures adjusts the state school tax to compensate for elimination of utility values from total valuation upon which the State school tax is apportioned.
McCord said he was not certain whether this measure would affect the school tax in Camden or not, but would study the bill. According to Senator Edward P. Stout, who opposed all three bills, this measure win increase Jersey City's school tax from $2.75 to $2.90.
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 10, 1938|
Added Equipment Authorized
Additional modern flre-fighting equipment will be provided at Camden fire headquarters and in several fire houses, Commissioner Mary W. Kobus stated yesterday.
Purchase of the equipment, the director said, will be made with funds included in the year's budget submitted to City Comptroller Sidney P. McCord yesterday.
Mrs. Kobus commented on the rescue of seven workmen from a tank car at the old Pavonia car shops and pointed out rescues were effected by use of gas masks and oxygen tanks.
"I deemed it advisable to obtain more gas masks and oxygen tanks for other fire houses in the city to cope with such future emergencies," Commissioner Kobus said.
Two inhalators will be placed at fire headquarters along with additional grappling hooks to be used in drowning cases, she added.
Purchase of a large type life net, additional chemical generators for combating gasoline and oil fires, and "wind breakers" for fire apparatus not equipped with windshields has been authorized, Director Kobus added.
Camden Courier-Post * February 16, 1938
SCHOOL BILL AVERTS RISE IN COUNTY TAX
Camden City will save $83,239.35 in interest on state school taxes if Assembly Bill 122, awaiting action in the Legislature, becomes law.
In addition, passage of the measure would permit Camden county to increase its appropriation of surplus revenue to eliminate the present $56,631.28 boost in the amount to be raised by taxation and prevent a threatened 2.6 cents tax rate rise.
In a statement yesterday urging the county's legislative delegation to support the bill Mayor Brunner, Camden director of revenue and finance, said another effect of its enactment would be to avert a judicial fight between the city and the State of New Jersey.
bill, introduced by Assemblyman Farley, of Atlantic county last
Wednesday, would amend the 1933 act permitting municipalities to pay 90
percent of their State school taxes in scrip and warrants, to obviate
the necessity for paying interest on that 90 percent, even though the
10 percent retained by the State Department of Education was paid
beyond the statutory
Farley Bill Vindicates McCord
Comptroller Sidney P. McCord, of Camden, has argued against payment, of interest on the 90 percent from the start, and has steadfastly refused to honor bills totaling $83,-39.35, presented periodically by the county. Brunner lauded McCord for his refusal to pay. He said the comptroller's action will represent a clear saving 'to the city if the Farley bill becomes law.
Meanwhile the county appropriated the sum in its 1937 budget under orders from State Auditor Waiter R. Darby, although Darby has railed since that counties need not budget interest on delinquent state taxes owed by municipalities.
The county never paid the money to the state because the city refused to pay the county, and Darby ordered it held in reserve pending » settlement.
If A-122 is enacted the city automatically will be relieved and the reserve will be freed, available for general purposes once the Board of Freeholders acts to divert it back into the treasury.
Then enough of the $83,000 can be added to the tentative $400,000 appropriation of surplus revenue to hold the tax levy down to last year's level, without disturbing the $850,000 surplus remaining.
Budget Meeting Tomorrow
The county budget is scheduled for introduction on first reading at a special freeholders' meeting tonight. Present plans call for approval with the higher levy and subsequent amendment before public hearing and adoption, providing the bill is passed.
That the measure will become law was predicted by legislators and observers.
A vote was taken in the Republican majority caucus of the House yesterday, without a single dissenter. Farley sought immediate action to aid Atlantic City in preparation of its 1938 budget, but so much objection was voiced to consideration of bills on the day they were printed that the matter was held in abeyance.
The possibility exists that both houses may act next Monday under suspension of rules, considering the bill emergency legislation because of its effect on budgets.
According to the office of County Treasurer Edward J. Kelleher, Camden is the only municipality in the county affected by the measure.
All Interest Paid on 10 Percent
Camden, acting upon the advice of its comptroller, has refused to pay the claim. McCord insists the bill does not represent a legitimate obligation. He points out that of state school taxes paid by any district, only 10 percent goes to the state and the rest is apportioned among the municipalities of the county. Camden paid its 90 percent to the county with a warrant, on the basis of which the county issued its own warrants to the other municipalities, thereby making the funds available without imposing hardships on any districts.
All interest due on the 10 percent was paid, McCord pointed out. During a conference with Darby in Trenton last year McCord warned him that any attempt to compel inclusion of the appropriation in the budget would result in court action, and Mayor Brunner supported him.
Darby insisted the item would have to be budgeted, but a last-minute move by the Legislature deferred for a year certain drastic features of the new budget act and automatically permitted exclusion of the item.
Darby is expected to force the appropriation this year, however, and Camden is prepared to institute legal action. Passage of the Farley bill would clear the situation.
Scrip Practice Recalled
The bill's statement of purpose explains the matter clearly. It follows:
"In 1933 the school scrip act was passed. The purpose was to allow municipalities which could not meet their state school tax in cash to do so in scrip. There was a provision that each municipality might pay to the county treasurer its school taxes in scrip except the 10 percent to be retained by the state.
"Under the old law the full 100 percent would be paid to the State Treasurer in cash, he would retain 10 percent for state school purposes and the balance of 90 percent would be distributed among the various school districts entitled to; it.
"Under the provisions of the 1933 act the scrip was sent directly to the county treasurer, who in turn would distribute it to the school districts on warrants of the county school superintendent and transmit directly to the state treasurer, the 10 percent due to the state.
"In some instances the county treasurer, because of the financial inability of certain municipalities to pay the state school taxes in full when due, was late in transmitting to the state treasurer the 10 percent due the state. Because of uncertainty of the law covering this situation, the state treasurer is now demanding of the counties which were late in transmitting the state's 10 percent under the 1933 act and amendments thereof, interest on the full 100 percent and not on the 10 percent alone, even though the school districts making payment in scrip have delivered the school scrip in time, and also the receiving districts had received their school scrip in full and within time.
"There is no reason why the county treasurer, who is merely a disbursing agent, should be called upon to pay to the state any more than interest on the delinquency due the state, to wit: on 10 percent of the state school tax, especially in view of the fact Section .3 of Chapter 156 of the Laws of 1933 provides that 'the county shall be relieved of that part of its obligation to the state for 90 percent of the state school tax when the county treasurer shall have filed with the state treasurer receipts from the custodians of the several school districts.' ".
|Camden Courier-Post * February 16, 1938|
School Estimates Board Defers Action on $1,978,225 Budget
SUM HELD TOO HIGH BY CITY OFFICIALS; REDUCTIONS SOUGHT
Mrs. Kobus Urges Employ ment of Auditor to Aid in Paring Costs
TEACHER EXPENSE RISES
The Board of School Estimates met yesterday and adjourned with out taking any action on the proposed $1,978,225 budget approved by the Board of Education.
The education budget is $135,244 more than the $1,842,981 provided for the 1937-38 year.
It seemed the sense of yester day's meeting that the items calling for additional teachers and janitors would have to be cut and that perhaps employment of new teachers for the Davis School to take care of Westfield Acres pupils could be reduced by transfer of some teachers from other schools.
Held Due to Salaries
In addition to the commissioners, the estimates board includes Mrs. Alice K. Predmore and E. George Aaron. The latter was absent.
The estimates board, which must approve the budget, adjourned in definitely to meet again at the call of the Mayor when McCord's audit is completed.
Mrs. Kobus explained that virtually the entire increase is due to restoration of one-half of the exist ing 10 percent salary cuts and the proposed additions of 20 new teachers and two janitors.
The president added that 15 of the new teachers are assigned to the recently enlarged Davis School, three to the two high schools and two to junior schools.
Half of the increase will appear in Camden City's 1938 budget, which operates on a calendar year as contrasted with the school fiscal year.
Five-Cent Rise on 1938
The total rise is equivalent to 10 cents on the tax rate, so that half the amount means a five-cent increase on the 1938 rate
Mrs. Kobus said she with other board members did everything possible to prevent an increase and pointed out that the only unusual increase, other than teachers' salaries was for supplies and materials.
In making up the budget the board members pared several appropriations in an effort to apportion $43,000 as a sponsor's share to obtain a PWA grant of $232,000 for additions, alterations and im provements to several schools.
The appropriation for teachers is $1,487,061, compared to $1,388,745 for the last fiscal year, an increase of $98,316.
For other salaries, including executive, office, clerical and janitors, $262,579 was appropriated. The total for the previous year was $236,386, an increase of $27,868.
The amount for supplies, materials and other items is $226,910, an increase of $9160 over the pre vious year when the total was $217,850.
The city's apportionment of revenue to be appropriated is $1,692,225. In estimated sources of revenue, $100,000 is expected to come from an additional state appropriation. Additional state funds include, appropriation, $169,463; manual training, $5000; crippled children, $1500; evening schools, $500.
Other anticipated revenue items include tuition fees, $1000; teachers absence refunds, $3000; miscellaneous, $3000.
Albert Austermuhl stated additional funds may
be anticipated from enrollment of students from schools outside the city.
He also stated the state has not paid the city its share for the "education of
crippled children. The amount in arrears for two past years is $3000,
For instructions in elementary, high, junior high schools and manual training the amount is fixed at $1,431,117.
The sum of $135,884 is set up for supervisory instruction, with $41,615 for administration.
Costs for operation of elementary schools is placed at $130,067. The cost for the operation of the high schools is $47,605 with $37,750 appropriated for junior high schools.
Other budget items include co ordinated activities, $40,956; property maintenance cost, $74,455; fix ed charges, $13,760; auxiliary agencies, $8900; special schools, $15,116.
Total salaries for teachers in elementary, kindergarten, special classes and correction classes total $874,955. For high school teachers the amount is $259,467. Junior school teachers salaries total $156,169.
The increases for teachers are: elementary and other classes, $53,535; high schools, $19,146; junior schools, $10,279. Manual training costs increased $5066.
Cost for elementary school janitor salaries is set at $81,217, an increase of $11,428. Most of the increase is due to additional janitorial service required for the Davis school annex.
The sum of $33,655 is appropriated for high school janitors, an increase of $1815. The amount for junior high school janitors is $27,000, an increase of $1483..
Camden Courier-Post - February 26, 1938
Sidney P. McCord - George E. Brunner
Verdiglione - L. Merochnik Sons - John
A. Shortell - Thomas F. Gibson
Camden Courier-Post - July 22, 1941
DONATIONS MOUNT IN
Contributions to the United Service Organizations continued to flow in yesterday.
The money will be used for recreational programs for men in the armed forces of the nation through clubs, which are being established adjacent to army and navy cantonments.
Total receipts as announced by Ralph Vasso, chairman of the volunteer gift committee, were $14,575.58. The goal set up for Camden in the nationwide appeal for contributions is $21,000.
Funds are being sent by mail, and delivered in person to headquarters of the U.S.O. in the Camden County Chamber of Commerce offices, Sixth and Penn streets, Sidney P. McCord, city comptroller, is treasurer of the committee.
contributors are: I.ouis Seitchik, $50; employees of Louis Seitchik,
$125; Camden County Girl Scouts, $5; Alice B. Eaton, $3; Mrs. T. T.
Eaton, $2; Dealers Liquor Company, additional $5; Minters Distributors,
$10; John W. Whitecar, $10; Loyal Order of Moose, $10; General Chemical Company, $25;
house-to-house collection, Parkside
section, $7.35; collections by cans in motion picture theatres, $21.65; Sam Slutsky. $5.
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.
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.
George Brunner - Edward Pike
Camden Courier-Post * December 13, 1957
Walter Trappe - George Brunner - Sidney
Dr. Ethan A. Lang - Edward Garrity - Stevens Street
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