Medford Town Charter, 1887
revised October 10, 2010
Incorporate the Town of
Jackson County, Oregon, and Limiting its
Powers and Defining the
Duties of its Officers, and
to Repeal an Act entitled an Act to Incorporate
the Town of Medford in
Jackson County, Oregon, approved
February 24, 1885.
it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon :
Section 1. That
of Jackson county living within the boundaries hereinafter described
are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate by the name of the
town of Medford, and by that name they and their successors shall be
known in law and have perpetual succession with the rights and
privileges hereinafter enumerated:
First—To sue and be
sued, plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended in all courts of
law or equity and in all actions or suits whatever.
Second—They may take
by purchase or gift real and personal property within said town for
public buildings, school purposes and
town improvements, and may take such property in manner aforesaid
within and beyond the limits of the town for cemetery purposes, for the
reception of persons afflicted with contagious diseases, for
workhouses, houses of correction, and for the construction of water
works to supply the town with water, and may lease, sell or dispose of
any such property for the benefit of the town.
general police over said town and provide for the peace, security and
convenience of the inhabitants thereof.
Fourth—They may have
a common seal, break and alter the same and make a new one at pleasure.
foregoing enumeration of rights and privileges does not exclude others
hereinafter expressly or impliedly granted.
Section 2. The
boundary of said town shall be as follows: Commencing at the southwest
corner of the town of Medford, Jackson county, Oregon, as laid down
upon the recorded plat thereof, and running thence north fifty-four
degrees and thirty minutes east (N. 54° 30' E.) along the south
boundary of said town and beyond to the west bank of Bear Creek; thence
northward along the line of said creek to a point from which the
northwest corner of said town of Medford bears south fifty-four degrees
and thirty minutes west (S. 54° 30' W.); thence from said point
south fifty-four degrees thirty minutes west to the northwest corner of
said town; thence south sixty (60) chains; thence east twenty (20)
chains to the township line between ranges 1 and 2 west, township 37
south, intersecting the township line sixty (60) chains south of the
corner to sections 19 and 30, 24 and 25 of township aforesaid; thence
south sixty-eight degrees east 7.00 chains to place of beginning; provided,
that for road purposes all of sections 24 and 25 of
township 37 south, of range 2 west, and sections 19 and 30 in township
37 south, range 1 west, and including the town of Medford, shall
constitute one road district, and the street commissioner of the town
under the direction of the board of trustees shall collect and apply
all road taxes within said road district to the repair and improvement
of roads and streets therein; and provided further, that
residents of said town or district shall not be exempt from the payment
of such road tax as may be imposed by law upon other residents of
Section 3. The
said town shall be vested in a board of trustees consisting of a mayor
and four trustees, a recorder, a treasurer, a marshal and a
commissioner of streets, all of whom shall be qualified voters of the
State of Oregon and residents of the said town for six months next
previous to any election before they can be eligible to any of said
Section 4. The board of
trustees shall assemble within ten days after their election. In case
of the absence of the mayor at the meeting of the board of trustees,
they may elect a mayor pro tem., who shall have
the power and perform the duty of mayor [for] the time. The board shall
fix the time and place of holding their stated meetings and may be
convened by the mayor at any 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
manner and under such penalties as the board may have prescribed. They
shall judge of the qualification, election and return of their own
members and other officers elected under this Act 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 may expel any member or may suspend
any other officer. They shall keep a journal of the proceedings of the
board and at the desire of any member present shall cause the yeas and
nays to be taken on any question and entered on the journals. All
meetings of the board of trustees shall be public.
Section 5. It shall be the duty
of the board of trustees to devise and adopt all such measures and
regulations connected with the police, security, peace, cleanliness,
improvement and ornament, public health, prosperity and welfare and the
regulation of the finances and public expenditures of the town as shall
be expedient and not in violation of the laws of this State or of the
United States. Each of such measures shall be promulgated and carried
into effect by means of an ordinance; provided, that
money may be paid without the adoption of an ordinance.
Section 6. The board of
trustees shall have power—
To adopt resolutions and by-laws and make ordinances not repugnant to
the laws of this State or of the United States.
To levy and collect taxes not to exceed ten mills on the dollar upon
all property made taxable by law for State and county purposes; provided,
that a tax not exceeding twenty mills on the dollar may
be levied by the board of trustees whenever they shall be so authorized
by a majority of the legal voters of said town, in the manner
hereinafter specified ; and provided further, that
no more than one tax shall be levied in any one year.
To make regulations and ordinances; 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.
To license, tax and regulate auctioneers, hawkers, peddlers, brokers,
pawnbrokers and money-changers.
To license, tax, regulate, restrain, suppress or prohibit theatricals
and other exhibitions, shows and other amusements, barrooms, saloons,
liquor or other groceries, tippling houses, gaming and gaming
billiard tables and bowling alleys, and to suppress bawdy houses; provided,
that no less amount shall be required or demanded for a
license to keep a bar-room, saloon or place where intoxicating or other
liquors are sold, bartered or disposed of than is or may be required
under the laws of this State for a county or State license to do the
To license and tax mercantile and business houses, hotels, grocery
stores, livery stores [stables], barber shops, eating houses, drummers,
commercial travelers, the selling of goods by sample,
and also such other different branches of business as in their judgment
should be licensed; provided, that no person
having paid a license to the town for carrying on any business or
traffic named in the fourth, fifth and sixth clauses herein shall be
compelled to pay for a license from the county or State for the same
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, stables and other places; to prevent, remove and
secure any fireplace, stove, chimney, oven or boiler, or other
apparatus which may be dangerous in causing fire, and to provide for
the prevention and extinguishment of fires.
To provide a workhouse and a house of correction for the reception of
vagrants and vicious persons, and to provide rules and regulations for
the government thereof.
To remove all obstructions from the public highways, streets,
sidewalks, crosswalks and sewers, and to provide for the construction,
grading, filling, repairing and cleaning of such highways, streets,
sidewalks, crosswalks and sewers, and to condemn the premises
adjacent thereto for the price or cost of any such construction,
grading, filling, repairing and cleaning.
To prevent and restrain any riot, disturbance or disorderly assemblage
in any street, house or place in the town, and to provide for the
public security, peace and tranquility.
To provide for the collection and disbursing of all moneys to which the
town may become entitled or which may be assessed or authorized to be
collected for town purposes, and to appropriate money for any item of
town expenditure, and to provide for the payment of the debts and
expenses of the town.
To provide punishment by fine and imprisonment and hard labor for any
violation of any ordinance, but no fine shall exceed one hundred
dollars, and no person convicted of the violation of an ordinance shall
be imprisoned or placed at hard labor except in default
of the payment of any
such fine and costs, and such term of imprisonment and labor shall not
exceed one day for every two dollars of such fine and costs.
To provide for the levy and 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 streets.
To organize fire and hook and ladder companies and control and regulate
the fire department of the town.
To appoint the commissioner of streets, prescribe his duties, fix his
compensation and dismiss him and appoint a successor at any time, and
to appoint a town attorney and prescribe his duties and fix his
Section 7. Every ordinance and
regulation to be effective shall be passed by a. vote of a majority of
all the members elected to the board of trustees and the vote shall be
by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for or against
every ordinance and regulation shall be entered in the journal.
Section 8. All demands and
accounts against the town shall be audited by the board of trustees and
paid by the treasurer on a warrant of the mayor attested by the clerk.
Section 9. The style of an
ordinance shall be " The people of the town of Medford do ordain as
Section 10. It shall be the
duty of the mayor to preside at all meetings of the board of trustees,
but he shall not vote except in case of a tie, when he shall cast the
controlling vote. He 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 and condition of the town in relation to
its general finances and improvements, and to recommend to the board
the adoption of such measures connected with the police, the
of the public health, the improvements, cleanliness and ornament of the
town as he shall deem expedient.
Section 11. No member of the
board of trustees shall while in office be interested in any contract,
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 the town or out of it, the expenses of which are to be
paid out of the town treasury, shall be let to the lowest responsible
bidder, to be done according to the specifications to be furnished, 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 job or
Section 12 The board of
trustees shall have power to levy and collect taxes exceeding ten mills
on the dollar and not exceeding twenty mills on the dollar if an
ordinance for that purpose be first submitted
to the legal voters
of the town ten days after notice of the time and place of such voting
and a majority of such voters shall vote in favor of the adoption of
Section 13. The recorder shall
have all the power and jurisdiction of a justice of the peace in all
civil and criminal matters, and in all proceedings, whether civil or
criminal, he shall be governed by the laws relating to the justices of
the peace in this State. He shall also have original and exclusive
jurisdiction over all violations of town ordinances and may examine,
hold to bail, try and determine any question involved therein and
render such judgment as shall be proper, and fine or commit persons
found guilty of a violation of any of said ordinances. He shall be ex-officio
clerk of the board of trustees.
Section 14. It shall be the
duty of the marshal 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 meetings of the board
trustees when requested to do so. He shall arrest on complaint or
otherwise all persons guilty of a breach of the peace within the
boundaries of said town, or of a violation of any ordinance and bring
them before the recorder for trial, and be a conservator of the peace
generally. He shall also obey such requirements as may be made of him
by the board of trustees.
Section 15. It shall be the
duty of the treasurer to receive all moneys that shall come or be due
to said town, whether by taxation or otherwise, and to pay out the same
in the manner provided by law, and to perform all such other acts as
shall be prescribed 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 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 money and other property in his
hands belonging to the town.
Section 16. 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 the leave of the board of trustees, or shall fail to qualify
within ten days after his election or appointment, the office to which
he may have been elected or appointed shall be vacant.
Section 17. A general election
shall be held on the first Tuesday of January in each year, at which
election all the officers provided
for in this Act, excepting commissioner of streets and town attorney,
shall be elected.
Section 18. 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 elections. The elections shall be
conducted according to the provisions of the law regulating general
elections in this State. If any person appointed inspector of election
shall fail to attend at the time and place fixed the electors present
may select an inspector in his stead. The returns of all elections
shall be made to the board of trustees, who within ten days after such
election shall publicly examine the returns and declare the result
thereof and give certificates of election to the persons having a
plurality of votes.
Section 19. When two or more
persons shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for any
office provided for in this Act, the board of trustees shall decide the
Section 20. All vacancies
occurring from any cause in any office of the town or in the term of
any office shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment by the
board of trustees at any regular or called meeting thereof.
Section 21. All elections under
this Act shall be opened at 9 o'clock in the forenoon and kept open
until 5 o'clock in the afternoon.
Section 22. 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 appointed to fill vacancies shall hold the unexpired term of
the office to which they shall have been appointed and until their
successors are qualified.
Section 23. The
board of trustees and the members thereof shall receive no fees,
salary, or emolument for their services unless an ordinance for that
purpose be first submitted to the legal voters of the town upon ten
days' notice previously given.
Section 24. The recorder shall
receive the same fees as justices of the peace are entitled by law to
receive for services of a similar nature.
25. The marshal shall receive the same fees for his services as
constables are now allowed by law for similar services.
Section 26. The other officers
provided for in this Act or which may be appointed in pursuance thereof
shall receive such percentages, fees or compensation as may be
established by ordinance.
Section 27. The fiscal year of
the town shall terminate on the second Tuesday of January of each year.
Section 28. The legislative
assembly may at any time alter, amend or repeal this Act.
Section 29. All Acts and parts
of Acts in conflict herewith are hereby repealed;
the provisions of
an Act entitled "An Act to incorporate
the town of Medford," approved February 24, 1885, shall
continue in force until this Act takes effect, and in so far as the
provisions of this Act are in harmony with that this shall be construed
as a continuation thereof.
Section 30. No right which
shall have accrued under and in pursuance of the provisions of said
former Act shall be injuriously affected by this.
Section 31. This Act shall take
effect and be in force from and after the 15th day of March, A. D. 1887.
Approved February 21, 1887.
The Laws of Oregon, 1887,