Camden Courier-Post – August 31, 1936
Question—Can Municipal Employe Collect for Coming to Aid of Fellow ‘Worker’? Then, Too, Is Animal Worth Fee of $3?
By Charles L. Humes
Diamond, Camden’s famous white cemetery horse, has eye trouble.
And so has Camden, or so it seems.
Anyhow, Diamond has the city legal department in a quandary, Commissioner Hartmann’s office in a turmoil and Dr. David D. Helm in—or out—a $3 bin for services rendered.
It all started when the eyes of the big work horse started to water. Dr. Helm, who also is sanitary inspector, was summoned and treated the animal after which he turned in a bill for $3 to Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann, Jr., in whose department “Diamond” now works.
There is were the city got its eye trouble. The commissioners are thought they would put the bill on Dr. Helm’s “eye” –and for that matter they may still do now.
That Dr. Helm saved Diamond’s life in [sic] unquestioned. That the veterinarian paid a visit to Diamond in his stall and gave him an eye wash to keep him from blind, also is not contested.
Diamond a City Employe
But, and here Raymond Dobbs, assistant to Commissioner Hartmann, entered the picture. Is it right for a city employe, working on city time, to treat another city employe—to wit, Diamond—and to bill the city for services rendered??
Dobbs didn’t know. He didn’t want to do anything illegal, and neither did Dr. Helm, so a legal opinion was requested from City Solicitor E. G. C. Bleakly.
Then Bleakly began raising a few question of his own.
Is Diamond worth the amount of the bill? If so, then the city should not be too tight to pay the bill.
Does a veterinary surgeon have to perform services free of charge for the City if he is employed as a clerk and paid clerk’s wages?
To put it in other words, if the city employs some person in a clerical capacity is it entitled to his expert knowledge and expert service in an entirely different capacity?
Letter to Pay Bill?
It was too hot for the city solicitor to argue, so he advised that Dr. Helm be asked if he would cancel his bill if the city would send him a letter of thanks for saving the life of the famous horse.
Bleakly promised to advise further in the event that Dr. Helm did not agree to this compromise.
At any rate, it was the consensus of opinion that Diamond should be taken care of by all means—if only to have him around to give to Mayor von Nieda when and if the New Deal commissioners decide to shift any departments now under the mayor.
For, if you remember, Diamond is the consolation prize of all “forgotten commissioner” when they are being punished by their fellow rulers.
The only reason is is in Commissioner Hartmann’s department is that the New Dealers saw his vote-getting abilities and decided to keep him away from the Organization Republicans.