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should be transacted by written resolutions, regularly put to vote in the customary manner; and where, for any reason, the result cannot be accurately ascertained, the numbers voting for or against any resolution should be determined by a count, or by ayes and noes. For this purpose it would be well for the clerk to have always in readiness a list of the legal voters of the district, with a series of columns attached, to designate the manner in which each person votes on any question that may be submitted. When the site is to be changed in a district that has not been altered, the law specifically requires the vote to be taken by ayes and nays. Such lists may be in the following form :
On change of On motion toon resolut'n On resolut'n Names of Voters.
site of sch'll build school to raise tax to raise tax house. house.
of $150. for apparat. Ayes. Nays. Ayes. Na ayes. Nays. | Ayes. (Nays. John Morehouse, ... Jacob Curtis, ... Thomas Budd, ...... William Carro Henry Beltis, Frederick Hough,..
3. MODE OF KEEPING MINUTES AND RECORDS FOTHE PROCEEDING'S
The person acting as clerk should keep accurate minutes of the proceedings on loose sheets of paper; and before the meeting is finally adjourned these minutes should be read and approved by the meeting, and signed by the moderator and clerk, and afterwards transferred into the record book of the district. The following general form may be used for this purpose : ,
Form of Minutes to be kept by the District Clerk, of proceedings
of District Meetings. At a meeting of the legal voters of school district number in the town of held pursuant to adjournment, at on the day of 18 (or if it be the annual meeting, say “at an, an. nual meeting of, &c. held pursuant to appointment and public notice, at," 8c. Or if it be a special meeting, say, “at a special meeting of, &c. called by the trustees of said district, and held pur. ruant to special notice, at, &c. on the day of, gc.,) A
B. was chosen moderator, and C. D. was present as district clerk, (or if the clerk be not present, say E. F. was appointed clerk pro. tem. the district clerk being absent.)
Resolved unanimously, (or by a majority of votes present, as the case may be,) [here enter the proceedings of the district in the forir of resolutions, and with as much precision and certainty as possible.]
Where the subject of a change of site in an unaltered district has been under discussion, and a determination • had by the district, in the manner prescribed by law, the proceedings should be particularly recorded, in the following form : At a meeting of the legal voters of district No. in the town of
held at the school-house, in pursuance of notice to all the legal voters therein, on the day of 18 , A. B. was chosen moderator, and C. D. was present as district clerk, (or E. F. was appointed clerk pro tem. the district clerk being absent.) The written consent of the Town Superintendent of common schools of the town having been read, stating that in his opinion the removal of the site of the school house in said district is necessary: And it hay. ing been moved and seconded that the present site of the school house in the said district be changed, and that the northeast corner of lot No. 10 in the said town, (or of the farm now occupied by A. B. on the N. E. corner, formed by the intersection of two certain roads, &c. describing them,) be designated as the site of a school house for the said district, and the question taken by ayes and noes, it was carried, two-thirds of all those present at such special meet. ing voting for such removal, and in favor of such new site: Those who voted in the affirmative were John Morehouse, Thos. Budd. Wm. Carroll and Frederick Hough; those who voted in the negative, were Jacob Curtis and Henry Bettis. Ayes 4.
Noes 2. [In stating the ayes and noes, the christian names of the voters should be given. ]
[Or, and the question being taken by ayes and noes, it was lost, two-thirds of all those present at the meeting not voting in favor thereof. The votes are then to be stated as before.]
After changing the site of the school-house, in the manner before prescribed, the voters of the district, at the same or any subsequent meeting, may pass a resolution, by a majority of those present, in the ordinary mode, directing the trustees to sell the house, according to No. 88 ante.
4. QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS. Great difficulty has been heretofore experienced in as. certaining the requisite legal qualifications for voters in
school district meetings. The act of 1841 has removed this difficulty by defining them particularly, and has pointed out the means of ascertaining the right of any individual to vote in such meetings, by a challenge, $ 7, 8, 9, (Nos. 71, 72, 73.)
The following general qualifications are required in all cases :
1. The voter must be a male. 2. Of full age, that is, twenty-one years old, or more. 3. He must be an actual resident of the district.
In addition to the above, the voter must possess one or other of the following qualifications :
4. He must be entitled by law to hold land in this state, and must own or hire real property in the district, subject to taxation for school purposes; or,
5. He must be authorized to vote at town meetings of the town in which the district, or part of a district is situated-must have paid a rate bill for teachers' wages in the district within one year preceding, or must have paid a district tax within two years preceding, or must own personal property liable to be taxed for school purposes in the district, exceeding fifty dollars in value, exclusive of what is exempt from execution.
Under the above 4th division are included two classes of persons—citizens owning or hiring real property, subject to taxation, and aliens not naturalized, who have filed the affidavit prescribed by § 16 of title 1, chap. 1, part 2, Rov. Stat. of their intention to become citizens, and of having taken the necessary incipient measures for that purpose, and who own or hire real property in the district subject to taxation for school purposes. It does not ex. tend to those who have personal property, but neither own nor hire real property. The provision was intended to meet the case of residents, who, although not entitled to vote at town meetings, may have a strong interest in the proceedings of district school meetings.
In reference to the above 5th division, those“ citizens of the several towns in this state, qualified by the Constitution to vote for elective officers," are included, provided they possess the other requisite qualifications. Of course, persons claiming to vote at district meetings under this qualification must have been inhabitants of the state for one year, of the county for six months immediately preceding, and must then be actual residents of the town. To these must be added some one of the qualifications above specified in division 5. By $98 and 9, Nos. 72 and 73,) it is provided that “If any person offering to vote at any school district meeting, shall be challenged as unqualified by any legal voter in such district, the chairman presiding at such meeting shall require the person so offering, to make the following declaration : “I do declare and affirm that I am an actual resident of this school district, and that I am qualified to vote at this meeting." And every person making such declaration shall be permitted to vote on all questions proposed at such meeting ; but if any person shall refuse to make such declaration, his vote shall be rejected.
“Every person who shall wilfully make a false declaration of his right to vote at a district meeting, upon being challenged as herein before provided, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding one year, nor less than six months, at the discretion of the court; and any person voting at any school district meeting without being qualified, shall, on conviction, be subject to a fine of ten dollars, to be sued for and recovered by the trustees of the district for its use, and with costs of suit, before any justice of the peace.”
5. RECONSIDERATION OF PROCEEDINGS. The inhabitants of school districts may reconsider and repeal, alter and modify their proceedings at any time before they have been carried into effect, either wholly ar in part. But the intention to do so, should be explicitly set forth in the notice of the meeting called for that purpose. When, however, contracts have actually been entered into, liabilities incurred, or expenditures of money had, in the prosecution of any measure directed by the district, a reconsideration will not be sanctioned, as no means exist to indemnify those who may be the losers thereby.
6. TAXES SHOULD BE SPECIFICALLY VOTED.
Where a tax is voted by the inhabitants for any purpose, the specific amount of the tax, and the particular purpose for which it is designed, should be fully and clearly stated. And where several objects of expenditure are to be provided for, the amount to be raised for each should be expressed in the resolution, in order that the district and the trustees may know the precise extent of their liability, and the mode of its application. There may be cases, however, where the necessary amount to be raised, cannot be ascertained with any approach to accuracy; and in such cases the district may direct the performance of specific acts by the trustees, or authorize them to incur such expenses as may be necessary to the accomplishment of a particular object to be specified ; and the trustees are then authorized by. 8.14, of the act of 1841, (No. 127,) to raise such amount by tax upon the district in the same manner as if the definite sum to be raised had been voted. This general delegation of authority should, however, be resorted to only in cases of necessity.
7. DESIGNATION OF SITE OF SCHOOL-HOUSE.
When the site of a school-house is to be fixed, it should be designated with distinctness and precision. It is very common in many of the districts to vote a site in general terms, as at or near a particular spot, between two points, or by other equally vague descriptions; and in some instances the precise location has been left to the discretion of the trustees, or of a committee appointed for that purpose. All this is directly contrary to law. The inhabitants in district meeting assembled, are “ to designate a site for a district school-house,” and this designation must be sufficiently explicit, and must be described by metes and bounds, or other known and permanent landmarks, to enable the trustees to locate the site, and to contract for and receive a title to the same; and the best rule will be to make such a description as would be required in a deed of the premises.