This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol8 Partnership, Private Corporations, Public Corporations", by Albert H. Putney. Also available from Amazon: Popular Law-Dictionary.
Section 53. The power and authority of the state legislature over municipal officers hinges upon whether the particular office is a municipal or a state office. If the office is an instrumentality or agency of the state government, the legislature may, unless restrained by constitutional provisions, create such municipal offices as it believes the public interest requires and make the appointments; if the office, however, is a purely municipal one, the legislature cannot exercise the power of appointment and such an attempt would be considered in the light of an unwarranted infringement with the right of the municipality to local self-government.
6 County of Richland vs. County of Lawrence, 12 III., 1. 7 Western Savings Fund Soc. vs.
Philadelphia, 31 Pa. St., 185. 8 Grogan vs. San Francisco 18 Cala., 590.
"The administration of justice, the preservation of the public peace, and the like, although confided to local agencies, are essentially matters of public concern; while the enforcement of municipal by-laws proper, the establishment of gas works or water works, the construction of sewers, and the like, are matters which pertain to the municipality as distinguished from the state at large."9
Many respectable authorities hold, that the legislature may, unless restrained by the constitution, take away from the municipal corporation its charter powers respecting the police and their appointment, and provide by statute for a board of police commissioners, not appointed or elected by the corporate authorities.
The right of appointment of such board of police commissioners is usually vested in the Governor of the State.
The Supreme Court of the State of Kansas, speaking of the constitutionality of an Act establishing a board of metropolitan police, used the following language: "In effect, it is said to be opposed to the fundamental theory of self-government, and denies to the people of the district the right to select their own officers from among their own number. Whatever may be said regarding the policy of placing the police administration of cities in a board of police commissioners who are chosen by state officers, rather than through the electors of the cities, there can be no doubt that the legislature has the power to do so."10
9 Dillon, Mun. Corp. (3rd ed.), Par. 68.
Power of the Legislature to Consolidate and Divide Municipalities.
Section 54. As the powers granted to municipal corporations are not vested rights but are held subject to the law making power of the state, the legislature has, as a rule, power to consolidate, merge, or annex existing municipalities, or, by a division of territory, to erect new municipalities out of a portion of the territory already existing; but where this power is exercised, the rights of creditors cannot be defeated, or the obligation of contracts impaired.11
In the case of True vs. Davis, 133 III., 531, the court said: "A municipal corporation is purely of legislative creation, for local government, in places where it is presumed the public welfare will be subserved thereby. Our constitution contains no restriction as to the organization of cities, towns and villages, or the changing and amending or repeal of their charters, and, consequently, no restrictions in respect to uniting or dividing cities, towns and villages, or annulling their charters, save only that it cannot be by local or special law, but must be by a general law; and it is familiar law that, in the absence of constitutional restriction, the legislature may provide for the organizing, uniting, dividing or annulling such corporations, in such manner as it shall deem best to promote the public welfare."12
10 State vs. Hunter, 38 Kan., 578.
111 Cicero vs. Chicago, 182 III., 301;
Am. & Eng. Ency. of Law, Vol. 20, pages 1224 and 1225.
12 Morgan vs. Beloit, 7 Wall., 613; Thornton vs. Abbott, 61 Mo., 176; Colchester vs. Seaber, 3 Burr., 1866; Mount Pleasant vs. Beckwith, 100 U. S., 514.