Politics and the Water Department
The evil influence of politics—understood in the most sinister usage of that term—is sometimes to he seen in the city government in connection with its relations with the water department. This is manifested in many ways hut its most unfortunate application is where a conscientious and public-spirited superintendent or engineer finds himself up against the stone wall of opposition whenever he attempts any improvements that would work for the benefit and increase the efficiency of his department. Often a subtle opposition makes itself apparent in many little ways in this connection which may develop at any time into an attempt to displace him and make room for a political favorite of the boss or bosses of the particular party in power in the city at the time. The hampering effect of such a situation on the proper development of a water system of a city can hardly be over estimated. The result must inevitably be, not only the crippling of the water service and the consequent inconvenience to the public, but also the probable loss eventually to the city of the services of a valuable public servant. I” or not many an engineer or superintendent will long stand the dictation of an individual or set of men who know less about his work than he does himself. His manhood will naturally rise up in opposition to such a situation and will in time overcome even his reluctance to step down and out, knowing that, when he does so, the department over which he presides and in consequence the city itself will be a great loser. Even this important consideration will not suffice to hold him in a position that has become unbearable. It would be wise for the political powers that be to pause and reflect on the consequences of such acts before forcing a valuable official to relinquish his position and cause the appointment of one of less competence and consequently of much less value to the municipality.