Date: January 29, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
We are very far from solving all our problems of government. We can feel fairly secure about our national government. Many unsound proposals will be made in it, but they will not often prevail. Our state governments are generally satisfactory. Sometimes they are too radical, but they are secure. In the towns, where office is close to the people, little trouble is anticipated.
When we turn to the cities the picture is not so encouraging. In both large and small urban communities the government oftentimes comes so near breaking down that it has to be rescued by state legislation. The fundamental difficulty is almost always in finance or security, high taxes and extravagance bordering on corruption, and in failure of the police to furnish adequate protection against crime.
Most of the trouble could be eliminated by the right type of mayor. Popular election of the chief executive of cities is coming to be discredited in many places. The people at large want and would support good city government, but under the present system they are unable to secure it. The remedy may be found in some indirect method of electing the mayor or closer state supervision of that office.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Robert Manchester who prepared this document for digital publication.