District of ColumbiaDistrict Building, Pennsylvania Avenue and Fourteenth Street NW.
NAtional 6000, Branch 403
COMMISSIONERS President of the Board John Russell Young Assistant to Commissioner Young Charles W. Stofberg Commissioner Guy Mason Special Assistant to Commissioner Mason Anne W. Davidge Engineer Commissioner Col. C.W. Kutz, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A. Assistant to Engineer Commissioner Col. Joseph D. Arthur, Jr. Assistant to Engineer Commissioner (Vacancy) Secretary to the Board G.M. Thornett
OFFICIALS Assessor Edward A. Dent Auditor Arthur R. Pilkerton Board of Education: President Mrs. Henry Grattan Doyle Vice President Robert A. Maurer Superintendent of Schools Robert L. Haycock Budget Officer Walter L. Fowler Director, Board of Public Welfare Ray L. Huff Disbursing Officer James R. Lusby Collector of Taxes Guy W. Pearson Corporation Counsel Richmond B. Keech Director of Highways H.C. Whitehurst Inspector of Buildings and Director of Inspection John C. Oehmann Director of Sanitary Engineering Harold A. Kemp Superintendent of Recreation Milo F. Christiansen Director of Vehicles and Traffic William A. Van Duzer Chief Engineer, Fire Department Stephen T. Porter Health Officer Dr. George C. Ruhland Librarian, Public Library Clara W. Herbert Major and Superintendent, Metropolitan Police Edward J. Kelly Municipal Architect Nathan C. Wyeth Purchasing Officer R.M. Brennan Public Utilities Commission: Chairman James H. Flanagan Member James Francis Reilly Corps of Engineers, U.S.A., Engineer Commissioner, D.C. Col. C.W. Kutz Surveyor Francis F. Healy Superintendent of Insurance Albert F. Jordan Administrator of Rent Control Robert F. Cogswell Executive Officer, Unemployment Compensation Board (Vacancy) U.S. Coordinator of Civilian Defense, Metropolitan Area John Russell Young Executive to the U.S. Coordinator of Civilian Defense, Metropolitan Area Lt. Col. Leonce R. Legendre, U.S.A.
Creation and Authority.--Article I, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States gives Congress the power "To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States. . . ." In accordance with this provision, Congress, on July 16, 1790 (1 Stat. 130; 4 U.S.C. 6), and on March 3, 1791, passed acts establishing the District of Columbia.
Virginia and Maryland ceded land for the territory. When the seat of government was permanently established in 1800, both the corporation of the city of Alexandria, incorporated by Virginia, and the corporation of the city of Georgetown, incorporated by Maryland, were included. In 1946 Congress gave back to Virginia its portion, retaining the Maryland portion which covers approximately 70 square miles. Until 1846, when Virginia's portion, Alexandria City and County, was returned, the District included the corporation of Washington, the corporation of Alexandria, the corporation of Georgetown, and the Counties of Washington and Alexandria. A French engineer,
Maj. Pierre Charles L'Enfant, planned and partly laid out the new city of Washington, and Maj. Andrew Ellicott continued the work.
In 1802 the first government of the District of Columbia consisted of a mayor, appointed by the President of the United States, and a city council, elected by the residents. The city council was given the right in 1812 to elect the mayor of Washington, and in 1820 the election was put in the hands of the people. In 1871, however, Congress acted to abolish the corporations of Washington and Georgetown and the levy court of Washington County in favor of a territorial form of government.
The new form of administration was composed of a governor, a board of public works, and a legislative assembly consisting of a Council and a House of Delegates. Also at that time, and until March 4, 1875, the District of Columbia was represented in the lower house of Congress by a delegate. The governor and the members of the board of public works and of the council were appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The 22 Members of the House of Delegates and the Delegate to Congress were elected by the people.
After June 20, 1874, a change was made, and the District was governed by three commissioners appointed by the President. This temporary form of government lasted until July 1, 1878, when the permanent commission government was established. The act of Congress of June 11, 1878 (20 Stat. 102), creating the present District government, makes no provision for the franchise.
Organization.--The government of the District is administered by a three-man Board of Commissioners, two of whom, appointed from civilian life by the President, must have been actual residents of Washington for 3 years next before their appointment. These two Commissioners are confirmed by the Senate and serve a 3-year term. The President selects from time to time from the Corps of Engineers of the Army the third Commissioner, who must have served at least 15 years in the Corps and have a rank not lower than that of captain.
The District Commissioners, who are also members of the Zoning Commission, have authority over all the usual activities of a municipal government. They prepare annually estimates of the expenditures of the District, which estimates are submitted to Congress through the Bureau of the Budget. Under the Constitution of the United States, Congress must pass all legislation affecting the District.
John Russell Young
President of the Board
Table of Contents