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FROM LOCAL SCENES OF ACTION Alexis de Tocqueville, after a visit to the New World, described in 1835 the energy with which Americans were getting things done in their communities: "No sooner do you set foot upon American soil than you are stunned by a kind of tumult.... Everything is in motion around you; here, the people of one quarter of a town are met to decide upon the building of a church; there, the election of a representative is going on; a little further, the delegates of a district are posting to the town in order to consult upon some local improvements; or in another place the labourers of a village quit their ploughs to deliberate upon the project of a road or a public school." Were our visitor to view today the local news on a thousand television sets across the country, he would find that the American drive for-community accomplishment has become a deep-rooted characteristic. Though we claim no systematic study of the matter, there is evidence that the people of Haskins & Sells are no strangers to these local scenes of action. 12 Wilbur Harris, principal in our Chicago Office, had lived only a year in Palatine, Illinois, 30-odd miles northwest of The Loop, when he saw his new home's value threatened. Zoning laws can easily erode in a town that has grown from 2,000 to 17,000 in less than 20 years, and the land across the street was about to be rezoned for commercial use. In fighting that fire, Will Harris got interested in village government, and by 1961 he found himself in a hot four-way contest for mayor as candidate for the new United Citizens Party. He won more than half the votes and carried with him his party's candidates for four of the vacancies on the Board of Trustees and the Police Magistrate as well. In his three years in office, 5,000 more souls have been added to Palatine, and the town is bursting at the seams. Planning and zoning top the agenda. The local courts have been reformed. Pay-as-you-go budgeting has wiped out a $40,000 deficit and brought confidence back to Main Street, while new business has moved in to help share the tax load. After hearing Charles Percy address the annual meeting of the American Institute in 1959, Will Harris told his wife, Patricia, "I could work for that man if he ever runs for office." Last April, against party machine opposition and early adverse odds of ten to one, Harris, as Chairman of the Palatine Township Citizens Percy Committee, delivered a whopping two-to-one margin toward nominating Percy for Governor. Ask people in Hastings-on-Hudson, up-river from New York, about Woolsey Carmalt, and the replies come fast: "I'm a great admirer of him," " . . . a conscientious member of the community," " . . . good citizen." Mr. Carmalt, on the research staff in the Executive Office, has just completed his one-year term as President of the Hastings School Board. He has never "won" an election and couldn't continue as President if he wanted to. The office rotates annually among the trustees, and Hastings thinks it gets its best talent on the Board by keeping these elections uncontested and non-political. In Woolsey Carmalt's brief term in office, confidence in the School Board has been restored. It had been badly shaken in 1963 when the school budget suffered its first defeat in the memory of old-timers. Budget time came again in January of this year, and President Carmalt and his Board went to the taxpayers to explain. For four or five evenings a week they could be found at meetings of any of the seven neighborhood associations in Hastings or the PTA. The budget was approved with a ten per cent increase over last year, and Hastings can now put to effective use its first new school building in thirty years.
From local scenes of action
Harris, Wilbur D.
Rostron, Robert Z.
Haskins & Sells. Chicago Office
Haskins & Sells. Salt Lake City Office
Haskins & Sells. Cincinnati Office
Haskins & Sells. Dayton Office
Haskins & Sells. Cleveland Office
Haskins & Sells. Miami Office
H&S Reports, Vol. 01, (1964 summer), p. 12-13
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Rights||Copyright and permission to republish held by: Deloitte|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|