George Crane Morehouse.

The supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe online

. (page 43 of 96)
Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 43 of 96)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


bers of the board of town auditors and justices of the peace, or the members of
common councils, or trustees of cities or villages; to report in writing to the board
of town auditors, at their annual meeting, and to the common council or trustees
of cities or villages on April 1 of each year, the date, number and amount of all
bonds and interest coapons paid by them and canceled during the past year and
since their last report, and shall, at the same time and place, produce and deliver
to said boards said bonds and coupons canceled by them, taking a receipt therefor,
which shall set forth the date, number and amount of each bond or coupon; to
file with the town clerk a duplicate thereof. Said boards are required to indorse
upon said report received by them from the commissioners, that the said bonds
and coupons mentioned therein, duly canceled, were so received, and if all or any
of them are not so received, so state in the indorsement, and then deposit said
canceled bonds and coupons, with their report, in the county clerk's office.

Laws of 1877, chap. 849, 5 4; 1 E. S. 881, § 4.

The above section does not apply to or affect the town of Orleans in Jefferson
county, or any officer thereof, or any money raised by tax on the property therein,
or to any bonds except such as were given under the act of April 2, 1850, and
chapter 907, Laws of 1869.

Nor does it apply to Oswego, Madison, Erie, Orleans, Niagara or Genesee
counties.

§ 468. Board of To-wn Auditors to Prescribe
Bond of Railroad Commissioners and Ap-
prove Sureties.

The railroad commissioners, before entering upon their duties, and before re-
ceiving any funds, are required to make and deliver a bond in such penalty and
with such sureties as said board of town auditors prescribe.

Laws of 1878, chap. 720, 1 1 ; 1 B. S. 879.
Also the Supervisor's Bond, see § 23, ante.



Auditing of Accounts. 389

§ 469. Duty on Vote of Town to Levy a Tax
for the Purpose of Buying and Canceling
Tovrn Bonds, etc.

Any town or incorporated village in this State having issued its bonds, or that
may hereafter issue its bonds, under the provisions of law, which are a valid
debt of said town or village, to mature or become due in a specified period of time,
may, by vote, at any annual town meeting or charter election, raise, by tax levied
upon the taxable property of said town or village, such sum as may be specified
by said vote, for the purpose of buying and canceling said bonds, or the purpose
of providing a sinking fund for the ultimate payment of said bonds.

Laws of 1874, ciiap. 410, § 1 ; 1 R. S. 868.

The town board, consisting of the supervisor, town clerk and justices of the
peace in towns, or the village trustees in villages, shall meet at least twenty
■days before the annual town meeting, or the annual village election, and shall de-
termine, by a majority of said board, what amount shall be annually raised for
the above purpose, and the form of the ballot, and the manner of voting; and
shall give notice of such voting, by posting at least five notices in public places
in said town or village, setting forth the time of such voting, the amount to be
raised, and the purpose for which the same is raised; and the result of such vote
shall be operative until the same shall be changed by a vote of said electors,
taken in a similar manner at a subsequent election.

Id., § 2.

The money so raised shall be used to buy and cancel the said bonds, provided
"the same can be purchased at their par value; or, in case said bonds cannot be so
purchased, said money shall be paid over to the county treasurer of the county,
who shall loan the same at seven per cent per annum interest secured by mort-
gage on unincumbered real estate, for a period of time equal to the time said
bonds have to run, or invest the same in bonds of the State of New York or of
the United States, and at the maturity of said town or village bonds, said money
shall be applied to the payment of said bonds. And the supervisor of such town,
or president of the trustees of said village, shall be charged with the duty of re-
■ceiving said money from the county treasurer, giving security for the same in
double the amount received ; and of purchasing or paying said bonds, and
canceling the same in the presence of said town board or village trustees, as the
case may be.

Id., §3; IB. S. 868.

§ 470. Old Bonds may be Paid up or Retired
lay Issuing' New Bonds.

In 1886 by chapter 316, an act was passed by which any valid indebtedness of a
town, county, village or city, might be paid up or retired by the issue of new
lionds. The act may be found in full, ante, x>. 38.

See chapter XV, post.

§ 471. Bonds Need not be Audited.

Such obligations do not require to be allowed and audited by the board of au-
ditors It il the dutv of the town to provide means for the payment of its bonds,
kwfuilv issued In case of failure to perform this duty, the holder of the bonds
mTy ma^ntaTn an action against the town thereon, and this, although by the act
Srwhich they were islued, it is made the duty of the board of supervisors to
impose and levy a tax to pay the bonds.

Marsh V. Town of Little Valley, 64 N. Y. 112.



390 Supervisors' Manual.

§ 472. Gospel and School IiOt Funds.

The board of auditors in each town shall annually report the state of the ao
counts of the trustees of the gospel and school lots in that town, to the inhabit'
ants thereof, at their annual town meeting.

2 B. S. 1203, ; 4.
The supervisor is " trustee " of said funds.

§ 473. " Town Notes," so Called.

It is a very common practice, especially in relation to roads and bridges, for the-
town board and other officers to give promissory notes, or " town notes," as they
call them, for various claims, signing them with their own names and their offi-
cial designation.

They seem to be under the impression that they have a legal right to do so, and
that such obligations bind the town therefor, and that the town is " back of them."

Public officers have such powers as, and no others than, are conferred by
statutes. If they go beyond these, their acts bind themselves individually, but
do not bind the town, or county. If it was intended to give such officers power
to contract debts, issue notes or other obligations, in behalf of towns, or counties,,
some statute must exist therefor. It would be wise for such officers to examin»
the statutes and see if any such exist, allowing them to malie, at their pleasure,
"town notes." The following decisions may be of interest.

The board of supervisors cannot make bills of exchange.

Chemung Canal Bank v. Board of Supervisors of Ctienango Co., 6 Denio, 517.

Highway commissioners have no power to contract a debt against a town by-
borrowing for the repair of roads and bridges.

Barker v. Loomis, 6 Hill, 463.

Orders drawn at the request of the overseer of the poor, by the board of town,
auditors upon the supervisors and accepted by them, create no liability against tbo
town.

Osterhoudt v. Eigney, 98 N. Y. 222.
A note by highway commissioners, purporting to bind them in their official
capacity, is not binding on their successors.

Van Alstyne v. Freday, 41 N. Y. 174 ; Barker v. Loomis, 6 Hill, 468.

The duty of the highway commissioners in repairing roads and bridges and
keeping them in repair is co-ordinate only with the means furnished as prescribed
by statute and does not authorize, either expressly or by implication, the incur-
rence of any debt or obligation upon the part of the town.

People, exrel. Everett, v. Board of Supervisors, 93 N. Y. 897.

In order to make a judgment against the highway commissioners a to wn charge,
it must have been recovered upon a liability incurred by them acting within the
scope of their avthority, and in such case, the claim therefor must be presented
to be passed upon and audited by the town board of auditors.
Id.

Where a bridge is carried away by a freshet, after the town meeting, the high-
way commissioners, provided they lume the consent of the board of town auditors,
are authorized to contract to pay for rebuilding the bridge upon the completion
thereof.

Boots V. Washburn, 79 N. Y. 207.
It seems that the consent of the board to rebuild must first be obtained before a.
legal contract could be made by the highway commissioners.
Id. 211.

Where public officers exceed their powers they are individually responsible to
those with whom they contract, if any responsibility is thereby created.

People, ex rel. Everett, v. Supervisors, 93 N. T. 397; Mygatt v. Washburn, 16 id.

816.



Auditing of Accounts. 391

M., a county treasurer, being in default in the payment of the State tax levied
upon his county, executed two notes in his name of office purporting to be by au-
thority of the board of supervisors, but without any actual authority from that
body. These notes were discounted by plaintiff, the proceeds credited in the in-
dividual account of M. and paid out on his checks to the State treasurer to apply
on his account with that officer. Held, that an action was not maintainable
against the board of supervisors to recover the amount as for so much money had
and received by the county for its benefit and use; that the indebtedness to the
State discharged by the money procured from plaintiff, was not that of the county
but of M. ; but that conceding it to have been a county indebtedness, plaintiff, hav-
ing voluntarily furnished M. with the means to discharge the debt, without any
request or promise to pay on the part of the county, did not thereby become its
creditor and no liability on its part was created.

Nat. Bk. of Ballstou Spa v. Board of Supervisors, 106 N. T. 488.

In December, 1887, the ten supervisors elected from, the city of Auburn drew
upon the city treasurer an order, of which the following is a copy:

"$21,550. Auburn, N. Y., Dec. 27, 1887.

'• City Treasurer of the City of Auburn, on or before February 8, 1888, pay to
railroad commissioners of city of Auburn, or order, twenty-one thousand five
hundred and fifty dollars."

The order was delivered to the commissioners, two of whom, as such, sub-
scribed their names to an indorsement, making it payable to the First National
Bank of Auburn for deposit, and delivered it so indorsed to the cashier of that
bank, who afterward, on January 12, 1888, indorsed and transferred the order to
the National Exchange Bank of Auburn. The First National Bank suspended
payment January 33, 1888. The city treasurer having refused, after its maturity,
to pay the amount of the order to the National Exchange Bank, a motion was
made by it for a writ of mandamus requiring such payment to be made.

The sum of money mentioned in the order was levied by the board of super-
visors of Cayuga county in December, 1887, to pay the interest, which became
due in 1888, upon certain bonds of the city which had been issued in aid of the
construction of a railroad, and was embraced in the moneys which, by the war-
rants then issued by the board to the city treasurer, he was authorized and
directed to collect.

The statute, pursuant to which the amount of money in question was issued,
directed that when collected it was to be paid to the railroad commissioners,
while the warrants issued to the city treasurer directed payment to the super-
visors of the city of Auburn, of the sums mentioned in them.

Setd, that the commissioners were the proper depositary of the money, and that
the direction contained in the warrants did not have the legal effect of diverting
the fund from its legitimate destination; that, as the drawers of the order were
not entitled to the money, and as their order to any person other than the com-
missioners would not entitle the payee to it, the order did not create an indebted-
ness on the part of the city to the commissioners: that the city members of the
board of supervisors had no authority to make, nor had the commissioners au-
thority to transfer, by indorsement, a negotiable bill of exchange, nor was their
power to make and transfer it supported by presumption, as all their powers were
given by statute; that the order, as indorsed and delivered to the First National
Bank, gave to the bank no title to the draft, or to the fund to be covered by it;
but, at most, was a mere authority to receive the money from the treasurer, when
it should be received or collected by him, for deposit in behalf of the commis-
sioners and for their use; that an order denying the motion for a writ of mandamus
should be affirmed.

People, exrel. Nat. Exoh. Bk., v. Stupp, 49 Hun, 554.

Excess of Excise Bf oneys.— If the yearly receipts of
excise moneys are in excess of the amount required to support the



392 Supervisors' Manual.

poor, the town board may expend tlie balance thereof on other
ordinary town expenses.

Laws of 1872, chap. 143; 3 R. S. 1990.

But in counties where all the poor are a county charge, the ex-
cise moneys go to the county treasurer.

Laws of 1874, chap. 444, § 2; 3 R. S. 1990.

Expenses for Entertainment, etc., not a
Proper dxSbVge, — The common council of Buffalo have no
authority to furnish an entertainment for the citizens and guests of
the city at public expense

Hodges V. City of Buffalo, 2 Den. 110.

EELIEF OF INDIGENT SOLDIEES, SAILOKS, ETC.

To^rn or City Auditors may Grant Relief.—

For the relief of indigent and sutfering soldiers, sailors and marines,
who served in the war of the rebellion, and their families or the
families of those deceased, who need assistance in any city or town
in this State, the proper auditing board of such city or town, or in
those counties where the poor are a county charge, the superintend-
ent, if but one, or superintendents of the poor, as said auditing
board in those counties, shall provide such sum or sums of money
as may be necessary, to be drawn upon by the commander and
quartermaster of any post of the Grand Army of the Republic in
said city or town, upon the recommendation of the relief committee
of said post, in the same manner as is now provided by law for tlie
relief of the poor, provided said soldier, sailor or marine, or the
families of those deceased are and have been residents of the State ■
for one year or more ; and the orders of said commander and quar-
termaster shall be the proper voucher8 for the expenditure of said
sum or sums of money.

Laws of 1887, chap. 706, § 1, as amended by Laws 1888, chap. 261,

In case there is no Post in Town.— In case there
be no post of the Grand Army of tiie Republic in any town in
which it is necessary that such relief as provided for in section 1
should be granted, the town board of said town, or the superin-
tendent or superintendents of the poor, shall accept and pay the
oi-ders drawn, as hereinbefore provided, by the commander and
quartermaster of any post of the Grand Army of the Republic,
located in the nearest city or town, upon the recommendation of a
relief committee, who shall be residents of the said town in which
the relief may be furnished.

Id., § 2, as amended by Laws 1888, chap. 261.



Auditing of Accounts. 393

Commander of Post to Give Notice.— Upon the

passage of this act, the commander of any post of the Grand Army
of the Republic, which shall undertake the relief of indigent vet-
erans and their families, as hereinbefore provided, before the acts of
said commander and quartermaster may become operative in any
city or town, shall file with the city clerk of such city, or town clerk
of such town, or the superintendent or superintendents of the poor
of such county, a notice that said post intends to undertake such
relief as is provided by this act. Such notice shall contain the names
of the relief committee of said post in such city or town, and of the
commander and other officers of said post. And the commander of
said post shall annually thereafter, during the month of October,
file a similar notice with said city or town clerk, or the superin-
tendent or superintendents, and also a detailed statement of the
amount of relief furnished during the preceding year, with the
names of all persons to whom such relief shall have been furnished,
together with a brief statement in each case from the relief com-
mittee, upon whose recommendation the orders were drawn.

Id., § 3, as amended by Laws 1888, chap. 261 .

Bond may be Required.— The said auditing board
of any city or town, or the superintendent or superintendents of the
poor of those counties where the poor are a county charge, may
require of the said commander or quartermaster of any post of the
Grand Army of the Republic undertaking such relief in said city
or town, a bond with sufficient and satisfactory sureties for the
faithful and honest discharge of their duties under this act.

Id., §4, as amended by Laws 1883, chap. 261.

Indig-ent Soldiers, etc., not to be Sent to

Poor-House. — Superintendents and overseers of the poor are
hereby prohibited from sending indigent soldiers, sailors or marines
(or their families, or the families of those deceased), to any alms-
bouse (or orphan asylum) without the full concurrence and consent
of the commander and relief committee of the post of the Grand
Army of the Republic, having jurisdiction as provided in sections
1 and 2. Indigent veterans with families, and the families of de-
ceased veterans, shall, whenever practicable, be provided for and re-
lieved at their homos in such city or town in which they shall have
a residence, in the manner provided in sections 1 and 2 of this act.
Indigent or disabled veterans of the classes specified in section 1,
who ar^ not insane, and who have no families or friends with whom
they may be domiciled, may be sent to any soldiers' home. Any
indigent veteran of either of the classes specified in section 1, or
any member of the family of any living or deceased veteran of said
classes, who may be insane, shall, upon recommendation of the com-
mander and relief committee of such post of the Grand Army of
the Republic, within the jurisdiction of which the case may occur,
50



394 StJPERvisoEs' Manual,

be sent to any insane asylum and cared for as provided for indigent
insane in section 26 of chapter 135 of the Laws of 1842.

Laws of 1887, chap. 706, § 5.

This act does not prescribe how these auditing boards shall pro-
vide this money. Probably a certificate from the board, that a cer-
tain sum is necessary for the purposes aforesaid, delivered to the
board of supervisors, and that amount levied by them on the town,
would answer the purpose.

Lands for Monument Purposes.— Trustees,
etc., May Acquire Title to Lands on Which to
Erect Soldiers' Monument, etc. — It shall be lawful
for the board of trustees of any incorporated village, or the trustees
of any monument association, or the town board of any town within
this State, to purchase or acquire title to lands for the erection of a
soldiers' monument, or for the ei-ection of a monument or other
structure as a memorial or mark of some distinguishing or important
event in the history of this State or this nation, not to exceed three
acres in quantity, to be laid out and held as a public park or square,
providing such lands are vacant or have buildings thereon not ex-
ceeding $2,500 in value ; and providing that a judge of the county
or justice of the supreme court within whose district such monu-
ment or memorial is to be erected, shall certify that the quantity of
land proposed to be purchased or acquired is proper and necessary
for such purpose.

Chap. 226, Laws 1881, §1.

Ho"W Title may be Acquired. — If the said board of
trustees of any incorporated village, or the trustees of any monu-
ment association or the town board of any town, be unable to agree
with the owner or owners of such lands mentioned in the first sec-
tion of this act, for the purchase of such lands, then and in that
event the said board of trustees of any incorporated village or the
trustees of any monument association, or the town board of any
town, may proceed to acquire title to such lands in the same manner,
so far as the same is applicable, as prescribed by chapter 140 of the
Laws of 1850, entitled "An act to authorize the formation of rail-
road corporations and to regulate the same," and the acts amendatory
thereof and supplementary thereto.
Id., % 2.

Tas for Monument Purposes, Repairs, etc.

Chapter 273, Laws of 1866, as amended by chapter 299, Laws of
1888, provides "for the incorporation of associations to perpetuate
the memory of soldiers who fell in defense of the Union." It says,
"A tax may be imposed, levied and collected on the taxable prop-
erty in any town or city in which such monument or monuments
may be erected, for the purpose of repairing or improving the same



Auditing oy Accouxts.



395



and the grounds thereof ; such tax shall be Imposed in the manner
prescribed by law for imposing general taxes in such town or city
as are now authorized to be imposed."

§ 6, chap, 2?3, Laws of 1866, as amended by chap. 299, Laws of 1888.

§ 4T4. Certificate of Town Auditors.— The said
board shall make a certificate, to be signed by a majority of said
board, specifying the name of the person in whose name the account
is drawn, the nature of the demand, and the amount allowed ; and
shall cause a duplicate of said certificate to be made, one of which
shall be delivered to the town clerk of said town> to be by Mm kept
on file for the inspection of any of the inhabitants of the town, and
the other shall be delivered to the supervisor of said town, to be by
him laid before the board of supervisors of his county at their annual
meeting.

Laws of 1840, chap. SOS ; 1 R. S. 835.



FORM OF CERTIFICATE.



■\'



COUNTY OF
Town of

We, the undersigned, the board of town auditors of said town, do hereby cer-
tify that at the time and place prescribed by law for holding the annual meeting
of said board, said board was duly convened and organized; that the following is
a true and correct statement of all accounts audited by said board at said meeting.



Naubs o; ihe Febsons fob
WHOM &CC0DNT IS Drawn.


Nature of demand.


Amount
allowed.


A. B


Services as insDector of election


$4 00

13 oa


CD


Services as commissioner of highway


E. P


100 00






Total


$116 00







Dated October



188



(Signatures),

BoABD OF Town Auditoks.



Pile one copy with the town clerk.
Deliver one to the supervisor.



§ 4'75A. Supervisors to Raise Amount
Audited. — The said board of supervisors are hereby autKorized
and directed to cause to be levied and raised upon said town the
amount specified in said certificate in the same manner as they are
now directed to levy and raise other town charges.

Id.



396



Supervisors' Manual.



The certificate of the board of towu auditors, regular on its face, is a sufficient
authority for the board of supervisors to proceed and cause the amount certified
to be levied on the town, and the supervisors have no discretion but to direct the
amount specified in the certificate to be levied and raised upon the town.

People V, Supervisors of Queens Co., 1 Hill, 195.

The board of supervisors are required to cause the amounts specified in the
certificate of the town board to be levied npon the town, and they cannot reverie
or review the action of the town board.

Osterhoudt v. Rigney, 98 N. Y. 222-285.

§ 476B. Abstract of Town Accounts.— It shall be

the duty of boards of town auditors to make annually brief abstracts
of the names of all persons who have presented to said board ac-
counts to be audited, the amounts claimed by each of said persons,
and the amounts finally audited to them respectively, and shall de-
liver said abstracts to the clerk of the board of supervisors, and the
said clerk shaU cause the same to be printed, with the statements re-
quired to be printed by him, by the fourteenth section of this act.

La-va of 1847, chap. 465, § 24; 1 R. S. 861.

FORM OF SUCH ABSTRACT.

COUNTY OF , )
Town op f

We, the undersigned, the board of town auditors of said town, do hereby
certify:

That the following is an abstract of the names of all persons who have presented
to said board, accounts to be audited, the amounts claimed by each of said per-
sons, and the amounts finally audited to them respectively, to-wit;



NAMES.


Amount claimed.


Amount allowed.


A. B


$40 00
500 00


$35 00
SCO 00


C. D







Dated



188



(Signed) E. F.,

Supervisor,
Q. H.,

Town Clerk,
J.K.,
L. M.,
N. O.,

Justices op the Peace,

Board of Town AuDrroRS.

Deliver the abstract to the clerk of the board of supervisors.



Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 43 of 96)