1873: An Act to Incorporate the Town of Dartmouth

Some Highlights:

(Chapter 3)
Dartmouth shall be a corporation consisting of three wards.
Dartmouth shall be governed by a council, consisting of a Warden and six Councillors (two for each ward).

Quasi-term limits, staggered terms: Wardens had a One year term, while Councilors had two year terms.
Also as to who offers at election time, a mandatory turn over of one of the Councilors from each ward at each election time was required

(Chapter 6)
Elections held first Tuesday of May, yearly.
Two Councilors shall hold office for two years, for each ward
Warden shall hold office for one year.
Warden and one Councilor from each ward shall go out of office at the end of each year, but may be re-elected.

(Chapter 25)
Oath of office:
I (__) do swear that I am duly qualified as required by law for the office of (__); that I am seized or possessed as the owner in my own right and for my own use and benefit of real or personal estate in the Town of Dartmouth of the value of $1000 beyond the amount of my debts; that I have not obtained the same by fraud or collusion to qualify myself for office, and I swear that I will faithfully perform the duties of (__) while I hold the office, with diligence and impartiality to the best of my ability. So help me god.

(Chapter 26)
Warden shall be the Chief Executive Officer.

(Chapter 27)
Council shall have the power to control the making, maintaining and improving the roads and streets of the town, and the laying out of new ones if necessary.
To direct and enforce the performance of statute labor, and to control the expenditure of the commutation money.
They shall have jurisdiction over all the property of the Town, which they shall protect:
Over the support of the regulation of the public schools, and the appointment of teachers
The support of the poor
The licensing the sale of intoxicating liquors
Fixing the rate of licenses
Regulating the assessments
Collecting the assessments
The making of all contracts, after having been duly considered by the council, shall be signed by the warden and countersigned by the clerk
Appointing of all subordinate officers of the Town

(Chapter 28)
They shall vote, assess, collect, receive, appropriate, and pay whatever moneys are required for County Assessments, poor, school and other rates and assessments, and shall have, within the Town, all the powers relating thereto, vested in the Sessions, Grand Jury, School Meeting and Town Meeting; and shall have and exercise within the Town all the powers and authority which within the district, previous to the passing of this Act of Incorporation, where exercised by the Sessions, Grand Jury, or Town or School Meeting, or Trustees of Schools and Public Property.”

(Chapter 29)
Four quarterly meetings of the Council, and special meetings called by the Warden as necessary

(Chapter 31)
Council shall appoint a Clerk, Treasurer, Police and Stipendiary Magistrate, Assessors, Overseers of Poor, Health Officers, Clerk of Licenses, Superintendent of Streets and Commons, Collectors of Poor, County, School and other rates and assessments, Fire-wards and Fire constables, Police constables, Clerks of Markets and Measures and Weights, and every other officer from time to time deemed necessary to the due performance and carrying on the business of the Town and the preservation of order.

(Chapter 35)
The Common of Dartmouth, the School House, and all property real or personal which at the passing of this Act of Incorporation shall be public property or shall have been held in trust for the Town of Dartmouth, shall on the passing of this Act vest in and become property of the Town.

(Chapter 36)
After passing of this Act the Town shall be set off into a Separate School Section, and the Town shall have the expenditure of all school rates raised within its limits for the schools of the Town, as also of all Government and School grants for such schools, which grants shall be paid to the town.

(Chapter 43)
The Council shall be authorized and empowered upon a vote of the majority of the rate-payers present at the annual public meeting, to issue debentures under the hand of the Warden and any two or more Councillors, and under the seal of the town and countersigned by the clerk, for the purpose of raising the necessary funds for the purchase of any property, or the erection of any building for the town or the carrying out any municipal work or improvement.

An Act to Incorporate the Town of Dartmouth
Passed April 30th, 1873