NAME, Years Elected to City Council
M W Upton was elected to City Council in 1897 and 1899.
Republican3 (and endorsed by the "Taxpayers" and Municipal League- which was anti-saloon)
Like many of the late '90s Councilmen, Upton was involved in many votes regarding the water (curses, Carpentier!). In one case, the grand jury found that in 1897 Upton was offered a "lucrative position" in exchange for his vote on some alternating water hydrants.5 At every documented point in career, he voted against ordinances that would raise water rates. The ordinances passed, even though Councilman Girard made an eloquent speech, standing with the common man.6 He also voted against a tax levy (again with Girard) that would improve Lake Merritt and extend the sewer.7 Consistent with his fiscal conservatism, Upton voted against appropriating money for the National Guard.8
Upton is probably most historically significant for being the author of the "Upton Ordinance" which I believe fixed water rates. It was contested in Superior Court in 1900 and involved the Contra Costa Water Company.
Upton was an officer of the First Presbyterian Church.1 He was also an officer of the Home Security Building and Loan Association.4
OTHER POSITIONS IN CITY GOVERNMENT
- History of Alameda County, California. MW Wood: 1883.
- "CALVIN PRATT'S TRIAL." San Francisco Chronicle: Nov 25, 1886.
- "CHOICE OF THE TAXPAYERS." San Francisco Chronicle: Jan 30, 1897.
- "OAKLAND NEWS." San Francisco Chronicle: Aug 8, 1894.
- "OAKLAND COUNCILMEN WERE OFFERED BRIBES A POSITION TENDERED UPTON FOR HIS VOTE ON ALTERNATION." San Francisco Chronicle: Mar 5, 1898.
- "VETO OF THE WATER ORDER: Sensational Session of the Oakland City Council." San Francisco Chronicle: Mar 8, 1898.
- "HEITMANN'S TAX LEVY PASSED." San Francisco Chronicle: Oct 4, 1898.
- "OAKLAND VOTES MONEY FOR THE NATIONAL GUARD." San Francisco Chronicle: Jun 21, 1898.
- "All kinds of jokers may be expected." San Francisco Call: Mar 6, 1899.