Mayor Henry Lillie Pierce
Second Administration, 1878
"Born in Stoughton, Massachusetts, August 23, 1825; died December 17, 1896; served as Mayor during 1878. His first administration was in 1878.
Dissatisfaction with Mayor Prince's administration found expression in a petition of 2,500 tax payers in which they asked Mr. Pierce, who had retired from Congress, to become the citizens' candidate for Mayor. He heeded the call and had for his opponent Mayor Prince, who was re-nominated by the Democrats.
The contest was very bitter. In his address to the city government, Mayor Pierce said, among other things, 'While I am fully sensible of the defects in our present system of municipal administration, I cannot help regarding with distrust any scheme for curing them by a radical change of the New England system under which we have grown up, and which, notwithstanding its defects, has thus far produced better results than any other system that has been tried in this country.'
Mayor Pierce reorganized the Police Department, which at this time consisted of 715 men who were appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Aldermen. The result did not prove satisfactory, and thereupon the Mayor advocated placing the police under a commission; it was done.
The tax rate was reduced to $12.80, owing to the continued diminution in expenditures."