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CHAPTER I. Cities as bodies corporate.

II. City officers.

III. Actions against cities.

General powers.

Distribution of powers.



SECTION 947. General powers.

948. Distribution of powers.

§ 947. Every city is a body politic and corporate, with the general powers of corporations. and the powers specified or necessarily implied in this title or in special laws, and no others.

§ 948. A city has no judicial power; its only political power is legislative and executive. Its legislative power is vested in a common council; its executive power in a mayor and his subordinate


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§ 949. Every city shall be divided into wards, the number and boundaries of which shall be fixed by the common council thereof within the year next after each census of this state, taken under the authority of the state or of the United States. They shall consist of contiguous territory, and shall be as nearly equal in population as in the judgment of the common council may be practicable. But the ordinance which establishes or alters the wards shall not take effect till the close of the next session of the legislature thereafter.



§ 950. The legislative power of each city shall Common be vested in a board of aldermen and a board of councilmen, who, together, shall form the common council thereof.


§ 951. The term of office of the mayor shall be Terms of three years; of the aldermen, two years; of the councilmen, one year. But the aldermen first

Election of aldermen.

Time of city election.

Powers of

common council.

elected, after a new arrangement of the boards, shall, at their first meeting, divide themselves by lot into two classes, equal in number if the whole number can be equally divided; and if not, then the second class shall have one more than the first. The first class shall go out of office at the end of the first year.

§ 952. One alderman shall be elected for the first and second wards; another for the third and fourth, and so on, one for every two wards, if the whole number of wards can be equally divided; and if not, then for the last ward there shall be one alderman. One councilman shall be elected

for each ward.

§ 953. The elections for such municipal officers as may be elective shall take place on the first Tuesday of December in each year.

§ 954. The common council shall have power:

1. To establish executive departments, and other offices subordinate to the mayor, and prescribe their respective duties;

2. To manage the finances and property of the city;

3. To regulate the streets, wharves, piers and slips in the city, and the use thereof;

4. To establish or authorize slaughter-houses and markets, and regulate the same;

5. To provide for lighting, watering and cleaning the city, and protecting it against fire;

6. To license and regulate hacks, cabs and carts, omnibusses, railway cars and all other vehicles; butchers, porters, pawnbrokers, peddlers, showmen, and junk shop keepers, theaters, and all other places of public amusement;

7. To regulate the keeping and use of animals, and the keeping and use of gunpowder and other dangerous substances;

8. To suppress gaming, gambling-houses and other disorderly houses, nuisances of every description, and all kinds of vice and immorality;

9. To prohibit the burial of the dead within the city, except at such places and in such manner as the common council may determine;

10. To establish and regulate a police department, except within the limits of the metropolitan police district;

11. To establish and regulate a fire department;

12. To impose penalties for the violation of the city ordinances; but no single penalty can exceed a fine of fifty dollars or imprisonment for thirty days, or both. The common council may, however, require any land or building to be cleansed, at the expense of the owner or occupant, and upon his default may do the work and assess the expense upon the land or building;

Annual re


Powers of mayor.

13. To pass all ordinances which may be necessary or proper for carrying into effect the foregoing powers.

§ 955. The common council shall, once a year and at least twenty but not more than thirty days before the annual city election, publish, in at least one newspaper printed and distributed in the city, a detailed statement of the receipts and expenditures of the city for the year ending on the first day of November last preceding.

§ 956. The mayor shall have power:

1. To nominate, and, with the consent of the board of aldermen, appoint all officers of the city; but the common council may, by ordinance, vest the appointment of inferior officers in the heads of the executive departments, or any of them;

2. To suspend, and, with the consent of the board of aldermen, remove any of the officers of the city, stating in the suspension or removal the cause thereof;

3. To cause the ordinances of the city to be executed, and to supervise the discharge of official duty by all subordinate officers;

4. To communicate to the common council at the beginning of every session, and oftener if he deems it expedient, a statement of the affairs of

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