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

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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 86 of 96)
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of the poll, and proclamation shall in like manner be made of each
adjournment and of the opening and closing of the poll, until the
election be ended.

Part 1, chap. 11, tit. 3, art. 1, § 1, R. S. (1 R. S. 816).

§ 927. Mode of Clioice.— The supervisor, town clerk,
assessors,- collector, overseers of the poor, commissioners of high-
ways,* and constables, shall be chosen by ballot. So are the justices
of the peace.

Chap. 356, Laws of 1829; chap. 270, Laws of 1833, and §§ 940-5, post .

Also two inspectors of election, § 175, cmie. One inspector is

* Commissioners and inspectors of common schools omitted ; those offices having been
abolished. The present school commissioners are elected at the general elections.



776 Supervisors' Manual.

appointed by the presiding officers, § 175, amte. A commissioner
of excise, chap. 444, Laws of 1874.

Id., § 2.

§ 928. All other town officers shall be chosen either

1. By ballot,

2. By ayes and noes, or,

3. By the rising or the dividing of the electors,
As the meeting may determine.

Id., § a.

§ 929. Contents of Ballot.— When the electors vote by
ballot, all the officers voted for shall be named in one ballot, which
shall contain written or printed, or partly written and partly printed,
the names of the persons voted for, and the offices to which such
persons are intended to be chosen, and shall be dehvered to the pre-
siding officers so folded as to conceal the contents.

Id., §4.

§ 930. Poll Iiist.— When the election is by ballot, a poll list
shall be kept by the clerk of the meeting, on which shall be entered
the name of each person whose vote shall be received.

Id., § 5.

§931. Box. — When the election is by ballot, the presiding
officers shall deposit the ballots in a box to be constructed, kept and
disposed of, as near as may be, in the manner prescribed in the
fourth title of chapter 6 of this act.

Id., §6.

§ 932. Canvass. — At the close of the polls at any town
meeting, the canvassers may determine whether the canvass of the
votes shall then be had, or postponed until the next day ; if they
determine that the canvass shall then be commenced upon, the same
may be continued after sundown ; but it shall be had publicly at
the place where the meeting was held, and the result shall be read
by the clerk to the persons there assembled ; and such reading
shall be held notice of the election to all persons whose names are
on the poll lifit as voters. And no canvass heretofore had shall be
deemed illegal in consequence of its having been had after sundown.

Chap. 289, Laws of 1830, § 2.

§ 933. Canvass. — At the close of every election by ballot,



Town Meetings. 777

the presiding officers shall proceed publicly to canvass the votes ;
which canvass, when commenced, shall be continued without ad-
journment or interruption until the same be completed.

Part 1, chap. 11, tit. 3, art. 1, § T, B. S, (1 R. S. 816),

§ 934. CanvaiSS. — Before the ballots are opened they shall
be counted and compared with the poll list, and the like proceed-
ings shall be had as to ballots folded together, and as to difEerences
in number, as are prescribed in the fourth title of the sixth chapter
of this act.

Id., 8 8.

§ 935. Canvass — Statement of Result.— The

canvass being completed, a statement of the result shall be entered
at length by the clerk of the meeting, in the minutes of its proceed-
ings to be kept by him, as before required, which shall be publicly
read by him to the meeting ; and such reading shall be deemed
notice of the result of such election to every person whose name
shall have been entered on the poll list as a voter.

Id., § 9.

§ 936. Notice to Persons Elected.— The clerk of

every town meeting, within ten days thereafter, shall transmit to
each person elected to any town office, whose name shall not have
been entered on the poll list as a voter, a notice of his election.

Id., §10.

Electors, Wlio are.— See § 6, ante.

§937. Election of Justices of the Peace.—

There shall be four justices of the peace in each town, divided into
four classes, one of whom shall be annually elected in the manner
prescribed in chapter 6 of this act. Each justice hereafter chosen
shall hold his office for four years, except when elected to fill a va-
cancy, or on the erection of a new town as hereinafter prescribed ;
and may be removed by the judges of the county courts.

1 E. S. 358, § 85.
Some towns are allowed a different number of justices by special laws.

§ 938. Where More than One is Elected.—

In case more than one justice of the peace shall be elected in any
town at the same election, their terms of office shall be determined
98



778 SupEKVisoKS' Mam-ual.

by lot, within twelve days after their election, in the manner now
provided by law.

Chap. 290, Laws of 1830, § 2; 1 R. S. 811.
See next six sections.

§ 939. ClaiSSificaition. — When two or more persons shall
be elected to the office of justice of the peace at any annual town
meeting, the_one of whom shall be an incumbent of the office for
a term not then expired, such incumbent shall be deemed elected for
the regular term of four years, which wiU commence on the first day
of January next following such election.

Chap. 270, Laws of 1883, § 1 ; 1 R. S. 811.

§ 940. Ballots, tio-w to be Written — When at any
such town meeting, except the first election in a new town, two or
more persons are to be elected to the office of justice of the peace,
it shall be lawful for each of the electors not voting for a person
who may then be an incumbent of the office, to designate on his bal-
lot the person intended for the regular term of four years, which
will commence on the first day of January then next following, by
the words, or words and figures, " longest term," " four years," or
" 4 years ; " and the persons having the greatest number of votes,
without any reference to such designation, shall be deemed duly
elected.

Id., s 2.

§ 941. Who Deemed Elected for Four Years.

— The person elected and having the greatest number of such desig-
nations, shall be deemed elected for the regular term of four years.
Id., § 8.

§ 942. Duty of Presiding Officers.— The presiding
officer or officers at any annual town meeting at which justices of
the peace shall be elected, shall determine whether any, and what
person in pursuance of the foregoing sections, lias been elected for
the regular term of four years ; which determination shall be made
at the same time, and with the like force and effect, as he or they
may determine what persons are elected to the office of justice of
the peace ; and such determination shall be entered in the minutes
of the proceedings of the meeting, and shall be publicly read, and
shall be deemed notice of the result, in the same manner as is now
provided by law in relation to the canvass.
Id., §4.



Town Meetin-gs. 779

§943> Determination by Lot. — Where no person
shall be elected for the regular terra of four years in pursuance of
either of the preceding sections, the classes of all the persons elected
to the office of justice of the peace, at any such annual town meet-
ing, shall be determined by lot within the time and in the manner
now prescribed by law.

Id., §5; see §945.

§944. VaiCaincies. — Where one person shall have been
elected for the regular term in pursuance of the foregoing provisions,
the other person or persons elected justices of the peace shall be
deemed elected to fill the existing vacancies or vacancy ; and in case
of more than one existing vacancy, the classes of the persons elected
to fill the same shall be determined by lot, within the time and in
the manner now prescribed by law.

Id., §6.

§945. Ho-w Determined by Lot.— After the elec-
tion of justices, the supervisor thereof shall, within six days after
the completion of the canvass by the canvassers, give notice, in
writing, to the justices elected and to the town clerk, of the time
and place where he will meet them, to determine by lot the
classes of such justices; which notices shall be served at least six
days, and not more than twelve, previous to the time appointed
therein for such meeting.

1 K. S. 359, §39.

At the time and place so appointed, the supervisor and town clerk
shall cause to be written on separate pieces of paper, as near alike-
as may be, the numbers, one, two, three, four, if there shall have-
been four justices elected, and shall cause them to be rolled up as
nearly alike as may be, and deposited in a box. The persons elected
justices shall severally draw one of the said pieces of paper, and
shall be classed according to the number written on the paper so
drawn by him, and shall hold his office for such number of years,
either one, two, three or four as shall correspond with such number
so drawn.

Id., § 40.

If less than four justices shall have been chosen, then ballots shall
be prepared as above directed, with numbers written thereon, to cor-
respond with the numbers of the classes which shall be vacant, and
each person elected shall in like manner proceed to draw one of the



•^80 Supervisors' Manual.

^aid ballots, and shall be classed according to the number so written
on the ballot drawn by him, and shall hold his office according to
such number.

Id., § 41.

If any person elected a justice shall neglect to attend to such
drawing, the supervisor shall draw for him. If the supervisor be
absent from his town, or unable to serve, or his oiEce be vacant, the
town clerk shall give the notice herein required, and perform the
duties enjoined on such supervisor.

Id., §42.

Duplicate certificates of such drawing, and of the result thereof,
shall be made and certified by the supervisor and town clerk, or such
one of them as shall attend the same, one of which shall be filed with
the town clerk, and the other with the county clerk, and shall be re-
corded by the said clerks in the books in which the canvasses of
votes shall have been recorded ; and shall be conclusive evidence of
the respective classes to which the persons so elected justices belong.

Id., $48; see Id., §46.

§ 946. Officers to be Chosen. — There shall be
chosen at the annual town meeting in each town one super-
visor, one town clerk, one assessor, one collector, one or two
overseers of the poor, one, two, or three commissioners of high-
ways, and not more than five constables ; but nothing herein con-
tained shall prevent the election, at such town meeting, of any
greater number of the officers respectively herein specified, or of
any officer not herein specified, where the power to elect such greater
number, or such other officer or officers, has hitherto been conferred
by any statute other than the section hereby amended, nor shall any
thing herein contained authorize the election of overseers of the
poor in any towns in the counties of Kichmond or Kings.

1 B. S., S S, as amended by chap. 30, Laws of 1866.

As to justices of the peace, see § 937; also two inspectors ot election, see § 175,
^nte ; one commissioner of excise, (Chap. 4.4A, Laws 1874.)

Town Meeting — Poweeb of.

§ 947. PoTrers of Annual To-wn IHeetinga
Under tlie Revised Statutes.— The electors of each
town shall have power at their annual town meeting :

1. To determine what number of assessors, constables and pound-
masters shall be chosen in such town for the then ensuing year.



Town Meetings. 781

2. To elect such town officers as may be required to be chosen.*

4. To direct the institution or defense of suits at law or in equity
in all controversies between such town and corporations, individuals
or other towns.

5. To direct such sum to be raised, in snch town for prosecuting
or defending such suits as they may deem necessary.

6. To take measures and give directions for the exercise of their
corporate powers.

7. To make snch provisions and allow such rewards for the de-
struction of noxious weeds as they may deem necessary, and to raise
money therefor.

8. To establish and maintain pounds at such places within such
town as may be convenient.

. 9. To establish the compensation of the fence-viewers.f

10. To make, from time to time, such prudential rules and regu-
lations as they may think proper, for the better improving of all
lands owned by such town in its corporate capacity, whether coni-
mons or otherwise; for maintaining and amending partition or
other fences around the same, or any part thereof, and circular fences
for their lands, gardens, orchards and meadows ; for protecting such,
lands from any trespass, and for directing the time and manner of
using the same.

11. To make the hke rules and regulations for ascertaining the
sufficiency of all fences in such town ; for determining the times
and manner in which cattle, horses or sheep shall be permitted to go
at large on highways, and for impounding animals.

12. To impose such penalties on persons offending against any
rule or regulation established by such town, excepting snch as relate
to the keeping and maintaining of fences, as they may think proper ;
not exceeding $12.50 for each offense ; and,

13. To apply such penalties, when recovered, in such manner as
they may think most conducive to the interests of such town.

IB. S. 808-9, §5.

§ 948. Additional Pcwers.— In addition to the powers
above specified, the electors of each town, bound to support its own
poor, shall have power, at their annual town meeting, to direct such
sum to be raised in such town for the support of the poor for the



♦ Subd 8 as to moneys for schools, was repealed by Laws of 1851, chap. 151.

t Part of subd 9 is omitted ; it provides for the compensation of certain school officers,
which offices have been abolished long since; and the pay of collector, which is in conflict
with Laws of 1845, chap. 180.



"^sa SupEEvisoEs' Manual,

ensuing year as they may deem necessary. And every town may
raise any money that may be necessary to defray any charges that
may exist against the overseers of the poor of such town.
Id., § 6.

Orders, Etc., to Stand, Etc., till Duly
CilXBiHge€i, — Every order or direction and all rules and regulations,
made by any town meeting, shall remain in force until the same
shall be altered or repealed at some subsequent town meeting.

Id., §9.

Money not to be Voted After 2 P. M.— See law

in full, § 916, ante.

§ 949. Votes to Expend Over $500 to be by
Sallot. — All votes in town meetings authorizing the raising of
money or incurring any town liability exceeding $50p, shall be by
ballot.

Chap, 122, Laws of 1883, § 1.

Town Clerk to Give Five Days' Notice of

Proposed Appropriation.— The town clerk, at the ex-
pense of the town, shall give five days' notice, posted in five con-
spicuous places in town, of any proposed appropriation or tax for
the raising or borrowing of money, and shall provide a ballot-box
or boxes labeled " appropriation," and furnish for the use of the
electors ballots on which shall be written or printed " for appropri-
ation," or "against appropriation."

Id., § 2, as amended bj Laws of 1885, chap. 82.

May Determine Number of:

§ 950. Overseers of tbe Poor.— The electors of each
town shall have the power, at their annual town meeting, to deter-
mine whether they will choose one or two overseers of the poor, and
the number determined upon shall be the number to be elected.
But nothing in this section shall apply to the counties of Mont-
gomery or Kings.

Part of § 1, chap. 180, Laws of 1845.
Not applicable to MoDtgomery or Kings coanties.

§951. Commissioners of Hi^hTrays.— The elec-
tors of each town shall have power, at their annual town meeting,
to determine by resolution whether there shall be chosen one or



TowH- Mebtistgs. 783

three highway commissioners, and the number so determined upon
shall be balloted for and chosen ; and, if only one shall be deter-
mined upon and chosen, he shall possess all the powers and discharge
all the duties of commissioners of highways as prescribed by law,
and shall hold his office for one year. And whenever three commis-
sioners shall be chosen in any town, they shall be divided by lot by the
canvassers, upon the result of the canvass, into three classes, to be
numbered one, two and three ; the term of office for the first class
shall be one year, of the second, two, and of the third, three ; and one
commissioner only shall thereafter annually be elected in such town,
who shall hold his office for three years, and until a successor shall
be duly elected or appointed ; but in case any commissioner shall be
elected to fill a vacancy, he shall hold the office only for the unex-
pired term which shall have become vacant ; and if two vacancies
shall be required to be filled, the canvassers shall, after the canvass,
determine by lot, as aforesaid, the terms they shall respectively hold,
and when any vacancy shall happen by death, removal, resignation,
neglect to qualify or refusal to serve, it shall be supplied until the next
succeeding annual town meeting by an appointment in writing, under
the hands of any three justices of the peace, or two justices and
the supervisor of the town ; and every commissioner of highways
shall be authorized to administer oaths to any witnesses or juries, in
proceedings which may be had by or before them ; and whenever
any town shall have determined upon having three commissioners,
and shall desire to return two or have but one, such town shall have
the power so to do by a resolution taken at an annual town meeting,
and when such resolution shall have been adopted, no other commis-
sioner shall be elected or appointed, until the term or terms of those
in office at the time of adopting such resolution shall expire or be-
come vacant ; and they shall have power to act until their terms shall
severally become vacant or expire, as fuUy as if the three continued
in office.

Id., I 2, as amended by chap. 455, Laws of 1847.

§952. Boards of To-wn Auditors.— Such boards
may be elected, if the electors so determine.
See law in full, § 447.

§953. Pounds. — Whenever the inhabitants of any town
shall determine, at an annual town meeting, to erect one or more
pounds therein, and whenever a pound shall now be erected in any
town, the same shall be kept under the care and direction of such



784 St7PEBvisoBs' Manual.

pound-master as shall be chosen or appointed for that purpose. The
inhabitants of any town may, at any annual town meeting, discon-
tinue any pounds therein.

IR. S. 841, §1.

§ 954. Assessors— Classification of Asses-
sors—Term, Etc.— There shall be elected at the next annual
town meeting, three assessors in each town, who shall be classified
as commissioners of highways are by the second section of this act
required to be ; and one assessor shall annually thereafter be elected
for the terra of three years ; and all of the provisions of said second
section, relative to the classification, term of office and filling vacan-
cies of three highway commissioners shall apply to such assessors.

Chap. 180, Laws of 1845, § i.

§ 955. Lock-TTps — Electors May Direct Erec-
tion of Lock-Ups. — The electors of each town in this State
shall have power, at their annual town meeting, to direct the erec-
tion of one or more houses of detention or lock-ups for the deten-
tion of persons committed by the magistrates thereof, and to direct
such sums to be raised in such town by tax for the expense of build-
ing or maintaining the same, as they may deem necessary.

Chap. 518, Laws of 1872, § 1.

Lock-Ups, for -what Purpose to be Used.—

Said houses of detention or lock-ups may be used for the purpose of
keeping and confining all persons temporarily arrested by any con-
stable or officer in said towns or committed by any magistrate of said
towns, and may be used for keeping and confining any and all per-
sons arrested or committed for any crime in said towns the same as
in any county jail, except that no person shall be confined therein
after the final commitment, to serve out any sentence of the court,
after he shall be found guilty of any offense.
Id., § 2.

§ 956. As to To-wn-Houses.— See law in full, § 149,
anie.

§ 957. Burial Grounds. — The title to every lot or piece
of land which shall have been used by the inhabitants of any town
in this State as a cemetery or burying ground, for the space of four-
teen years next and immediately before this title shall take effect,
shall be deemed to be vested in such town, and shall be subject in



Town Meetings. 785

the same manner as otlier corporate property of towns, to the gov-
ernment and direction of the electors in town meeting.

IR. S. 854, §1.

Electors May Choose Trustees.— The electors of

each town in the State of New York shall have power, at any annual
town meeting, to choose three or five persons to act as a board of
trustees of any burying ground or btirying grounds, within the lim-
its of and belonging to the town, as said electors may designate ; and
to authorize and direct the supervisor of the town to convey by deed
to the said board of trustees and their successors in ofiBce, for the pur-
poses hereinafter mentioned, the lands already composing such ground
or grounds, and also any other lands that may be hereafter acquired
for the purpose of enlarging such ground or grounds. The said
electors shall also have the power, as aforesaid, to fill any vacancies
that may occur in the said board of trustees.

Chap. 46, Laws of 1873, § 1 ; 1 R. S.

Not to Affect Certain Burial Grounds.— Noth-
ing contained in this act shall affect any rural cemetery association
nor any burying ground for which a special act of the legislature
has made provisions inconsistent with the provisions of this act.

Id., §8.

§ 958. As to Powers for Borrowing Money,
Issuing Bonds, Etc.

See chap. XV, §§ 876-880.

§ 959. As to Powers, Etc., Relating to Bonds
Issued in Aid of Railroads.

See id., §§ 881-7.

§ 960. As to Powers, Etc., Relative to Moneys
for Roads and Bridges.

See cliap. XIV.

Ab to purchasing stone crusher and stone, see pp. 141-2, ante.

Altering System op Repairing Highways.

The following act on the subject of working roads, etc., is inserted
in hopes that more towns will avail themselves of the right to pos-
sess better roads, under more scientific and sensible management,



786 SupEBVisoEs' Manual.

even though the annual " picnic," called " working on the road," is
given up.

§ 961. Conditional Repeal.— For snch towns in this
State as may wish to change the present system of working and re-
pairing the highways, and adopt the privileges of this act in the
manner herein provided for, article 2 and article 3 of chapter 16, title
1, part 1, of the Eevised Statutes, and all laws amending the same,
are hereby repealed.

Chap. 395, Laws of 1873, § 1.

Votes as to Repairing Hig'li'ways.— Upon the

written request of twenty-tive tax payers of any town, it shall be the
duty of any justices of the peace, or other officers who preside at the
town election of any snch town, to submit to the electors at each annual
town meeting, and the electors of any town may vote at the next regu-
lar town meeting upon the question of changing the manner of working
the highways. Such votes shall be by ballots, upon which shall be
written or printed, respectively, " for changing the mode of working
the highways," and " against changing the mode of working the
highways." The ballots shall be deposited in a separate box by
themselves, be counted by the inspectors of election or other officer
presiding at such town election, and if a majority of the electors
shall vote in favor of the proposed change, the town voting therefor
may avail itself of the privileges of this act, upon causing a minute
of its action to be entered by the town clerk in the town records.

Id., § 2, as amended by Laws of 1875, chap. 841.

Annual Tax for Highifvays.— It shall be lawful for
any town voting in favor of such change to raise by tax, to be levied
and collected the same as any other tax, for the repair of its h)gh-_
ways, an annual sum of money which shall be at least equivalent to
one-half the value of the days' works theretofore assessed at the
commutation prices ; but in any town in which there may be an in-
corporated village, which forms a separate road district, and wherein
the roads and streets are maintained at the expense of such village,
all property within such village shall be exempt from the levy and
collection of such tax for repair of the highways of such town ; and



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 86 of 96)