New Orleans (La.) Charter Committee for the City of New Orleans
Records, 1950-1952

City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Date range: 1950-1952
Size of collection: 4 boxes; rolled charts
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment

Historical Note

The Charter Committee for the City of New Orleans was created by ordinance no. 17,968 C.C.S. in 1950; its purpose was to "advise and assist in the preparation of, and draft a proposed new Home Rule Charter for the City of New Orleans and submit the same to the Commission Council for its approval, modification, or rejection. . . . " Intended to be "a non-factional, non-political group of representative citizens, whose sole aim and desire will be to secure the best possible form of government for the City," the Committee was empowered to hire technical and clerical staff; to hold public hearings on matters pertinent to their work; to publish its minutes, reports and other proceedings, along with the final draft of the charter.

The members of the Committee were as follows: Val C. Mogensen, Director; Harry McCall, Chairman; Lester J. Lautenschlaeger, Vice-Chairman; Moise W. Dennery, Secretary; Robert A. Ainsworth, Jr.; Clifton L. Ganus; A.P. Harvey; Eugene A. Nabors; Ralph P. Nolan; Martha G. Robinson; Robert W. Starnes; and Edgar B. Stern.


The records are arranged into six subseries, as kept by the Committee itself:

I. Correspondence
II. "Jobs" (i.e., Staff Memos and Studies)
III. Miscellaneous Subject Files
IV. Reports/Samples from Various Cities
V. Files for Various Sections of the Charter
VI. Corrected Proofs
VII. Secretary's Records
VIII. Charts

Scope Note

Subseries I is comprised of routine correspondence with Committee members and city officials as well as letters from citizens and from correspondents from other cities offering suggestions and opinions regarding the new charter. Some correspondence solicits and obtains recommendations from people or organizations from other U.S. cities involved in similar charter revision processes.

Subseries II consists of files labled "Job No. __"; these "jobs" are generally the originals of staff memos or reports to or from Committee Director Val Mogensen on various background research done by Mogensen, consultants, or other Committee staff/members. The originals were apparently used by Committee staff to type masters for duplication.

Subseries III are miscellaneous subject files, including press releases, budget information, speeches, etc.

Subseries IV includes reports or sample charter items obtained from other cities involved in charter revision. Most of these reports were prepared byt the Governmental Research Institute for the St. Louis Board of Freeholders in 1949.

Subseries Vis comprised of files on various sections of the charter, including drafts, corrected proofs, maps, memos, and a few annual reports submitted by city agencies to assist the Committee in its preparation of the charter.

Subseries VI contains corrected proofs of the proposed charter.

Subseries VII consists of two files removed from a large cardboard binder labelled "Secretary's Records" and containing copies of correspondence and other materials, much of which is probably duplicated elsewhere in the charter records.

Subseries VIII. Copies or originals of charts showingthe organization of New Orleans municipal government under the new charter; the structure of boards and commissions; and ward/precinct maps for the city.

Detailed Description of the Records

Box 1

Subseries I: Correspondence

1 Ainsworth, Robert A., Jr.
2 Anderson, John H. (Mayor, Tacoma, WA)
3 Ault, Frederick C. (Municipal Reference Librarian, St. Louis, MO)
4 "A" Miscellaneous
5 Barry, Denis A.
6 Bauer, Dr. John (Director, American Public Utilities Bureau, Pueblo, CO)
7 Bienville Hotel
8 Black, Temple H.
9 Board and Commissions
10 Brahney, Thomas M., Jr. (Commissioner of Public Institutions and Public Health)
11 Bureau of Governmental Research
12 Bureau of the Budget (Washington, D.C.)
13 "B" Miscellaneous
14 Chatters, Carl H.
15 City Planning and Zoning Commission
16 City Purchasing
17 Civil Service Department
18 Clafee, Frank J. (Department of Public Utilities)
19 Classen, Glenn P. (Commissioner of Public Sanitation)
20 Commission for the Reorganization of the City Government (Los Angeles, CA)
21 Coulon, Willard S. (Technic Engineering Co., Dallas, TX)
22 Council of Social Agencies
23 Colock, W. Ferguson
24 Curtis, Henry B. (City Attorney)
25 "C" Miscellaneous
26 Dennery, Moise W. (Secretary, Charter Committee)
27 Duffourc, W.M. (Commissioner of Public Streets)
28 Dunbar, Charles E., Jr.
29 "D" Miscellaneous
30 Emmerich, Herbert (Director, Public Administration Clearing House, Chicago, IL)
31 Employees' Retirement System of the City of New Orleans
32 Employees of the Charter Committee
33 "E" Miscellaneous
34 Ford, Charles C. (City Manager, Dallas, TX)
35 "F" Miscellaneous
36 Ganus, Clifton L. (Member of Charter Committee)
37 Granlin, Leslie M. (Director, Governmental Research Institute, Hartford, CT)
38 "G" Miscellaneous
39 Habans, Paul B.
40 Hamilton, Edwin P. (Editor, Times-Picayune)
41 Harlow, LeRoy F. (Director, Efficiency in Government Commission, St. Paul, MN)
42 Harvey, A.P. (Member of Charter Committee)
43 Hotard, Theo O.
44 "H" Miscellaneous
45 International House
46 "I" Miscellaneous
47 "J" Miscellaneous
48 "K" Miscellaneous
49 Lafaye, Edward E.
50 Lanier Company
51 Lautenschlaeger, Lester J. (Vice-Chairman, Charter Committee)
52 "L" Miscellaneous
53 McCall, Harry (Chairman, Charter Committee)
54 McCloskey, Bernard J. (Commissioner of Public Safety)
55 "Mc" Miscellaneous
56 Maestri, Robert S.
57 Maloney, Paul H., Jr.
58 Martin, Wade O., Jr. (Louisiana Secretary of State)
59 Mastainich, George
60 Moak, Lennox L. (Philadelphia, PA, Consultant to Charter Committee)
61 Moore, A. Brown
62 Morrison, Mayor deLesseps S.
63 Municipal Finance Officers Association (Chicago, IL)
64 Municipal Technical Advisory Service (University of Tennessee)
65 Murphy, Richard M.
66 "M" Miscellaneous
67 Nabors, Eugene A. (Member of Charter Committee)
68 National Municipal League (New York, NY)
69 New Orleans Public Library
70 Nolan, Ralph P. (Algiers Public Service)
71 "N" Miscellaneous
72 Owen, Kimbrough
73 Ott, Lionel G. (Commissioner of Public Finance)
74 Pratt, A. Miles
75 Public Administration Clearing House
76 "P" Miscellaneous
77 Requests to be heard at public meeting
78 Richie, John A.
79 Riggs, Admiral Whitaker F., Jr.
80 Rivet, Charles J.
81 Robinson, Martha G. (Member of Charter Committee)
82 "R" Miscellaneous
83 Scheuering, W. Ray
84 Schiro, Victor H. (Commissioner of Public Buildings and Parks)
85 Sehrt, Clem H.
86 Sewerage and Water Board
87 Sly, John F. (Director, Princeton Surveys; Consultant to Charter Committee)
88 Smith, Alfred E. (Director, San Francisco Bureau of Governmental Research)
89 Smith, J. Denson (Director, Louisiana State Law Institute)
90 Starnes, Robert W. (Congress of Industrial Organizations)
91 Stern, Edgar B. (Member of Charter Committee)
92 Stone, Harold A.
93 "S" Miscellaneous
94 "T" Miscellaneous
95 "U" Miscellaneous
96 "V" Miscellaneous
97 Webb, Wilfred D.
98 Winzeuried, Jesse
99 Wogan, Victor, Jr. (Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety)
100 "W" Miscellaneous
101 Letters to various cities regarding their form of "Home Rule" for their cities
102 Requests for copies of Charter
103 Application for Employment
104 Charter Committee Employees

Box 2

Subseries II: "Jobs"

1 Boundaries, Population and Registered Voters of the Wards and Districts of the City of New Orleans
2 Job No. 1: Forms of City Government: A Memo by Val C. Mogensen
3 Job No. 2: Forms of City Government: An Address by William W. Shaw [January 24, 1951 meeting]
4 Job No. 3: Pros and Cons of Mayor-Council Form of Government [Staff memo to Charter Committee, March 12, 1951]
5 Job No. 4: Pros and Cons of Council-Manager Form of Government [Staff memo, March 12, 1951]
6 Job No. 5: City Council, Part I: Composition, Districting and Qualifications [Staff memo, March 21, 1951]
7 Job No. 6: City Council, Part II: Composition and Procedures [Staff memo, March 26, 1951]
8 Job No. 7: City Council, Part III: Powers [Staff memo, April 2, 1951]
9 Job No. 8: Ward and District Boundaries
10 Job No. 9: Administrative Assistant to the Chief Executive [Staff memo, April 11, 1951]
11 Job No. 10: Public Hearings: Opinions of Various Persons
12 Job No. 11: Organization of Government of City of New Orleans [Chart]
13 Job No. 12: Text of Decision of Judge Yarrut in House of Detention
14 Job No. 13: Budgeting for Operating Purposes [Staff memo, May 18, 1951]
15 Job No. 14: Fund Administration [Staff memo, May 7, 1951]
16 Job No. 15: Board and Commissions [Staff Memo, May 30, 1951; includes chart]
*[There is no Job No. 16]
17 Job No. 17: Department Organization [Staff memo, May 30, 1951]
18 Job No. 18: Population of Wards and Districts, 1950
19 Job No. 19: Boards and Commissions--Budget
20 Job No. 20: Boards and Commissions--Salaries of Administrative Office [Memo to Val C. Mogensen, May 2, 1951]
21 Job No. 21: Research Report No. 1: City Planning and Zoning Commission [June 9, 1951]
22 Job No. 22: Research Report No. 2: City Board of Health [June 9, 1951]
23 Job No. 23: Post-audit [Staff memo, June 26, 1951]
24 Job No. 24: Special Assessment for Financing Public Improvements and Debt Incident Thereto
25 Job No. 25: New Orleans Public Library
26 Job No. 26: Audubon Park, City Park and the Parkway Commission [Staff memo, July 17, 1951]
27 Job No. 27: Interpretation of Powers of City as Related to Present Charter
28 Job No. 28: Tentative Decisions Pertaining to Sewerage and Water Board [Staff memo, November 27, 1951]
*[There is no Job No. 29]
29 Job No. 30: Public Utility Regulations
30 Job No. 31: Summary of Preliminary Draft of Home Rule Charter
31 Job No. 32: Index to Preliminary Draft of Charter [Working papers]
32 Job No. 33: Letter of Transmittal to Commission Council

Subseries III: Miscellaneous Subject Files

1 Ordinance creating the Charter Committee
2 Press Releases
3 Proposed Budget of Charter Committee
4 Schedule of Work Program
5 Speeches
6 Sub-Committee
7 Statement of Operation--Forms
8 City Charter, 1912
9 Comments of Dorothy Dowling Wolbrette re Preliminary Draft
10 Comments of Lennox L. Moak on Draft I of Charter re Action of Sub-Committee on Revision and Style
11 Comments of Municipal Finance Officers Association on Financial Provisions of Draft I of charter
12 Compilation of Powers and Limitations of City of New Orleans
13 Legal Opinions of Charles J. Rivet
14 Miscellaneous Legal Questions
15 Miscellaneous Memoranda of Lennox P. Moak
16 Suggestions and Criticisms

Box 3

17 Suggestions and Criticisms [Copies of substituted sections, correspondence, reports, resolutions, etc.]
18 Suggestions and Criticisms [Copies of substituted sections, correspondence, reports, resolutions, etc.]
19 Suggestions and Criticisms [Copies of substituted sections, correspondence, reports, resolutions, etc.]

Subseries IV: Reports/Samples from Other Cities

1 Ballots, Kinds of Municipal [Governmental Research Institute, St. Louis, MO]
2 Charter Drafts, Council-Manager Government for Tennessee Cities
3 Civil Service ["Civil Service Provisions for Large American Cities"; Governmental Research Institute, St. Louis, MO]
4 Fire Department ["A Fire Department for St. Louis; Governmental Research Institute, St. Louis, MO]
5 Forms of Municipal Government [2 reports: "Questions and Answers on the Form of Municipal Government" and "Factual Data Relating to the Forms of City Government in the U.S."; Governmental Research Institute, St. Louis, MO]
6 Health and Welfare ["A Department of Health and Welfare for St. Louis"; Governmental Research Institute, St. Louis, MO]
7 Parks and Recreation ["A Department of Parks and Recreation for St. Louis"; Governmental Research Institute, St. Louis, MO]

Subseries V: Files for various sections of the Charter

1 Wards and Districts
2 Powers and Limitations
3 Executive Department
4 Mayor, Administrative Assistant
5 Department of Law
6 Department of Police
7 Financial Procedures--Budgeting
8 Financial Procedures--Fund Administration
9 Financial Administration--Procurement and Disposition of Property
10 Financial Administration--Audit
11 Financing Public Improvements
12 Department of Fire
13 Department of Building and Housing
14 Department of Sanitation
15 Department of Streets
16 Department of Recreation
17 Department of Welfare
18 Department of Health
19 Department of Finance
20 Department of Property Management
21 Department of Civil Service
22 Board of Liquidation
23 Public Belt Railroad Commission [empty folder]
24 Board of City Trusts
25 New Orleans Public Library
26 City Park Improvement Association
27 Audubon Park Commission
28 Parkway Commission
29 Delgado-Albania Plantation Commission [empty folder]
30 Delgado Central Trades School
31 Employees Retirement System
32 Sewerage and Water Board
33 Regulation of Public Utilities
34 General Provisions [empty folder]
35 Civil Service
36 Schedule [empty folder]
37 General Schedule of Charter Committee
38 Departmental Organization
39 Boards and Commissions
40 Institute of Mental Hygiene
41 Vieux Carre Commission

Box 4

Subseries VI: Corrected Proofs

Subseries VII: Secretary's Records

Subseries VIII: Charts

Unboxed: Rolled charts (originals and copies) of the organization of the government of the City of New Orleans; the structure of boards and commissions; and wards/precincts of the city.

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coded: November 9, 1998
coded by: Irene Wainwright

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