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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised




Medford Town Charter, 1885


AN ACT
To Incorporate the Town of Medford.

Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

    Section 1. That the boundary line of the corporation of the town of Medford shall commence at the southwest corner of the town of Medford, Jackson county, Oregon, as laid down in the recorded plat thereof; and running north fifty degrees and thirty minutes east (54 degs., 30 mins. E.) along the south boundary line of said town, and beyond to the west bank of Bear Creek; thence northward along the bank of said creek to a point from which the northwest corner of said town bears south 54 degs., 30 min. W; thence from said point south 54 degs., 30 min. W. of the northwest corner of said town of Medford; thence south sixty chains; thence east twenty chains to the township line between range one and two west, township thirty-seven south, intersecting the township line, sixty chains south of the corner to sections nineteen and thirty (19 and 30) and 24 and 25 of the township aforesaid.

ARTICLE I.
    Section 1. The inhabitants of the town of Medford within the limits above described, shall be, and they are hereby constituted a body politic in fact and in law by the name and style of the town of Medford; and by that name, they and their successors shall be known in law and have perpetual succession, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended in all courts of law and in all actions whatever; may purchase, hold and receive property, real and personal, within said town for public buildings, school purposes and town improvements; may lease, sell and dispose of the same for the benefit of the town; may purchase, receive, and hold property, real and personal, within and beyond the limits of the town to be used for burial purposes and for the reception of persons affected with contagious diseases; and for work houses, houses of correction, and for the construction of water works to supply the town with water; and may lease, sell and dispose of the same for the benefit of the town, and they shall have and use a common seal, break and alter the same and make anew one at pleasure.

ARTICLE II.
    Section 1. The government of the said town shall be vested in a board of trustees consisting of five members, who shall be known and designated as the trustees of Medford, a Recorder, a Treasurer, a Marshal, a Commissioner of Streets, who shall be qualified electors in this State and residents of the town six months next previous to any election at which they can be eligible to any of the said offices. It shall be the duty of the trustees of the town to devise and adopt all such measures, regulations, and ordinances, connected with the public security, tranquility, cleanliness, improvement and ornament of the town, and the public health, prosperity and welfare, and the regulation of the finances and public expenditures of the town, as shall be expedient from time to time and in accordance with this act and the laws of this State and the United States; Provided, That the residents of said town shall not be exempt from the payment of such road tax as are, or may be imposed by law upon other residents of Jackson county; And provided, further, That said town of Med ford shall constitute a road district in Jackson county of the following extent, to-wit: The roads and streets of said town and for one mile from the depot of the Oregon and California railroad in said town of Medford on each of the county roads leading from said town; and the Street Commissioner of said town, under the direction of the trustees, shall collect and apply all road taxes within said road district to the improvement of roads and streets therein; And provided, further, That the trustees shall have power to compel, by ordinance, the owners of lots to construct and repair sidewalks along the streets adjacent to said lots at the cost of the owners thereof, and to provide for selling the lots adjacent to which any such sidewalk may be constructed or improvements made, to pay all costs and expenses thereof in the same manner as like property is sold on execution under and in pursuance of the laws of this State.
    [sec. 2.]

    Sec. 3. The board of trustees shall have power to make ordinances; to prevent and punish vagrancy and disorderly conduct, and to provide rules and regulations compelling persons convicted of vagrancy or disorderly conduct to work on the streets or public works of the town; Provided, That no sentence to hard work on the streets or public works of the town shall exceed ten days for any one conviction.
    Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the board of trustees to order all elections, to designate the place of holding the same, to give at least ten days' notice thereof, and to appoint inspectors of the election. The elections shall be conducted according to the provisions of the act to regulate elections in this State. If any elector [judge] shall fail to attend at the proper hour an election for which he shall have been appointed, the electors present may appoint one in his stead. The returns of all elections shall be made to the board of trustees, who shall publicly examine the same and declare the result thereof, and give certificates of election to persons having a plurality of votes; Provided, That the first election held under this act shall be held at such time and place as the organizing hereafter named shall direct, after ten days' notice thereof, and within twenty days after this act of incorporation shall have been accepted and adopted by a majority vote of the legal voters of the said town of Medford; Provided, That all annual elections thereafter shall be held on the first Monday of January of each year.
    Sec. 5. The board of trustees shall assemble within ten days after the election and choose a presiding officer from their number, who shall be designated as the president of the board in all the proceedings of the board of trustees. In case of the absence of the president at the meetings of the board of trustees, they may elect a president pro tem, who shall have the power and perform the duties of the president for the time. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and compel the attendance of absent members in such a manner and under such penalties as the board may have previously prescribed. They shall judge of the qualifications, election and returns of their own members, and other officers elected under this act (charter), and determine contested elections. They may determine rules for their own proceedings; punish any member or other person for disorderly conduct in their presence at any meeting of the board, and with the concurrence of four-fifths of all the members of the board, may expel a (any) member. They shall keep a journal of the proceedings, and at the desire of any member shall cause the ayes and nays to be taken on any question and entered on the journals, and their proceedings shall be public.
    Sec. 6. The board of trustees shall have power within the limits of the town—
    1. To make by laws and ordinances, not repugnant to the laws of the State, or the laws of the United States.
    2. To levy and collect taxes, not to exceed one mill per cent, per annum, upon all property made taxable by law for county and State purposes.
    3. To make regulations to prevent and remove nuisances; to prevent the introduction of contagious and other diseases into the town, and to secure the general health of the inhabitants.
    4. To license, tax, and regulate auctioneers, taverns, ordinances, [ordinaries], hawkers, peddlers, brokers, pawnbrokers, and money changers.
    5. To license, tax and regulate theatrical and other exhibitions, shows, and amusements, bar-rooms, saloons, liquor or other groceries, billiard tables, bowling alleys, and suppress gaming and gaming houses, houses of ill-fame, and bawdy houses; Provided, That the license fee for the sale of liquors, beer, or other spirituous or malt liquors shall not exceed the sum of two hundred dollars per annum, prior to the first day of January, A. D., 1889; And provided further, That no person or persons having paid a license to the town for carrying on any business or traffic named in the fourth or fifth clauses above, shall be compelled to pay license to the county or State for the same business.
    6. To regulate the storage of gunpowder, tar, pitch, resin, and all other combustible materials; and the use of candles, lamps, and other lights in stores, shops, and other places; to prevent, remove, and secure any fire-place, stove, or chimney, oven, or boiler, or other apparatus which may be dangerous in causing fires; and to provide for the prevention and extinguishment of fires.
    7. To provide a workhouse and house of correction for the reception of vagrant and vicious persons, and to prescribe rules and regulations for the government thereof.
    8. To remove all obstructions from the public highway, streets, side and cross-walks, and to provide for the construction, repair, and cleaning of the same, and of the gutters and sewers.
    9. To appropriate money for any item of town expenditure, and to provide for the payment of debts and expenses of the town.
    10. To prevent and restrain any riot, noise or disturbance, or disorderly assemblage in any street, house or place in the town.
    11. To impose, collect and appropriate fines, forfeitures and penalties for the breach of any ordinance, and provide for the punishment of breaches of the town ordinances; but no fine to exceed one hundred dollars shall be imposed, and no offender shall be imprisoned for a longer term than twenty days for one breach of the town ordinances.
    12. To provide for the collection and disbursing of all moneys to which the town is or may become entitled by law or which may be assessed or authorized to be collected for town purposes within said town.
    13. To levy and provide for the working of a town road tax within the limits of the town upon the streets and public highways thereof, under the supervision of the commissioner of the streets.
    14. To organize fire and hook and ladder companies and to regulate the fire department in said town.
    Sec. 7. Every ordinance and regulation to be effected [effective] shall be passed by a vote of a majority of all the members elected to the board of trustees: and the votes shall be by ayes and nays, and the names of members voting for or against every ordinance and regulation shall be entered on the journal. 
    Sec. 8. All demands and accounts against the town shall be audited by the board of trustees and paid by the Treasurer, on the warrant of the President of the board, attested by the Clerk.
    Sec. 9. The style of the town ordinance shall be as follows: "The people of the town of Medford do ordain as follows:"
   
ARTICLE III.
    Section 1. The Recorder shall have the power and jurisdiction of a justice of the peace in all civil and criminal matters, and in all proceedings, whether civil or criminal, shall be governed by the laws relating to justices of the peace in this State. He shall also have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all violations of town ordinances and regulations; may examine, hold to bail, fine or commit persons found guilty thereof. He shall also perform the duties of clerk of the board of trustees.
    Sec. 2. It shall be the duty of the Marshal, in addition to the duties prescribed to him by the board of trustees, to execute and return all processes issued and directed to him by the Recorder or by any legal authority. He shall attend on the Recorder's court and the meeting of the board of trustees, when requested by them to do so. He shall arrest on complaint or otherwise all persons guilty of a breach of the peace or of a violation of the town ordinances, and bring them before the Recorder for trial, and be a conservator of the peace generally.
    Sec. 3. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect and receive all moneys that shall come or be due said town, whether by taxation or otherwise, and to pay out the same as provided for by law, and to do and perform all other acts as shall be prescribed to him by the board of trustees. He shall on the first Monday of January, April, July and October of each year, make out and present to the president of the board of trustees a full and complete statement of the receipts and expenditures of the preceding three months, and at the end of the year make a final settlement with the board of trustees, and pay over to his successor in office all town money and other property in his hands at such time.
    Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the commissioner of the streets to superintend all improvements of the public streets, side and crosswalks and alleys, public squares, commons and cemeteries; and the construction and repairs of all public buildings, water-works and all other public works of the town. He shall do and perform all such other duties as may be required by the ordinances, the towns [laws] of the State and of the United States.
    Sec. 5. The board of trustees shall define the duties of all officers which are not herein defined.
    Sec. 6. If any person who may be elected or appointed to any office under this act, shall remove from the town, or absent himself therefrom for thirty days or more without leave of the board of trustees, or shall fail to qualify within ten days after his election, the office which he held or to which he may have been elected shall be deemed vacant.

ARTICLE IV.
    Section 1. The board of trustees shall receive no fees, salaries or other emoluments for their services, unless an ordinance or bill for that purpose be submitted to the legal voters of the town.
    Sec. 2. The Recorder shall receive the same fees as justices of the peace are entitled to by law for similar services.
    Sec. 3. The Marshal shall receive the same fees for his services as constables are now allowed by law for similar services.
    Sec. 4. The other officers provided for in this act or who may be appointed in pursuance thereof, shall receive such percentage or compensation as may be established by ordinance.

ARTICLE V.
    Section 1. The officers elected under this act shall hold their offices for one year and until their successors are duly qualified, the term of office to commence ten days after the annual election; Provided, That persons elected to fill the vacancy shall hold out the unexpired time of the office to which they shall be elected, and until their successors are qualified.
    Sec. 2. When two or more persons shall have equal and the highest number of votes for any office provided for in this act, the board of trustees shall decide the election.
    Sec. 3. All ordinances, resolutions, bills or regulations calling for the appropriation of money, shall lie over for at least ten days.
    Sec. 4. The board of trustees shall have power to levy or collect taxes exceeding one mill per cent, if an ordinance or bill for that purpose be first submitted to the legal voters of the town, after ten days' notice of the time and place of such voting, and the majority of such voters shall vote in favor of such tax.
    Sec. 5. No member of the board of trustees shall, during his term of office, be interested in any contracts, the expenses of which are to be paid out of the town treasury; and all jobs or contracts for constructing, improving, and ornamenting any place or object in town or out of it, the expenses of which are to be paid out of the town treasury, shall be let out to the lowest responsible bidder, and to be done according to the specifications furnished from the proper officer or department of the town government, and which shall have been approved by the board of trustees and made public at least ten days before the closing of the bids for such contract or job.
    Sec. 6. The president of the board of trustees shall at least once in each year, and oftener if he shall deem it expedient, communicate to the board a general statement in writing of the situation of the condition of the town in relation to its general finances and improvements, and recommend to the board the adoption of such measures connected with the police, the security of the public health, the improvement, cleanliness and ornament of the town as he may deem expedient; and he shall perform all such duties as may be prescribed to him by this act and the town ordinance and the laws of this State and the United States, and not inconsistent with either.
    Sec. 7. The fiscal year of the town shall terminate with the second Tuesday of January of each year.
    Sec. 8. The legislative assembly of this State may at any time amend, alter or repeal this charter.
    Sec. 9. The board of trustees shall cause to be posted up in one or more conspicuous places in the town, at least one month before the annual election of each year, a full, complete, and detailed statement of all the moneys received and expended by the town government during the preceding year, and on accounts received, classifying each receipt and expenditure under its appropriate head.
    Sec. 10. The act of incorporation shall be submitted to the electors of the town of Medford, as herein defined, at a medium [meeting] to be called for accepting or rejecting the same; and if a majority of said voters shall be in favor of accepting the same, it shall become a law, and be in full force, and not otherwise.
    Sec. 11. That for the purpose of carrying this act into effect, J. S. Howard, I. J. Phipps, and Isaac Woolf are hereby constituted an organizing board, who shall appoint and give notice of the time and place of voting on the acceptance or reaction of this act; and they shall also appoint three inspectors of the balloting, who shall be qualified, and who shall canvass the vote and make returns to said organizing board, who shall immediately declare the result; and if this act shall be accepted, it shall be the duty of the said organizing board immediately to appoint a time and place, giving ten days notice thereof, for holding an election to elect officers, as herein provided, to hold until the beginning of the next fiscal year after such election, and until their successors are qualified; and the said organizing board shall also appoint three inspectors of such election, who shall canvass the votes cast at such election, and make immediate returns thereof to the said organizing board, who shall thereupon issue certificates of election to the persons having received the highest number of votes for the respective offices for which they were elected.
    Sec. 12. At the election for the acceptance or rejection of this act, and at the first election held under it for the election of officers, all male citizens of the United States over twenty-one years of age, who are actual residents of the town of Medford, as herein defined, on the first day of January, 1885, shall be entitled to vote at the election above provided for; Provided, That all other elections shall be governed by the laws of this State relating to elections.
    Sec. 13. This act shall take effect and be in force in accordance with the provisions of this act.
    Approved February 24, 1885.
The Laws of Oregon, 1885, pages 391-398



Last revised October 10, 2010