Mayor John Francis Fitzgerald
First Administration, 1906-1907
"Born in Boston, February 11, 1863; died October 2 1950; served as Boston Mayor during 1906-1907. His second administration was from 1910 to 1913.
Mayor Fitzgerald had served as a member of the Common Council, as a state senator, and finally as a member of Congress. His plurality over the Republican opponent was 8,143, or less than one third of that of Mayor Collins in 1903.
In his first inaugural address, he gave special attention, among other things, to the financial burdens of the city, the escape of much personal property from taxation, the reorganization of the Street Department, the erection of a new city hall, a hospital for consumptives, the adoption of a pension system, and a largely increased installation of water meters.
As a result of the Mayor's contention that the Street Department had become unwieldy and altogether too burdensome and complicated for a single official to manage, an. ordinance was adopted in 1906 dividing it into six separate departments. This ordinance was repealed in 1908.
Increasing and irritating criticism of the financial conditions of the city and the methods followed by his administration led the Mayor to recommend the appointment of a finance commission to make a special investigation of municipal affairs by authority of the city government rather than the state. In 1907, such a commission was appointed, consisting of seven members selected by seven leading commercial organizations. It was instructed to examine into all matters pertaining to the finances of the city and to submit its final report not later than December 31, 1908.
Another body, the Water Front Commission, appointed by Mayor Fitzgerald in 1907, submitted an important report on needed improvements for the port of Boston, and a third commission instigated by him made a report on garbage disposal.
In the last month of Mayor Fitzgerald's first administration, the special reports of the Finance Commission, as reproduced in the newspapers, attracted much attention, particularly the reference to certain improper municipal contracts and to the 'present alarming indebtedness of the city.'"