Committees of the municipality
Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN
In the second half of the 19th century, after the regulation of local institutions by the “Communal Law” of 1864, the municipality of Galaţi was organised into several central and external services, the mayor being the head of them all. They were restructured several times until World War One, but these modifications did not radically alter the general organisation presented below.
The central services were: the Secretary, the Administrative and Legal Office, the Sanitary and Religious Office, the Technical Office, the Accounting Office, the Control Office, the Civil Registry Office and the Central Cashier’s Office. The external services were the Technical Service, the Medical Service, the Communal Police, the Revenue Service, the Estates Service, the Cleaning Service, the Water and Lighting Service, the Gardens Service, the Cemetery Service and the Intendant.
The Secretary was the head of the municipal Chancery. He controlled all communal services and looked after their good activity. The secretary inspected these services on a daily basis and reported to the mayor about cases of negligence or abuse.
The Administrative and Legal Office dealt with the following activities: appointments, changes and anything related to the communal staff and police, auctions and contracts for the communal incomes and properties, trials in which the municipality was involved, current prices, tickets for selling cattle, articles of public wealth, properties of the commune, requisitions, recruitments, bequests and presents, public solemnities and festivities.
The Sanitary, Religious and Educational Office regulated the activity of public schools, hospitals, asylums and charitable institutions, found children, churches, public health, the hygiene council etc.
The Office of Technical Works dealt with expropriations, public lighting, paving, waterworks, authorisations of construction, public works, loans from the agricultural credit, legalisations of documents and certificates, contracts of agricultural works, electoral lists and elections.
The Accounting Office was responsible with the annual budget of the commune, payment ordinances, auditing financial accounts, pay rolls, registers of incomes, ordinances of mandates, inhibitions and sequesters, auditing the incoming of money deposited at the communal house by the revenue officers, supplementary and extraordinary credits, loans, auditing taxation and accounts, revenue officers’ registers, auditing the tickets of free circulation, preservation of the materials used by the preceptors, correspondence relative to the above attributions.
The Control Office had among its attributions the following activities: to ascertain cases of advance and loss and definitive decisions relative to the communal taxes, to make roles, to supplement the advance and loss according to the decisions of the communal commissions, to verify the lists of products that entered the city, to keep municipal registers and to reserve the roles, fines, visas of recipes, to procure and distribute materials to the different offices of the revenue officers, to audit the offices of the revenue officers, etc.
The Civil Registry Office administered the acts of civil registry and everything related to these documents.
The Central Cashier’s Office was led by a cashier, entrusted to collect the communal incomes and to pay according to regulated mandates the expenses ordered until the special sums of every articles of the budget or special credit.
The Communal Police applied and executed different communal regulations and ordinances of the mayor regarding public hygiene and sanitation, the guarding of the city, the guarding of the food of public wealth, the guarding of constructions, the execution of different authorisations, the founding and functioning of different factories and installations, the deposits and everything related to hygiene, sanitation and police, as well as all the attributions of the communal police according to the organic law of the commune.
The Revenue Service coordinated the activity of communal revenue officers, who collected the taxes due to the municipality, according to the actual laws and tariffs. These revenue officers had to keep in good order the registers and to account for the incomes, having to pay weekly all amounts collected to the commune cashier.
The Medical Service worked according to law and to the special regulation for this field. The administration of the estates collected the incomes for the city estates. There also were the Cleaning Service and the Service of Measures and Weights.
The Technical Service guarded all public works done by different entrepreneurs and concessionaries of the commune, the guarding and execution of all works, the accomplishment of all plans, the control of the plans for private constructions, the works relative to authorisations for constructions, demolishing, restorations, alignments, receptions of works and in general any technical works which required its cooperation and advice.
For the care of public gardens, of greenhouses and green spaces on the streets, markets or communal estates there was appointed a chief gardener, supported by a deputy gardener. The administration of graveyards was done by an official entrusted with the preservation of good order in graveyards, the attendance of graveyards, monuments and plantations, the classification of monuments according to categories of places, the good keeping of the register of dead people.
A general intendant was entrusted with the inspection of the communal estates and with their good keeping. The intendant also dealt with: the reception and distribution of wood and coal necessary for heating public buildings, the maintenance of the water system, the care of the furniture, cleaning inside the courts of the public institutions, the making of the small reparations and acquisitions of furniture and of the objects necessary for the communal services.
 Details in Moise N. Pacu, Cartea judeţului Covurluiu. Note geografice, istorice şi în deosebi statistice, (Bucharest: Stabilimentul Grafic I. V. Socecu, 1891), 303. The attributions below are taken from the Regulation of the Galaţi Municipality, preserved at Serviciul Judeţean Galaţi al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Galaţi Branch), Primăria oraşului Galaţi (The Municipality of Galaţi), File 12/1894–1899, 5–18, 22–36, 48–64. The municipality also printed several regulations referring to its public services – Manualul de regulamentele comunei Galaţi (Galaţi: Tipografia Română, 1876) and Regulamentul pentru organisarea serviciului interior al Primăriei (Galaţi: Tipografia Ion G. Nebuneli, 1887).
Serviciul Judeţean Galaţi al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Galaţi Branch), Primăria oraşului Galaţi (The Municipality of Galaţi), file 12/1894–1899.
Manual de regulamentele comunei Galaţi [Handbook with the Regulations of the Commune of Galaţi] (Galaţi: Tipografia Romană, 1876).
Pacu, Moise N., Cartea Judeţului Covurlui. Note geografice, istorice şi în deosebi statistice [The Book of Covurlui County. Geographical, Historical and Mainly Statistical Notes] (Bucharest: Stabilimentul Grafic I. V. Socecu, 1891).
Regulamentul pentru organisarea serviciului interior al Primăriei [The Regulation for the Organisation of the Interior Service of the Municipality] (Galaţi: Tipografia Ion G. Nebuneli, 1887).