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An Act to incorporate the Town of Vernon, Jennings County, Indiana.
(APPROVED JANUARY 22, 1851.]
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, That the inhabitants of so much of the county of Jennings as is contained within the peninsula or circular bend of the Muscatatuck river, including th: Town of Vernon, and to high water mark on the opposite banks of said stream, and so much of the Isthmus or narro ys as is embraced in the south-east quarter of section three, town six, range eight east, and eat of Sandford's Branch, are hereby declared to be a body corporate and politic, by the name and style of the town of Vernon, and by that name shall be and are invested with all the powers and privileges appertaining to bodies corporate and politic with perpetual succession.
Sec. 2, That' for the purposes of organization and taxation the bounds of said corporation shall extend only one hundred and thirtytwo feet south of South street, and to a line parallel to the same, and to a line, parallel with and three hundred feet west of Water street. The territory within said bounds shall be divided into five wards, by lines running through said corporation, east and west, parallel with the centres of Washington, Jackson, Brown and Gaines streets: the territory south of Washington street shall constitute the first ward : from thence to Jackson street the second ward : from thence to Brown street the third ward : from thence to Gaines street the fourth ward : and from thence to the north line of the corporation the fifth ward: Provided, That whenever the mayor and council may deem it necessary, they may alter or increase the number thereof.
Sec. 3. There shall be an election holden in the court house in Vernon on the second Monday of March, 1851, and annually thereafter, for the purpose of electing a mayor, one councilman for each ward, who shall be a resident therein, a recorder, a marshal, an assessor, a treasurer, and a street commissioner for said corpora. tion, who shall respectively hold their offices for one year, and a until their successors are elected and qualified, at which election each person having the qualifications to vote for state and county officers and shall have resided within the bounds of said corporation, for three months next preceding any election shall be entitled to vote at the same.
Sec. 4. The mayor and council shall cause ten days previous notice of any election by publishing the same in some newspaper printed in said town, or by putting up written notices at some public place in each ward, designating the time and place of such election: the mayor, councilmen and assessor shall be qualified voters ond resident free-holders within the wards of said corporation.
Sec. 5. The councilman of the first ward shall, if present, be the inspector of elections, and in his absence either of the other council. men may be inspector, who slall call to his assistance two qualified voters, who shall be judges of said election, and they shall appoint two clerks, and after having been sworn or affirmed faithfully to discharge their duties, (which oath or affirmation may be administered by the inspector to the judges and clerks and by one of the judges to the inspector,) they shall proceed to receive votes, between the hours of 11 o'clock A. M. and 4 o'clock P. M. And it shall be the duty of the inspector and judges of said election to certify under their hands and seals to the persons who receive the highest number of votes together with the offices to which they were severally elected, which certificates shall be delivered to the recorder to be by him filed and recorded and whose duty it shall be to give to each person 60 elected a certificate of his election: in case there be a tie between any persons at said election the result shall be determined by lot to be drawn by the judges.
Sec. 6. For the purpose of conducting the first election it is hereby made the duty of ihe aaditor of Jennings county to give the notice required by this act, and the inspector shall be elected by the qualified voters who may be present at the time of opening the polls, who may call to his assistance such officers as may be necessary to constitute the board. Said board shall in all l'espects, in regard 10 said election, be governed by the preceding articles, and shall forthwith give to each person elected a certificate of the same under their hands and seals.
Sec. 7. Should there be a vacancy in the office of mayor, the council shall immediately order an election to fill such vacancy and give notice of the same. The mayor and council are authorized to fill by appointment any vacancy which may happen in any of the other offices until the next annual election.
Sec. 8. The officers elected as above shall meet within ten days after such election, and take an oath, faithfully, diligently, and im
partially to discharge their respective duties as such officers: and the mayor, marshal, treasurer, and street commissioner, shall each enter into bond with surely to be approved by the council, in such sums as they shall direct, for tl.e faithful performance of their duties and for the proper application of all moneys which may come into their hands as such otficers, upon which bonds suits may be brought for the use of the corporation or any person or persons aggrieved.
Sec. 9. A majority of the council shall form a quorum and meet Opon their own adjournment. The mayor, or in his absence the recorder, may call special meetings of the council, and when met shall have full power to enact and publish all such laws and ordinances as to them shall seem necessary relative to the regulation of the streets, alleys and highways, and in keeping the same in repair in such manner as they shall deem advisable: and for the erection of market houses, regulating markets, and for restraining swine from running at large within the bounds of the corporation : and for the preservation and safety of buildings, for cleaning chimnies: for preventing and extinguishing fires within the limits of said corporation; for setting out shade trees and protecting the same; to impose reasonable fines upon all persons transgressing against the laws and ordinances of the corporation; and to enact and publish all such other laws and ordinances as the said council may deem necessary and proper for the health, safety cleanliness, convenience and good government of said corporation and the inhabitants thereof, not contrary to the constitution and laws of the United States nor of the state of Ina diana. Provided, That all laws and ordinances which shall be passed by said council shall be published at length on the door of the court house or at some public place in the town of Vernon, or in some newspaper published in said town at least ten days, after which said laws and ordinances shall be in force until repealed or modified by the proper authority.
Sec. 10. It shall be the duty of the mayor to preside at the meer. ings of the council and in case of a rie to give the casting vote, and in his absence the council shall elect a president pro tem. of their own number, lo sign all laws, ordinances and decrees of a public nature, also to sign all the by-laws and minutes of their proceedings The mayor shall exercise all the powers and duties of a justice of the peace of Jennings county, both in civil and criminal cases, and he shall be governed in the exercise of these duties in all respects by the laws of the state regulating the duties and jurisdiction of justices of the peace. He shall also have cognizance and jurisdiction of all violations of the ordinances of the corporation and upon his owo knowledge or upon complaint made upon oath by any competent witness that any person has violated any ordinance it shall be his duty to institute an action of debt in the name of the corporation against the person accused of such violation by issuing his warriot directed to the marshal commanding him to bring such person before him to answer such accusation or complaint, and if the charge shall be sustained by competent testimony he shall render judgment against the delendant for the suin prescribed in the ordinances of the corporation for such violation with costs, and from such judgment an appeal may be had to the circuit court of said county, or execution may be stayed for sixty days; and all executions when issued shall be returnable in thirty days, and in these proceedings, and in all other proceedings necessary to enforce such judgment ihe mayor shall be governed by the laws of the state regulating the jurisdiction and duties of justices of the peace in criminal cases, and the marshal shall be governed by the laws regulating the duties of constables in similar cases, with the exceptions herein expressed.
Sec. 11. During the absence or disability of the mayor, o: in case of a vacancy in the office of mavor, any justice of the peace of said town may pertorin his judicial duties.
Sec. 12. It shall be the dury of the marshal to suppress all riots, distur' ances, and breaches of the peace, and to apprehend all riotous and disorderly persons or distui bers of the peace, and forth with convey them before the mayor; and, in case of resistance, it shall be lawful for him to command the aid of any bystanders in apprehending and conveying such oftender to the mayor's office, and it shall be the duty of the mayor Iorihwith 10 hear aud determine such coinplaint; or the marshal shall be authorized to arrest and commit to the jail of the county any person or persons who may be disturbing the peace of the town, and who shall reluse 10 desist from such disturbance at his request or command; but such imprisonment shall not exceed in duration, at any one time, niore than twelve hours. It shall be the duty of the marshal to receive and execute all process issued by the mayor, and he shall have all the authority of a constable, and shall be governed in his oflicial acts by the laws of the state regulating the duties of constables, and shall have a right to charge and collect the same sees as are allowed to constables for similar services.
Sec. 13. The recorder shall attend all meetings of the council, and keep a record of their proceedings in a book kept for that purpose; enter in said book all laws and ordinances passed by said council, and attest the same; draw warrants on the treasurer for allowances made by the council, and enter them inmediately in a book to be kept for that purpose; and perform such other duties as may be required of him by the inayor and council.
Sec. 14. The mayor and council shall make auch allowances to the assessor, recorder, treasurer, and any other officers they may appoint, as to themi shall appear just and reasonable,
Sec. 15. The mayor and council shall be allowed the use of the jail of Jennings county for the confinement o: all such persons as shall be liable to imprisonment, and all persons so imprisoned shall be in charge of the keeper of said jail until discharged by due course of law.
Sec. 16. All bonds given to the corporation, all contracts entered
in to with the corporation, and all suits for or against the corporation, shall be in the name of the town of Vernon.
Sec. 17. The mayor and council may adopt such by-laws and regulations for their own government, and impose such fine upon members for a breach of the same as they may deem advisable, and a majority of all the council elect may expel a member for disorderly or improper conduct.
Sec. 18. The mayor and council shall have power to levy and collect, annually, from each male inhạbitant of the corporation between the ages of twenty-one and fifty years, a poll tax not exceeding one dollar, and on real estate a tax not exceeding one per cen. tum on its valuation, and also on personal property, not exceeding one-third of one per centum, for the use of the corporation: Provided, that no poll tax shall be levied so long as the state law authorizes a levy for road purposes upon polls.
Sec. 19. It shall be the duty of the assessor, annually, in the month of April, to call upon each and every person residing within the taxable part of said corporation, for a list of his, her, or their real and personal property within the same, the value of which he shall enter in his assessment roll, opposite the name of the owner or person liable to be taxed, designating in separate columns the value of the real estate, with its appropriate description, and the aggregate value of each person's personal property, the whole to be valued at a fair cash valuation. And for the purpose of ascertaining the value of lands, lots or parts of lots, with iheir improvements, the assessor shall, in the year 1851, and biennially thereafter, call to his assist. nnce two discreet resident freeholders, who, after being sworn faithfully and impartially to discharge their duties as such, shall, with said assessor, proceed to value the same. And should any person neglect or refuse to give in the value of his personal property, or the property in his possession liable to be taxed, when so called on, the assessor shall estinate the value thereof from the best information he can obtain, which shall be conclusive against all residents; and when he cannot obtain the name of the owner of any property, he shall enter the same on his book as unknown. And said assessor shall, on or before the first Monday in May, make return of his assessment roll to the recorder of said corporation, which shall be a lien upon the property so assessed for the tax of the current year, from and alter the first Monday of April, until paid.
Sec. 20. It shall be the duty of the recorder to enter in a book to be provided for that purpose, a copy of said assessment roll, and to enter in a column opposite each person's name the amount of tax levied against him, her or them for the current year, and from this record he shall make a fair duplicate and deliver the same to the marshal on or before the first day of June, which, when signed by the mayor and attested by the recorder, shall be sufficient authority for collecting the taxes on the same.