Fiscal Restraint

In the past few years Grand Forks City Council has been accused of spending too much money on a few things . . . well Council took money matters seriously back in 1910 as can be seen in the Oct 22 Gazette reporting of the council meeting.

  • In the list of bills to be paid that they deliberated over we see values ranging from $515 down to 55 cents.
  • There was a fire outside of town that several the town’s firemen showed up to fight. When a list of the names was submitted to council with a request that $21 be paid out they deliberated over it quite a while and decided that No, they weren’t going to compensate them for going outside city limits to fight fires.
  • The chairman of the Finance committee reported that the Royal Bank manager had asked him if a part of the city’s business could be transferred to the bank. The outgoing city Clerk explained the reason was that some time ago, a time when the Royal Bank was handling the city’s business, the city was hard up for cash and approached them for a loan. The bank refused. But the Eastern Townships bank had come through so most of the city’s banking business was shifted there. When council learned this they could not see why the Royal should get what they asked for. And if it really wanted the business it should come before the whole council and not approach a single member.
  • A local lost a horse after it broke a leg while on the bridge crossing the river. Council decided not to pay the $75 bill on the advice of its lawyer.
  • Mr. Coryell offered them $30 for a building on some property near the Great Northern Depot. Council rejected the offer and turned around with an ask of $100 for buildings and property.

Voters Lists

In the presidential election going on in the USA right now one side is claiming the electoral process is rigged. Whether that is so one thing that they know they have a problem with is removing people from the voters list who shouldn’t be on it because they’ve moved or they are dead.

On page 3 of the Oct 22, 1910 Gazette you will find the provincial government has posted a list of dozens of names from the roll of voters. This list is people who have been reported as being ‘absent from the district’ and therefore not eligible to vote. The ministry ‘knows this’ because people have written them to object about these people being on the voter list. That is followed by a shorter list of those who are deceased.

The purpose of posting this publicly is to give people a chance, until Nov. 7, to plead their case to be kept on the list.

I do not recall this practice taking place in our time.

You can read about this and other topics of the day in our old newspapers section.