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Mayor Augustus Pearl Martin 
Served 1884

"Born in Abbot, Maine, November 23, 1835; died March 13, 1902; served as Boston Mayor during 1884.

Mayor Martin remained in office for but one year. He deplored the increasing debt and the departure from the policy of pay-as-you-go. His administration was largely concerned with carrying out public works begun under preceding mayors. He declared himself in favor of electing aldermen by districts instead of on a general ticket, on the ground that under a district system, 'a more direct responsibility, a more accurate representation of the will of the people would be ensured, and by bringing the issue nearer home, our citizens would be incited to increased interest in municipal affairs.'

A noteworthy stand was taken by Mayor Martin against political interference with city employees. He found that such interference had been most disastrous in the fire and police departments, but he directed specific attention to the inroads it had made among laborers on public works, claiming that their chance to work 'depended upon the ticket given or sold to them by some politician, or upon the contribution of a day's wages for political purposes.'

He would have heads of departments free to select the necessary workmen without dictation from any quarter. As he put it, 'The loss to the city from the employment of unskilled foremen and inefficient workmen billeted upon heads of departments cannot be measured by the current expenses of a single year.'

In 1884 (consequently while Mayor Martin was in office), the civil service law was enacted and that, together with the charter of 1885, helped improve conditions. Mayor Martin carried out vigorously the policy of meeting expenditures from taxes and reducing the debt. To bring about this desired result, a tax rate of $17 was imposed, making possible a reduction of $1,748,000 in the net debt."

 

Augustus Pearl Martin, Boston Mayor In 1884
Augustus Pearl Martin

 

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