Mayor John Francis Fitzgerald
Second Administration, 1910-1913
"Born in Boston, February 11, 1863; died October 2 1950; served as Boston Mayor during 1910-1913. His first administration was from 1906 to 1907.
The election for a mayoralty term of four years, as provided by the new charter, was preceded by a strenuous contest between ex-Mayor Fitzgerald and James J. Storrow; but notwithstanding the arguments employed against Fitzgerald and the great resources of the opposition, he was elected by a plurality of 1,402 votes.
Mayor Fitzgerald had the advantage of beginning his second term under better charter provisions. Most of his first inaugural he devoted to the financial conditions of the city. The heavy burden of debt and taxation imposed by the state, the increasing cost of maintaining public institutions, and the fact that so many advantages were shared by untold thousands of nonresidents, went far, in his opinion, to show that the city government of Boston was not chiefly responsible for the extravagance pointed out by its citizens.
Some important departmental changes were made by the Mayor at the outset. By an ordinance, the Department of Public Works was established, combining the Street, Water and Engineering departments, and placing them in charge of a Commissioner of Public Works, at a salary of $9,000 per year. Although the City Messenger and the Clerk of Committees departments had been abolished by the new charter along with the Board of Aldermen and the Common Council, the new City Council had power under the charter to establish the offices it deemed necessary to the conduct of its affairs and reappointed the officials of the old City Council, but at reduced salaries.
The permanent Finance Commission established under the charter had begun its official existence the year before. Between March 17, 1910, and April 1, I911, Mayor Fitzgerald submitted twenty-eight official requests for investigation and report by the Finance Commission, the more important of which referred to public school methods and proposed changes, increase of teachers' salaries, etc.
He gave much time to city planning, motor fire apparatus, garbage disposal, playground extension, high pressure fire system, laborers' retirement plan, the City Hall Annex, and to new district municipal buildings. These were the leading improvements his administration sought to promote.
The annexation of Hyde Park occurred on January 1, 1912. In January, 1914, the City Planning Board, consisting of five unpaid members, was established by ordinance, and seven district buildings containing public halls, branch libraries, baths, etc., were in process of erection."