READING WATER BOARD CASE

READING WATER BOARD CASE

EDITORIAL

Being the first case of its kind, relative to the working of the new act of Assembly creating the commission form of government in thirdclass cities of Pennsylvania, the recent ruling of a Supreme Court Justice in the case of the Reading Water Board possesses Wide interest, deciding as its does, the constitutionality of the commission government act, which has been contested in other parts. The Reading City Council had passed an ordinance terminating the existence of the Water Board and placing the system under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Property, still the Water Board continued to exercise its authority, contending that it was operating under a special act of the Legislature and was not affected by the law creating the commission government under which it was sought to oust it. The city took the case to the courts on quo warrant proceedings which resulted as above stated. The Court held that the Legislature did not intend to continue such a department, but to bring the management of the water system under the control of the City Council to be assigned by it to one of the five specified departments. If so, it continues as a separate department under the act of 1865 and the preservation of that statute would necessarily have to be regarded as inconsistent with the provisions of the act of 1913. Although the decision appears to dispose of the question, members of the Water Commission declare they will appeal.

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