Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

June 19, 1886

To the Senate:

I return without approval Senate bill No. 206, entitled "An act to provide for the erection of a public building in the city of Zanesville, Ohio."

No Federal courts are held at Zanesville, and there are no Government officers located there who should be provided for at the public expense except the postmaster.

So far as I am informed the patrons of the post-office are fairly well accommodated in a building which is rented by the Government at the rate of $800 per annum; and though the postmaster naturally certifies that he and his fourteen employees require much more spacious surroundings, I have no doubt he and they can be induced to continue to serve the Government in its present quarters.

The public buildings now in process of construction, numbering 80, involving constant supervision, are all the building projects which the Government ought to have on hand at one time, unless a very palpable necessity exists for an increase in the number. The multiplication of these structures involves not only the appropriations made for their completion, but great expense in their care and preservation thereafter.

While a fine Government building is a desirable ornament to any town or city, and while the securing of an appropriation therefor is often considered as an illustration of zeal and activity in the interest of a constituency, I am of the opinion that the expenditure of public money for such a purpose should depend upon the necessity of such a building for public uses.

In the case under consideration I have no doubt the Government can be well accommodated for some time to come in all its business relations with the people of Zanesville by renting quarters, at less expense than the annual cost of maintaining the proposed new building after its completion.


Grover Cleveland, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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