Grand Rapids Herald

January 31, 1901

Page Three


Victims of the Promise Bureau Think There is a String Tied to the Promised Retirement-Perry's Idea of Brains in the Democratic Pary.

Frank W. Hunter, private secretary to Mayor Perry, and one of the republicans appointed to office by his honor, announced yesterday that he had decided to resign May 1 next whether the mayor, is re-elected or not. He also said that, personally, he would like to see the mayor re-elected, but he would take no active part in the campaign.

This announcement by Mr. Hunter was the subject of much interesting comment around the city hall and in political circles yesterday. The occasion of his appointment and the bitter criticism with which it was received by democrats were recalled by those who were chiefly instrumental in Perry's election two years ago. When it was learned Mr. Hunter had made the public announcement that he would not accept a reappointment as private secretary democrats inquired among themseleves if he had a string attached to his resignation. They doubted the sincerity of his statement, believing that he had an understanding with the mayor that if his honor should be re-elected he would be reappointed for another two years. In discussing the situation a democrat, who was formerly in the Perry councils, gave a little history of the manner in which spoils were distributed by the mayor. At a meeting held in the mayor's office shortly after his election he announced to the members of this so-called cabinet that he had decided to appoint Mr. Hunter as his private secretary. The announcement was received with considerable opposition as the mayor had previously promised the position to Charles M. Beckwith, George D. Bostock and to a daughter of E. P. Mills. To preculde the possibility of the appointment of Miss Mills the mayor had secured the adoption of a resolution by the council requiring the appointment of a man to the position. He assumed the moral right to disregard the promises he had made to the other candidates and appointed Mr. Hunter.

Perry's Opinion of His Party

In reply to the criticims of democrats of his appointment of a republican the mayor said with much emphasis: "If you can show me a democrat with as much brains as Mr. Hunter has I will point him my private secretary."

His opinion of democrats expressed by the mayor was not very cordially received and it was not long in spreading among the rank and file of the party. It helped to irritate sore sports caused by the appointment of other republicans to desirable places within the gift of the administration and dissensions in the party continued to increase. The announcement that Mr. Hunter will resign was considered by democrats to be a campaign measure. They interpreted it to mean that the mayor will make another campaign on promises and that the position of private secretary will be promised to 15 or 20 persons before the campaign closes. There will be only a few places open to promise this spring and the resignation of Mr. Hunter was a very easy way to add one to the number.

Mr. Hunter states he would like to see Mr. Perry re-elected and should he be chosen again, if the mayor follows his idea in regard to brians, Mr. Hunter will be the "logical candidate" for reappointment. This is the conclusion of democrats who are victims of the Perry promise bureau and they decline to be pacified with Mr. Hunter's statement that he intends to retire from the mayor's official household. They consider it to be merely a campaign subterfuge.