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Governor Charles H. Martin's Administration

Governor's Miscellaneous Messages, 1935

Source: STATE OF OREGON GOVERNORS' MESSAGES TO LEGISLATURE

January 15, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

The Constitution of the State provides that the Governor shall, from time to time, give to the Legislative Assembly information touching the condition of the State, and that he shall recommend such measures as he shall judge to be expedient. Accordingly, at the outset of your deliberations, I desire to remind you of the long-felt and urgent necessity of enacting measures to promote economy and efficiency in the administration of government. It is natural for the people of the State to look to the Chief Executive for leadership along this line and to hold him responsible for the economical and efficiency administration of government; and yet it is well known to you that the Governor has surprisingly little direct and effectual control over the administration of the affairs of the State. Therefore, it will be my purpose to submit to you from time to time measures which will enable me to more effectually discharge my duties as the Chief Executive of the State. The measures which I shall propose are not inspired by selfish motives or by any personal desire for more power, but are prompted solely by the desire that the Governor shall be given the power and control over the administration of state government that is commensurate with the responsibility imposed upon him by virtue of his office. Furthermore, most of the measures to be proposed are not newly conceived ideas but have been repeatedly advocated by governors of this State.

With these considerations in mind, I recommend at this time the enactment of two measures, which are being transmitted herewith and are described briefly, as follows:

1. A budgetary control bill for an act to amend Sections 67-808 and 67-809, Oregon Code 1930, and to add to Chapter VII, Title LXVII, Oregon Code 1930, a new section to be designated as Section 67-810 requiring all state officers or agencies named, except the Secretary of State, State Treasurer, the Supreme Court and the Circuit Courts, to submit to the Governor estimates to and for the approval of the Governor; granting to the Governor or budget director under his direction power to revise, rearrange consolidate or transfer items contained in such estimates and the function of the executive and administrative departments and limiting expenditures to the amounts approved.

2. A bill for an act requiring all fees, fines, penalties, interest and moneys of whatsoever kind and character collected or received by all departments, boards, commissions and officers of the State of Oregon to be placed in the general fund of the State, requiring all disbursements thereof to be made by specific appropriation by the legislative assembly, with certain exceptions, and repealing all acts and parts of acts in conflict herewith and declaring an emergency.

Respectfully yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

January 15, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

The financial stability of our public school system and the opportunities for improvement in the administration thereof are matters deserving of continuous public concern. No doubt many measures will be presented for you consideration dealing with the problems now confronting a multitude of school districts in this State.

There is a growing tendency in other states, as well as Oregon, towards centralization of responsibility for the operation of schools. This tendency has manifested itself in Oregon under recent years through the urgent appeal of distressed school districts for financial support from state sources of taxation and through the universal cry of property owners for some relief from the burden of taxes. Experience has proved that no marked degree of economy, financial stability or education leadership can be attained under a system of a multiplicity of small independent, and often conflicting, tax-levying school districts.

In Oregon, we are confronted with the situation of having expended in 1934, even on greatly reduced budgets, about $16,914,000 of property taxes through some 2,200 different school districts. Under this system, flagrant inequalities have developed, both in the cost of, and the facilities afforded for, common school education. Samples of such inequalities are:

A tax levy in mills of .3 in one district and 25.4 in another of Tillamook county; a tax per pupil enrolled of $5.41 in one district and $689.41 in another of Douglas county; a tax per teacher of $17.68 in one district and $7,838.32 in another of Lane county; assessed valuation per pupil of $1,004.11 in one district and $95,126. 49 in another of Clackamas County; assessed valuation per teacher of $34,475 in one district and $883,887 in another of Umatilla County.

Ever since 1921, Oregon has had an optional county school district law, but only four counties in the State have adopted this unified plan of school administration. Comparisons indicate that these county unit school districts have had less difficulty with tax delinquencies and have been operated more economically and efficiently than the average of the school districts in the other counties. If all of the counties had taken advantage of the county school unit law, we would have only about 75 administrative units in the place of 2,200 as at present. Each county would have one school district and in addition, all first-class districts would have remained as separate district units as at present.

The county school district plan has been uniformly endorsed by educators, and wherever it has been given a fair trial, it ahs resulted in better and more evenly distributed educational opportunities at a greatly reduced cost to the taxpayers. The county school district law provides for the election of a county board of school directors, in whom is vested the authority to employ a competent county superintendent of education and to administer the laws relating to the conduct of the schools in the district.

I recommend that the first thing to be done in dealing with the problems relating to our common school system is the enactment of a law amending section 35-830, Oregon Code 1930, as amended by chapter 246, Oregon Laws, 1933, known as the County School Law, so that the law shall become effective on June 15, 1936, in every county in the state unless prior to March 1, 1936, upon petition of 10 per cent of the registered voters, an election be held in a county at which a majority of the voters shall reject the law. By this amendment, the optional feature of the present law will be eliminated and it will become effective in all counties on June 15, 1936, except in the counties in which it may be rejected by a referendum vote.

A bill providing for this amendment is transmitted herewith.

In Utah, where the county plan of school administration has been in operation for twenty years, the cost per pupil is 30 per cent lower than the cost in Oregon. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to estimate that under a statewide county plan of school administration, a saving of at least $3,000,000 in property taxes can be obtained within a short time. Furthermore, the adoption of such a plan would render it more feasible for the State to assist the enlarged school districts in the solution of their financial problems.

Respectfully yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

January 15, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

In conformity with my pledge to the people that, if elected Governor, I would initiate a 10-year program for the advancement of Oregon through a development of its natural resources for the common benefit and enjoyment of her people, I recommend the enactment of a law creating a State Planning Board. A measure to accomplish this purpose is transmitted herewith for your consideration.

In order to formulate a worth-while and long-range program for the progressive and systematic development of the resources of our state and to place Oregon definitely in line with the National Recovery Program and the policies of the President of the United States, the scope of the duties and function of the State Planning Board of necessity have been made broad and diverse. The research required for intelligent planning will entail the expenditure of a substantial sum of money; but it is expected that the investment so made will soon bring to the people of Oregon returns far more valuable and far-reaching in their benefits.

In January, 1933, several month before the enactment by Congress of the National Recovery Act, the Thirty-seventh Legislative Assembly of the state enacted law, Chapter 423, Oregon Laws, 1933, by which a State Reconstruction Advisory Board was created, and a fund of $30,000 was appropriated to be used for expenses and as a revolving fund to aid the state and its municipalities in obtaining the maximum benefits from the public works program then in progress under the supervision of the United States Reconstruction Finance Corporation and under any similar federal agency thereafter created. Approximately one-half of said fund is still available for the further promotion of public works program. Accordingly, the measure submitted for your consideration contains a provision consolidating the duties and functions of the Reconstruction Advisory Board with those of the new State Planning Board, and transferring to the State Planning Board the unexpended balance of said appropriation, together with all the property, assets, records and equipment of said board.

It is my desire that the State Planning Board from time to time shall submit reports and recommendation to the Governor covering the executive, legislative and administrative procedure necessary to conserve, develop and expand the uses of all resources of the state by coordinated plans and policies. I refer to plans for the use of Oregon’s basic resources of food stuffs, timber, wood products, flax, clay and minerals; plans for the fullest use of power, land resources, water resources, transportation and housing; for the purification of the streams and waters; for reforestation and prevention of fires; for the elimination of submarginal lands from agricultural use; for the consolidation of expensive governmental duplication; for a sounder fiscal policy for the state; for better educational, health and social facilities, and for the all-important long-time budgeted planning of future public works; and for the improvement of the public health, safety, morals and general welfare.

I request the Legislature to share with me in initiating this movement that I believe holds much in store for the good of this state an its people.

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor of Oregon.

January 16, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

Chapter 156, Oregon Laws, 1933, provides that cities may refund by ordinance maturing bonds for the payment of which funds are not available, and that it is not necessary that city charters be amended to permit of the refunding of such bonds. The Supreme Court of Oregon has upheld the constitutionality of this refunding act. The law, however, does not authorize the issuance of callable refunding bonds.

I have been advised that, in order to prevent defaults in the payment of maturing bonds, some of the cities in the state were compelled to refund their bonds during the recent period of high interest rates, by issuing refunding bonds bearing interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum. These same cities today could issue refunding bonds with much lower interest rates. It is impossible, however, for them to call the refunding bonds, which they recently issued at the high interest rates, and they, therefore, must continue to pay such rates until the bonds are retired. In my opinion, this imposes an unnecessary burden upon the taxpayers of cities having to refund their bonds during periods of high money rates. The refunding of the Fourth Liberty Loan bonds of the Federal Government with bonds bearing interest at considerably lower rates affords an excellent example of the saving which may be effected through the issuance of callable bonds. I, therefore, recommend that Chapter 156, Oregon Laws, 1933, be amended so as to permit cities to issue, by ordinance, refunding bonds with callable provisions. This will permit cities to refund their bonds at interest rates prevailing at the time of issuance of the refunding bonds, and later to call and refund the bonds by ordinance, during period of low interest rates, and will also permit cities to take advantage of existing low interest rates by refunding their outstanding callable bonds.

REFUNDING OF BANCROFT IMPROVEMENT BONDS

There are now outstanding approximately $13,000,000 of Bancroft Improvement bonds of cities in Oregon. Most of these bonds bear interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum. The bonds, with the exception of those issued by the City of Portland, became subject to redemption one year after the dates upon which they were issued. The improvements bonds of the City of Portland became callable three years after the issue dates. It was the intention at the time of issuance of the bonds to call and retire them from the proceeds of collections of property assessments pursuant to which the bonds were issued.

Since payments of assessments and interest thereon, except through refinancing of home mortgages by the Home Owners Loan Corporation, have been materially reduced, the improvement bonds in most cases have overrun their estimated retirement dates.

The calling and refunding of the improvement bonds during the present period of low interest rates would result in a material saving to the communities concerned—estimated at approximately $100,000 per year. I accordingly recommend that legislation be enacted permitting cities to call and refund outstanding improvement bonds that have overrun their estimated dates of redemption, by issuing, in lieu thereof, serial refunding improvement bonds. The act authorizing such refunding should provide that, at the option of the governing body of the issuing municipality, the refunding bonds may be issued with the right to call them after a certain date following the issue date of the bonds. Then, should the assessment pursuant to which the original Banfcroft bonds were issued be paid in greater volume than was anticipated at the time the refunding bonds were issued, or should interest rates decline still further, the refunding bonds may be called and retired or again refunded with a further saving in interest.

The act should carry an emergency clause in order that certain cities now facing problems of refunding outstanding bonds may reap the benefits of this proposal.

CHARLES H. MARTIN

Governor of Oregon.

January 21,1935

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentleman:

There are in Eastern Oregon 12,000,000 acres of unreserved and unappropriated public domain owned by the federal government, which land up to the present has been subject to not control and which has produced no revenue to either county, state or nation. This land will, however, be brought under control by the Taylor Act passed by the last session of Congress.

In the meanwhile, the state of Oregon owns 800,000 acres of vacant, unleashed and unsold land interspersed with the public domain. The counties in this area also own 700,000 acres of vacant, unleashed and unsold land, likewise interspersed with the public domain. The aforesaid state and county lands are now producing no revenue and are only an expense.

The Director of the National Grazing Service, Mr. F.R. Carpenter, has recently been in conference with the Eastern Oregon cattle and sheep men and has suggested changes in and additions to our state legislation which will make it possible to integrate his service with the beneficiary counties and areas of this state.

I have been advised by members of the legislature from Eastern Oregon that such legislation will be of material economic benefit to the agricultural and livestock industry in that section of the state, and will result in a saving to the taxpayers.

The following legislation is proposed:

1. An act authorizing county courts to grant an option to purchase, contract to sell and convey, or donate real property owned by the county to the state of Oregon or to the United States.

2. An act authorizing counties to exchange lands with private individuals, partnerships or corporations.

3. An amendment to Section 1 of Chapter 198, Oregon Laws, 1933, authorizing county courts to lease county-owned lands for a maximum of 10 years, instead of five years as at present.

4. An act permitting the county to quiet title on large blocks of county-owned tax title lands in one legal proceeding instead of requiring as at present a separate suit for each tract.

5. An act permitting county courts to zone grazing lands.

6. An act authorizing county courts to cancel overdue taxes, interest and penalties on privately owned land deeded to the state of Oregon or the federal government.

I respectfully urge the immediate enactment of the above proposed legislation being submitted to you as a step in rehabilitating the income producing possibilities of certain of our Oregon counties.

Respectfully yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

January 16, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

I have received today a letter from C.C. Hockley, State Engineer for Oregon of the Federal Public Works Administration, enclosing a letter received by Mr. Hockley from Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, who is in charge of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works throughout the Nation. Copies of these letters are herewith enclosed.

As shown in this correspondence the National Government requests that a survey be made of available projects which might be useful in connection with the President’s program which might be useful in connection with the President’s program for work relief and development of natural resources in Oregon. This report must be in Washington, D.C., by March 1, and accordingly the survey must be completed within the next 30 days. These communications show the paramount necessity of the immediate enactment of the proposed legislation establishing a State Planning Board in Oregon. I have requested the unofficial Planning Committee previously designated by me to continue its service to the State, but in order that the full benefit to our people of Federal aid may be obtained, an official State Planning Board should be established and be given funds with which to do its necessary and vital work.

I therefore respectfully urge the immediate enactment of the proposed legislation previously submitted to you in connection with my message on the State Planning Board.

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor of Oregon.

(COPY)

Federal Emergency Administration of Public works State Engineer

Honorable Charles H. Martin Portland, Oregon

Governor

January 15, 1935.

Salem, Oregon Secretary of State

Subject: State PWA Project Survey

Dear Governor Martin:

We have today received a letter from Secretary Harold L. Ickes, requesting that this office make a survey of the available projects, which would be useful in connection with the President’s Program for work relief and development of the natural resources in the state.

This report must be in Washington by March 1, and therefore, the survey should be completed by February 15.

I would be glad to discuss this matter with you at any time that would suit your convenience and the attached letter which went out today may interest you as it was forwarded to the State Planning Board which was appointed by Governor Meier, and which Board you may wish to replace or alter.

This Board at present consists of: C.M. Thomas (Chairman), H.F. Cabell, D.O. Hood, Frank Dillard, R.H. Baldock, C.E. Stricklin, L. Cornemiller, V.B. Stanbery, State Planning Consultant

Awaiting your word in the matter, I am

Yours very truly,

C.C. Hockley

State Engineer for Oregon.

Public Works administration

CCH:D

Enclosure

(COPY)

P.W. 25559

Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works

Washington D.C.,

January 9, 1935.

To State Engineers, P.W.A.

In order to secure an inventory of available projects, both Federal and non-Federal, before March 1, which might be useful in connection with the President’s program for work relief and development of natural resources, you are requested to communicate immediately with the State Planning Board in your State and with the State Planning Consultant assigned to that board by the National Resources Board. (See attached letters)

In brief, it is proposed to utilize the State Planning Boards in the same manner as the former State Advisory Boards, either with the State Board acting as a whole or through a works committee. We are prepared to pay travel and $5 per day subsistence to members of the works committees when engaged on this project. You are authorized to employ two or three additional special assistants on Field Agreement forms, in collaboration in each instance with the State Planning Consultant of the National Resources Board. The total cost of for extra salaries and all extra expenses in connection with this work, outside of what you can make available through your regular staff or can secure from the State Planning Board, must not exceed $2,000 for the six-week period.

Forms for reporting projects are being prepared and will be sent you within the next few days, and in the meanwhile we hope that you can get the organization and relations with the State Planning Boards set up so as to begin work promptly when the forms are available.

Harold L. Ickes

Administrator

January 23, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

In accordance with my pledge to place Oregon definitely in line with the national recovery program and the policies of the President of the Untied States, I herewith submit to you a draft of a proposed Oregon State Recovery Act and recommend it to you for favorable actions.

This is the model act prepared by the National Recovery Administration and recommended by the National Administration for adoption by the several states. It coordinates state and national programs for the rehabilitation of business and industry.

The Council of Code Authorities and the Trade Associations of Oregon are supporting this recovery act because it permits businessmen in the state to cooperate more fully with the President in his program of national recovery.

Specifically, the act will guarantee better code enforcement through utilization of state courts, bring intrastate business directly under code jurisdiction and permit the few uncodified trades and industries, together with their employees, to participate in the benefits of state codes of fair competition.

Every code authority and every trade association of which I have knowledge desires the State Recovery Act. A list of these supporting groups is attached hereto. I am informed that the American Federation of Labor is supporting, in every state where legislatures are in session, the State Recovery Act drafter by the National Recovery Administration.

I am hopeful that this State Recovery Act, which I am convinced, is essentially fair to the public, to the employee and to the employers, will be enacted by the Oregon State Legislature.

Respectfully yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

January 28, 1935

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

Reform of our legal system for many years, has invited the serious thought and attention not only of the legal profession itself but of our thinking citizens.

In September 1933, Governor Meier appointed a committee to study the Oregon laws governing judicial procedure, with the request that they recommend to the 1935 legislative assembly proposals for improvement. This committee, consisting of prominent lawyers, judges and laymen, after careful study, has prepared and submitted a report, which we commend to your attention.

In its report the committee has included two proposed constitutional amendments and eleven proposed bills, which are required in order to effect the necessary reforms in judicial procedure.

Also there will be introduced two companion bills, proposed by a committee of the Multnomah County Bar Association:

1. Conferring upon the District Court of that county limited equitable powers sufficient to enable it to pass upon and enforce all of the rights of the parties, equitable as well as legal, involved in an action properly before it.

2. Changing the method of appeal to the Circuit Court so as to do away with the necessity of two trials of the same cause, frequently by a jury in each court.

These improvements in procedure will add materially to the usefulness of the District Court in serving its primary purpose of affording litigants of moderate means complete and adequate trials, at a minimum of expense, in controversies involving comparatively small amounts, besides saving the county the needless expense of duplicated trials and relieving congestion in the Circuit Court. At the present time, trials in the District Court are too often sham battles preliminary to a contemplated appeal to the Circuit Court.

I, therefore, commend these measures to your favorable consideration.

Very truly yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

January 29, 1935.

To the Honorable President and Members of the State Senate and to the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

The financial condition of this State is far from satisfactory, not because of lack of revenue, but because of waste and extravagance. While our poor are crying out for relief and our rural schools begging for help, we witness the spectacle of many boards and commissions collecting and squandering thousands of needed dollars in support of greedy and incompetent politicians.

The aim of House Bill No. 1 is to correct some of the abuses, yet we find the beneficiaries of the existing indefensible system flooding the legislature with protests against its passage. The fees paid to the Fish and Game Commissions are not paid by a coterie of cushion chair sportsmen, members of some small league that assumes to speak for the hunters and fishermen of this State; they are paid by thousands of sportsmen who are not interested in politics, but in the protection and preservation of our wild life.

Last night we witnessed the spectacle of politicians appearing before one of your committees for the purpose of defeating House Bill No. 1—politicians who have been milking the fund during the past four years. These gentlemen brazenly defend their action but offered not one word in justification of their conduct.

The fish and game funds must, and will, go to the propagation of fish and game; they will go to feed the fish, not politicians. The day of politics, waste and extravagance is past. You and I are pledged to correct all such abuses. I proposed to keep that pledge.

I have no desire to divert the funds of any board or commission. I aim only to conserve them for intended use. I insist, however, that the free and uncontrolled spending of such funds must cease; that such expenditures should be controlled by a higher authority; that the requirements of all such boards and commissioners should be disclosed in advance and properly budgeted. In no other way can waste and extravagance be prevented. I hope to promote economy through orderly methods and, in the name of the suffering taxpayers, appeal to you for cooperation. May I have it?

Respectfully yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

February 5, 1925

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

As a result of the depression generally, coupled with the terrible drought conditions affecting the agricultural centers of the middle states, there has been and will continue to be an emigration of people from the stricken areas to the Pacific Northwest. Oregon must look forward to the further development of its natural resources that these home seekers, together with our own people, might take advantage of the many opportunities this great state has to offer.

I am advised that within the boundaries of the Willamette Valley there are several million acres of agricultural lands susceptible for improvement by irrigation and drainage. Of this area several hundred thousand acres might be irrigated and drainage work constructed without the added expense of clearing, road building, and other things, which accompany the reclamation of raw lands.

Although irrigation has not been practiced extensively within the Willamette Valley, I am informed that experience has demonstrated such practice feasible and economically sound. By the use of proper irrigation methods applied to the raising of certain crops the production per acre has been doubled.

Considering the transportation facilities which are available for the carrying of the produce to the markets, the fertility of the soil, the diversity of crops which can be raised, and the absence of destructive climatic conditions which are so hazardous to so many agriculture centers, I believe the Willamette Valley has possibilities of becoming one of the most productive sections in the western states.

If this development is to take place, it should be done in units rather than as a whole. It should and must be done in an orderly and cautious manner. We cannot go ahead blindly. That we may avoid the costly mistakes made during the early development of irrigation projects, certain studies and investigations should be made to determine the cost of construction of necessary irrigation works and the availability of an adequate water supply. In this connection particular attention should be given to the possibilities of the storage of water in reservoirs. Each year the uncontrolled floor waters of our streams cause thousands of dollars damage to the abutting property owners. Proper storage facilities would to a great extent eliminate this damage and at the same time supply water for irrigation purposes during the dry season.

The further development of the Willamette Valley by the aid of irrigation would undoubtedly result in an increase of population and add to the material wealth of this great state. I recommend that this legislative body cause to be enacted a bill providing for the appropriation of $7,500, the proceeds of which, together with any available federal funds, to be used in making detailed surveys, studies and investigations for the first unit of the Willamette Valley project.

A bill to accomplish this purpose, approved by the State Planning Board, will be introduced. I request that it be given your favorable consideration.

Respectfully yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

February 5, 1935

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

Two years ago Oregon war veterans, recognizing the serious plight of our taxpayers, presented through the American Legion to the Thirty-seventh Legislative Assembly an amendment to the World War Veterans State Aid Act adjusting interest rates and appraisals for a period of two year, expiring June 30, 1935.

Conditions which led to this splendid cooperation on the part of our veterans have not materially changed in the past two years. It is for this reason that the State Board of Control, after a conference with the World War Veterans State Aid Commission, recommends as desirable the continuation for another two-year period of restrictions on State Aid Commission loans.

Such legislation will make it possible for the Commission to meet its bond service requirements for the biennium without an increase in the millage tax or other addition to the taxpayers’ load, which would not be justified at this time.

I therefore respectfully urge upon your honorable body the early enactment of legislation, which will carry out the intent of this message.

Respectfully yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

February 5, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

I am transferring herewith a letter just received by air mail from Hon. Harold L. Ickes, Federal Emergency Administrator of Public Works, at Washington, D C., enclosing the attached 15 bills prepared by the legal division of the Public Works Administration in Washington. These bills are designed for the purpose of enabling the State of Oregon, its municipalities and other legal subdivisions, to obtain full benefit of loans and grants that may be made available by Congress through the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works.

There has been no opportunity to examine these proposed bills in detail, and, therefore, I am not in a position to make specific recommendations except to say that they should receive your careful consideration. Your attention is called to the fact that Mr. Ickes suggests that the bills be submitted to the Attorney General of the State for examination and approval as to their form and constitutionality. The committee to which the bills are referred will be in a position to follow out this suggestion before the bills are actually introduced.

Particular attention is called to the last four of the proposed bills, providing for the creation of power districts and rural electrification authorities, for the purpose of promoting the fullest possible use of electric energy in the state by making it available at the lowest cost, consistent with sound economy and prudent management. The creation of these authorities and power districts will enable them to borrow money from the Federal government against their anticipated revenues without placing the taxing power back to the districts and authorities so created. These measures should receive careful consideration as affording an opportunity to fit the program of the State in with the apparent program of the Federal Government with reference to the utilization of power to be developed at Bonneville and other places.

Cordially yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor.

February 20, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighty Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

It has come to my attention since assuming the duties of the office of Governor that the State of Oregon has no adequate and systematic plan or property control, which is vitally necessary to the successful management of any large business enterprise. To my surprise I find that with few exceptions none of the state departments keeps a systematic inventory of its supplies, materials and equipment and that there is no central agency through which the surplus supplies and equipment of one department may be transferred to another department for utilization.

The State maintains in the Board of Control a central purchasing department, yet in most instances the purchasing department has no record of the supplies, materials and equipment used, usable or obsolete, in the hands of the department for which it is buying. Few records are kept of most articles purchased to show how, where and by whom they are utilized or what finally becomes of them.

In many instances, I am informed, purchases are made for one department of the articles possessed by other departments but not in use. A central exchange system to meet this situation should be established. It would effect a saving for the state and result in economies to the departments affected. Such a plan would also permit of an advantageous disposal of obsolete or junked equipment.

The advantages incident to such a system of perpetual inventories is well demonstrated by the State Highway Department, which adopted such a plan fashioned upon the one in the state of Wyoming and the United States Army three years ago. As a result purchases by that department of maintenance equipment, supplies and materials have been reduced from more than $700,000 in 1931 to $370,000 in 1934, a saving of $330,000 a year. This in the face of a large increase in the mileage of roads maintained and a correspondingly large amount of new construction financed by federal money but requiring substantial outlays by the department for equipment.

I am advised by the State Highway Engineer that in its operation the property control system has resulted in an average saving of more than $100,000 a year at an overhead outlay of only $6,000 a year. For an additional $10,000 a year such a system, centralized in the Board of Control, could be extended to embrace all state departments and would result in a saving of not less than $250,000 annually to the state.

I have discussed this proposal with the other members of the Board of Control and they join me in urging immediate enactment of legislation authorizing the Board of Control to establish such a general property control system. To facilitate the matter at this late hour of your deliberations I herewith transmit a suggested bill with the request that it be given immediate consideration.

Very truly yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

February 26, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

The laws of Oregon now provide that the Secretary of State shall prescribe a uniform system of accounting for all municipal corporations. The law, however, does not compel the municipalities and other state governmental bodies to adopt the uniform system set up by the Secretary of State. There is very little uniformity in the present method of accounting by the various counties, school districts, municipalities and other bodies. Audits in most cases are now made by private auditing concerns at considerable expense to the various local governmental bodies. The bill herein proposed requires the Secretary of State to make annual audits of all counties, school districts and certain other local governmental bodies. Cities and towns may ask the Secretary of State to audit their accounts and thereby come under the terms of the proposed law.

I am advised that a uniform accounting system, with the work done by the office of the Secretary of State, will cut the auditing cost of such local bodies virtually in half, and provide a uniform system for all such bodies. In addition to the economies effected, the fact that all such bodies are brought under a uniform accounting system will improve greatly the standing of bonds issued by counties, school districts and other municipal corporations. This measure is highly desirable from the standpoint of economy, efficiency and strengthening the market for our local government bonds.

This measure carries an appropriation of $15,000. However this is a revolving fund, which will be self-liquidating over a reasonably short period of time. The Secretary of State will add a small charge to the cost of all audits for the purposes of retiring this appropriation. The cost of making the audits will be charged against the various bodies so audited, and will be no additional expense to the state government.

I urge its passage immediately.

Cordially yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

March 4, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

I hand you herewith a bill proposing enactment of legislation enabling the governor to effect important economies and increase efficiency through consolidating certain departmental administrative functions under the appointive power of the governor. This bill neither proposes nor contemplates enactment of an extensive cabinet system of state government. In view of the extensive research and study necessary to the creation of a practical cabinet system, I have decided against proposing legislation going that far at this time.

The transfers and consolidations requested in this measure, with several minor exceptions, affect only functions now under the direct appointive power of the governor. Under our present cumbersome and inflexible system whereby so much administrative authority is vested in innumerable boards and commissions, the governor loses direct contact and control over the administration of most of the important duties after such appointments are made. However, I am not seeking to abolish entirely our present system of boards and commissions at this time, but merely seek authority to bring them under more direct administrative control of the chief executive in the best interests of economy and efficiency. As it is now, the governor has al the responsibility but lacks the proper control over his own appointments to properly meet such responsibility and fulfill pledges made to the people of more economical and improved management of the state’s affairs.

Much time and careful study have been given to the results possible in the preparation of this measure, and I feel convinced that its enactment will support to a considerable extent at least, the estimated savings possible to be made. No additional appropriations are requested or required to effect the changes recommended and no new services are proposed.

While the activities of some of the boards and commissions involved would be reduced, and in several instances suspended, the majority of them, however, are continued in their proper advisory capacity. The spending power of the various boards and commissions and other state agencies would be restricted and the authority to commit the state to expense and indebtedness materially reduced.

We have too many high-salaried officials and commissioners supervising or doing work that should be done by deputies and other subordinates. By transferring and consolidating under one director some of the administrative functions now performed by various high-salaried officials, costs can be materially reduced and efficiency increased; by reducing the necessity for so many expensive officials many office duties and much office space can be combined without sacrificing any of the services now being performed.

Under the terms of this measure all appropriations and fees accruing to the agencies proposed to be transferred and consolidated, will follow such transfers of such consolidations and remain to the credit of all such agencies as now constituted. Nothing contained in this measure affects the office of any elective officials, excepting the governor, or the duties of such officials to any important extent. The Board of Control is continued substantially in its present authority. Such minor changes recommended in the administration of several state institutions are in the best interests of those institutions and are not in my opinion open to serious question.

The authority requested through this measure is the most important means by which I can accomplish the program of economy and efficiency, which I have promised the people of our state. It is, therefore, vitally important that this bill be enacted in order that these pledges be redeemed.

In view of the tremendous demands being made upon the resources of the state government, as well as all of the local governments, by reason of continued economic distress, every possible economy and saving must be effected if we are to meet these demands without burdening our people with additional and unreasonable taxation. I am still of the opinion that the state government can meet its share of these demands within its present revenues under businesslike administration of its affairs and I urge your cooperation to this end through the passage of this measure.

Very truly yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

P.S. This bill is being introduced in the Senate.February 26, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

Gentlemen:

Management of our forests according to sound principles of conservation is absolutely essential to the permanent prosperity of the state of Oregon. It will be my purpose as governor to lend every effort to bring about such constructive modifications of our law as will tend to convert the vast timber resource of our state into a permanent asset of sustained yield, instead of one to be wastefully liquidated without regard to the future of our state.

Up until the present time, we have treated our forests largely as a mine to be “high-graded” and wasted instead of a renewable resource, which can be made to serve our people for all time.

President Roosevelt, through the national lumber code and through federal forest policies, has shown us the way to sustained yield forest management. I take the liberty of quoting from a letter, which I received from the President on January 14:

“Maintenance of our forests and the industries dependent upon them, which in normal times afford employment to large numbers of our people, is very vital to the welfare of every state. It is also essential for the permanent recovery of our country. It was with this in mind that I insisted that there be included in the lumber code a specific provision for forest conservation.

“Some of the provisions of the lumber code cannot be carried out effectively without federal and state legislation in the matter of protecting the forests against fire, insects, and disease, adjustment of forest taxation, taking over tax delinquent forest land for state or other public forests, other suitable measures to increase public ownership, and encouragement of better management of private forest.

“I intend to submit to congress recommendations for legislation looking toward this need, so far as it comes within the scope of federal action. There are, however, several measures that come within the jurisdiction of the individual states. Among these are measures dealing with taxation of forests, tax delinquency, forest fire laws, cooperation between the state forest agencies and forest owners in developing and maintaining permanent local forest industries and communities, and other measures falling within the police power of the states.

“In developing such a forest program, I solicit the closes cooperation between the state authorities and the federal forest service.”

Sustained yield forest management means permanent communities, permanent payrolls and permanent industries; present tendencies are in exactly the opposite direction.

There is or presently will be before you proposed legislation prepared by the cooperating forest agencies of the state and the federal government, which should receive your careful consideration. They are summarized briefly as follows:

1. A deferred timber tax plan which in reality is a provision for federal credit to non-operating timberland owners. Its purpose is to relieve the present pressure to liquidate these properties

2. A provision for official state recognition of forest properties managed for sustained yield production. Its purpose is to encourage the formation of sustained yield forest units.

3. A proposal for state authority for federal acquisition. Its purpose is to authorize the federal government to acquire such forest land as cannot remain in private ownership, due to the fact that it will have to be held for so many years before it can produce an income and which will round out the present federal holdings into units that will naturally lend themselves to sustained yield forest management.

4. A proposal for forest zoning, the purpose of which is to discourage isolated agricultural or attempted agricultural development of lands primarily suited for forest crop production and to reduce expenditures for roads, schools, relief and other public obligations occasioned by such use.

5. A provision for carrying out the agreement between the president and governor of Oregon at the time the Civilian Conservation Corps camps were established in Oregon.

6. Certain proposals which will make possible the acquisition by the state or federal government of county-owned forest lands. The purpose of these bills is to bring all our forest lands into dependable ownership—a prime requisite for sustained yield management.

Other proposals have to do with amendments of our state forest code designed to increase the insurance against losses caused by fire, insects and disease.

This may appear to you as a rather ambitious forest program, and it is. We must remove the obstacles now in the way of sustained yield forest management if we expect to substantially improve our forest practice.

I ask you to consider these proposals—not from the standpoint of what happens to suit any individual or group of our people but rather from the standpoint of what is for the greatest good of all our people for all time, and I pledge you my full cooperation on that basis.

Cordially yours,

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor

November 9, 1935.

To the Honorable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Legislative Assembly.

This is the last day of the legislative session called for the express purpose of selecting a suitable site and appropriating funds for the building of an adequate capitol for the state of Oregon.

As I have repeatedly state, the duty in this regard rests squarely upon the shoulders of the legislative assembly. My duty as chief executive of the state ceased when I caused to be presented to the legislative assembly the results of several months of intensive investigation by the board of control, the state planning board, eminent architects, and other qualified and patriotic citizens to the state of Oregon. All of these facts have been before the legislature throughout the past 20 days. I considered it my sworn duty as chief executive to present to the legislature in as vigorous a manner as possible my conclusions in regard to the relative merits of the various sites, based upon the studies before mentioned.

The conclusion to which I arrived in this regard was that the old narrow and restricted site was totally inadequate and not in keeping with the dignity nor consistent with the prospective growth of our great state, and if the old site was used at all it must and should be supplemented by additional acreage to permit future expansion. I have been impressed from the first with the fact that the prices asked for such adjacent acreage were considerably higher than the actual value thereof. In this dilemma the possibilities of what is known as the Candalaria Heights tract came to my attention. I previously stated in my message to the legislative assembly on October 22, 1935, my personal impression of the grandeur and possibilities of such site for capitol purposes. In this regard I have not changed my mind one iota and still believe that the Candalaria Heights location is an ideal one from every point of view, and has none of the disadvantages incident to the other proposed sites.

As chief executive of the state of Oregon I feel I have performed my duty. The final decision must be and is with the legislature. The legislature has all the facts, and, if in its discretion, Candalaria Heights can not wisely be included in the proposed program, and if the proposed capitol commission, in the wisdom of the legislature, should not be granted discretion in this regard, as a good citizen I bow to this decision, realizing fully that my duties as chief executive have been fully performed.

I will to call to the attention of the legislative assembly that there has been already appropriated the sum of $60,000 to pay the expenses of this session. It would be unthinkable for the legislature to adjourn without accomplishing the purposes for which it was assembled.

CHARLES H. MARTIN,

Governor.

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722
Phone: (503) 986-1523 • Fax: (503) 986-1616 • oregon.sos@state.or.us

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