Can the People of Cortland County Afford to Make John Miller Sheriff and Jerome Squires District Attorney?
EDITOR DEMOCRAT: For four years previous to January 1st, 1891, Jerome Squires was a Justice of the Peace of the town of Cortlandville, and John Miller during the same time was a constable.
The record made by these officers during the time mentioned is known to the tax payers of Cortlandville, and has not passed unnoticed by the taxpayers of the entire county.
With such a record as these men made, it is passing strange that they should ask the intelligent voters of Cortland county to support them. The record of many of their enormous bills can be found in the County Clerk's office, in the Town Clerk's office in the town of Cortlandville, and in the Supervisors Journal.
Miller and Squires were as firmly united together as the Siamese twins. Whenever and wherever Miller made an arrest, he started for Squires' office, and when Squires issued a warrant or a subpoena he gave them to Miller to execute. Each worked to swell the other's bill, without the slightest consideration for the overburdened taxpayers who had the bills to pay. To show the enormity of Mr. Squires' bills as Justice of the Peace, and to show how largely his bills increased the expenses of the town of Cortlandville, commencing with his advent to office, we have examined the bills as audited for ten years previous to January 1890, and the following is a summary statement of the accounts as audited by the Board of Town Auditors of the town of Cortlandville, in favor of the justices of said town for the following years, viz:
For a verification of the above figures, we refer to the records on file in the Town Clerk's office of the town of Cortlandville, and the proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of Cortland county, for the several years above stated. The above bills are all against the town of Cortlandville, and do not include county charges.
The abnormal increase in Justice's bills are glaringly apparent in the years 1887, 1888 and 1889, as will appear by an inspection of the figures we have given.It is but just to the other Justices of the town of Cortlandville, to say that the enhanced, unnecessary and enormous bills of Jerome Squires, since his advent to office on January 1st, 1887, accounts mainly for the increase. As an illustration, we point to his bill against the town of Cortlandville in 1889, which was audited in his favor for $1413.05. The manner in which his bill has been so largely increased, is as significant as the large bill itself.
Remembering that the above is only a bill against the town, and does not include any county charge, one is led to inquire how he dare present such a bill. That explanation in part is, that he was a member of the auditing board and audited or helped audit his own bills.
The expenses of the town of Cortlandville during his term of office, not only doubled, but very nearly trebled.
Such bills as Squires presented, indicate that each particular case was nursed and dragged along in order to make cost. By needless adjournments and a large number of unnecessary subpoenas, costs could be made. Manifestly such a course would not be in the interest of economy, but needless adjournments and needless subpoenas meant big bills, not only for Squires but for Miller, and so the rights of the "dear people'' were overlooked. If there was a large amount of criminal business, there should be a correspondingly large return, in the way of fines. Let us see how the fines Squires returned compare with the size of his bill.
For the year ending Nov. 1st, 1889, his bill against the town of Cortlandville for criminal business was audited at $1383.05. For the year ending Nov. 1st, 1889, he paid over to the County Treasurer in fines, $150.00.
For the same period of time, another Justice's bill against the town of Cortlandville for criminal business was audited at $708.35, and for the year ending Nov. 1st, 1889, the same Justice paid over to the County Treasurer in fines, $234.40
We have already called attention to the phenomenal increase in Justice's bills commencing with Squires' advent to office January 1st, 1887.
May it not be fairly assumed, that Squires if elected District Attorney, would make the phenomenal and abnormal increase in the expenses connected with that office, that he did in the expenses connected with the office of Justice of the Peace.
The bills to which attention has been called were solely against the town of Cortlandville, and do not include bills where persons were arrested for intoxication and paid their fines, and do not include bills against the county.
We can best illustrate Squires' way of [raising] up his mammoth bills, by calling attention to the following record of conviction which speaks for itself and needs but little comment:
JUSTICES COURT—TOWN OF CORTLANDVILLE.
COUNTY OF CORTLAND—STATE OF NEW YORK.
The People vs. William Ross.
Be it remembered, that on the 12th day of March, 1889, William Ross was brought before the undersigned, a Justice of the Peace of said town, at my office therein, charged on complaint and oath of a peace officer of said town, with being intoxicated in a public place therein, viz:—on Main street, in the Village of Cortland therein, in violation of the 17th section of an act entitled "An act to suppress intemperance and to regulate the sale of intoxicating liquors,'' passed April 16th, 1857, and the several acts amendatory thereof, and being then and there apprehended and taken before me for trial, whereupon after due examination I did deem him to be too much intoxicated to be examined or to answer on oath correctly, and did thereupon direct said officer to keep him in the Cortland
County Jail until sober, then to be forthwith brought before me for trial, and he having been kept in jail as aforesaid until this 18th day of March, 1889, at 2 o'clock P. M., at which time he having become sober, and being thereupon forthwith brought before me for trial, the said William Ross was by me arranged and informed of the charge against him and of his right to be represented by counsel, and to be allowed a reasonable time to procure and advise with such counsel, and a reasonable time thereafter having elapsed and no one appearing in his behalf, and he having thereupon waived further examination and plead guilty to said charge, and said proceedings having all been had in open court and in the presence and hearing of said William Ross, he was thereupon by me duly convicted of said offense and was sentenced and adjudged to pay a fine of three dollars and also $24.22 costs and fees, and in default of payment thereof to be committed to the Cortland County Jail until paid, not, however, to exceed ten days imprisonment.
Witness my hand at said town, this 18th day of March, 1889,
JEROME SQUIRES, Justice of the Peace.
It appears by Squires' record of conviction that the prisoner was brought before him on the 12th day of March, 1880, charged with being intoxicated, and sent to jail to remain until such time as he should become sober, and remained in jail until March 18th, (seven days), when he became sufficiently sober to plead guilty, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $3.00 and also to pay $24.22 costs, and in default of such payment to stand committed not to exceed ten days.
Not only was the people out $24.22, but they were out for boarding the prisoner seven days before his sentence and ten days after, for the prisoner having more days than dollars served his time. Turnkeys fees and other expenses should also be added.
Including the $24.22, board and turnkeys fees, this conviction cost the "dear people" not less than $35.00. If the same ratio of expenses obtained, will Mr. Squires tell us about what he thinks it would cost to convict a man of grand larceny?
If Squires was elected District Attorney the taxpayers would suffer more than those prosecuted for crime. The people demand honest, capable and economical officers. The record made by Squires as Justice, precludes all hope that he would guard the people's rights. If any taxpayer has any doubt about the manner in which Squires and Miller loaded them down with costs, let them study the statistics contained in the Supervisors Journal, and other records, not made for the purposes of this campaign, but which are, and for years have been a part of the record of the county. The candidate on the democratic ticket for District Attorney has held the office for three years, and it is conceded by all that he was an industrious, economical and efficient officer.
That he is Mr. Squires' superior in learning, integrity and ability no one denies. The democratic candidate Mr. Van Brocklin, has every quality necessary to make a first class Sheriff. He is active, energetic, and honest. He has no surroundings that would interfere with a proper discharge of his duties.
Elect Mr. Van Brocklin and Mr. Palmer and the law will be enforced, and criminals will not go unpunished.
(From New York World. Sept. 12.)
The Republican campaign in New York this year is a campaign for the supremacy of Thomas C. Platt. It is worth while, therefore, to recall some of the conspicuous services rendered by Mr. Platt to the city and State.
New York once planned with great enthusiasm and unanimity to hold a World's Fair in 1891. Citizens subscribed money by millions for the purpose, and a committee of eminently representative men was selected by the Mayor to serve as a commission. Everybody, even the Republican and the Mugwump press, was enthusiastic in praise of the selections made, and the bill to create the commission was passed unanimously by the Assembly.
At this point Thomas C. Platt interfered. He determined to convert the project of a World's Fair into a political movement for his own purposes. In spite of the earnest protests of such Republicans as Chauncey M. Depew, Joel B. Erhardt and others of like eminence, he blocked the bill in the Senate, and through his tools and creatures there, led by Senator Fassett, imposed the condition that he should have the naming of certain of the Commissioners upon partisan grounds exclusively. He made a partisan shuttlecock of an enterprise which bore no relation to politics, and by doing so succeeded in giving a partisan aspect to the matter in Congress, alienating from New York on meanly partisan grounds votes from New England, Pennsylvania and elsewhere which would naturally have favored this locality, but whose loss deprived New York of the Fair, with all its glory and all its profit.
Mr. Platt went to Washington and made himself the arch enemy of the city and State in the matter. He defeated New York's aspirations. He baffled her hopes. He deprived her citizens of a great good, and all because he wanted to get his fingers into the management of the Fair and work it for all it might be worth in promotion of his own mischievous power as a "boss."
It is the same Thomas C. Platt who has named Mr. Fassett as his candidate for Governor this year, and who, if Mr. Fassett should by any chance be elected, will manipulate the affairs of the State through him. What do New Yorkers who care for the honor and welfare of the State or city think of the proposal?
The Republican platform advocates an appropriation of $100,000,000 to help Warner Miller build his Nicaragua canal, but hasn't a word to say in favor of the State canals. Are our home interests of no account? Shall we tax the people to give $100,000.000 to help a private enterprise, and refuse to give a paltry sum to benefit home interests?
The Cortland Journal has been hanging more than half way over the hatchway of the Republican scow for some months past and last Friday afternoon, it lost its balance and tumbled into the hold of the leaky craft with a dull, sickening thud that must have jarred the editor of the weekly on Tompkins street from his editorial stool. Democrats will look for the outcome of this new political entanglement with interest.
Hon. Roswell P. Flower was nominated for Governor without the aid of New York or Kings county. The delegates from the rural counties were all for Flower and they outnumbered the delegates from New York and Kings county combined with a large number of votes to spare. The charge made by some of the insignificant republican papers of the interior, that Tammany run the convention and that the nomination of Mr. Flower was dictated by Gov. Hill and Tammany, is as false as it is foolish, and is known to be so by all that make the charge, except those who are wanting in ordinary intelligence. Mr. Flower is the candidate of the country Democrats, and "they are the people'' in this campaign.
James H. Tripp, the Republican candidate for Member of Assembly received 27 votes out of a possible 77 in the Democratic County Convention held in this place in 1883, for the same office. For the next three or four years he was delivering temperance lectures about the county and accepting nominations for Member of Assembly from the prohibitionists. It would be interesting to know what party he belongs to this year. He has the Republican nomination but that fact proves nothing. Judging from his past record he is as likely to be even now, a Democrat or a Prohibitionist in the disguise of a Republican. Jim is a good man and weighs over two hundred pounds, but he has the habit of harboring all sorts of political opinions at one and the same time.
At the Republican convention held in Rochester, Hon. Thos. C. Platt claimed to be for the nomination of Hon. Andrew D. White for Governor. He talked White up to the moment when the ballot was taken that nominated Fassett. In the meantime his delegates were voting for Fassett with wonderful unanimity considering the fact that Platt was for White. It may not be generally known but it is nevertheless a fact, that Mr. Platt ordered the fireworks used at Rochester five days before the convention met. They were manufactured to order at Albany. Mr. Fassett duplicated the order the same day and directed the goods to be sent to Elmira where they were used after his return home from the convention, but of course neither Mr. Platt or Mr. Fassett mistrusted that the latter was to be nominated instead of White.
Every voter in the county who had any business to transact at the County Clerk's office during R. Walworth Bourne's term of office, found a careful, obliging and competent official at the helm. Would it be safe or even advisable to put an in experienced man in the place, even if he was a fairly competent business man? The requirements of the office demand special qualifications and even a first-class business man would require nearly an entire term to become fully competent to transact the business of the office satisfactorily. If, perchance the candidate be anything less than a skilled business man, he could never learn to transact the business properly. Taxpayers and property holders are especially interested in electing a competent man for the office of County Clerk. Mr. Bourne can fill every requirement.
The Peck-Miller-Jones-Squires ring defeated K. Cutler's nomination for Superintendent of the Poor, after Cutler had carried the Senatorial caucus in the town of Scott for Peck. He also chose delegates to the County Convention who were solid for the ring and they returned the favor by defeating him in the Convention for re-nomination. Vote for Ralph Butler for Superintendent of the Poor and teach them a lesson.
If there is any one thing that the average Republican hates worse than another, that one thing is a Prohibitionist. And the latter has very little cause to be in love with the former. Still James H. Tripp has been a member of both these parties in good and regular standing and, for ought the DEMOCRAT or any one else knows, may yet belong to both organizations. It is indeed a smart and nimble politician who can beat James H. Tripp in changing his politics.
Stephen K. Jones, Esq., the Republican candidate for County Clerk, is a resident of the town of Virgil. In the spring of 1890 he was elected town clerk of his town on the Republican ticket. He was re-nominated in the spring of 1891 and was defeated by a majority of 40 votes, notwithstanding the fact that the Republican party have a majority of from 80 to 130 votes in that town. If his own neighbors consider him incompetent to perform the duties pertaining to the office of town clerk what will their decision be when he asks for the more responsible office of County Clerk?