The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Medford Town Charter, 1887

To Incorporate the Town of Medford in 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.

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

    Section 1. That the inhabitants 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.
    Third—Exercise a 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.
    Fifth—The 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 Jackson county.

    Section 3. The government of 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 offices.
    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—
    1. To adopt resolutions and by-laws and make ordinances not repugnant to the laws of this State or of the United States.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. To license, tax and regulate auctioneers, hawkers, peddlers, brokers, pawnbrokers and money-changers.
    5. 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 houses, 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 same thing.
    6. 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 business.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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 de
fault 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.
    13. 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.
    14. To organize fire and hook and ladder companies and control and regulate the fire department of the town.
    15. 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 compensation.
    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 follows:"
    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 security 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 contract.
    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 such ordinance.
    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 of 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 election.
    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.
    Section 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; provided, that 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, pages 322-329

Last revised October 10, 2010