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ADDRESSES AND PAPERS

BY

ANDREW S. DRAPER, LL.B,, LL.D.

Commissioner of Education

1907

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ADDRESS AT THE CONFERENCE OF STATE AND MUNICIPAL CIVIL

SERVICE COMMISSIONERS, HELD IN THE SENATE CHAMBER AT
ALBANY, ON OCTOBER II, 1906

Mr President:

You have very courteously invited me to discuss the State civil service laws and regulations from the standpoint of officers who have to make appointments. If a multiplicity of appointments could qualify one for the duty I might be expected to be able to meet it, for there are something like three hundred employees in the Education Department and there are few of them whose status has not been changed, upon my responsibility, in the last two and a half years, since the educational unification act went into operation. Still, I am bound to say that I have no special preparation for the task your courtesy has assigned to me, and I know I shall stand sorely in need of your consideration when I accept such a conspicuous and favorable opportunity for the expression of my rambling thoughts upon an exceedingly important subject.

The last report of your commission, Mr President, shows that January 1, 1906, there were 84,479 persons in the employ of the State and the counties and cities of the State subject to civil service laws. Of these, 61,861 were in the classified service. I have no exact information concerning the compensation of this service. If the average annual salary is $750, which seems small, then the total cost is about $63,000,000. To insure decent appointments, to protect places from imposition and occupants from outrage, to encourage competency and assiduity by proper rewards and make certain of reasonable justice as between rivals, to keep all of this employment and all of this money from appealing to the cupidity of the indolent and from debauching the sentiment of the State, to assure a service which is competent, alert, responsive, and polite, and which at the same time can be resistive and which will never sell out the interests for which it stands, provides a fit study for an expert and a very proper ground for solicitude on the part of all good citizens. There are plenty of people who are unable to see why unlimited

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