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Sec. 3. Said company shall provide the means of returning all the water diverted into their canal from the Colorado river and not consumed or absorbed in use for irrigating purposes, to the natural channel of said river, at a point not further than one mile below the mouth of Shoal creek, at the city of Austin.
Sec. 4. Whereas, the present session of [the] Legislature is near adjournment, with a large number of bills of a public nature pending, there is an imperative public necessity for the suspension of the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days; and it is therefore enacted that said rule is hereby suspended.
Approved April 19, A. D. 1879.
Takes effect ninety days after adjournment.
CHAPTER XXI.-An act amendatory of and supplemental to an act entitled "an act to consolidate in one act and amend the several acts incorporating the city of Houston, in Harris county," approved January 23, 1874, and the several acts amendatory thereof.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That all the inhabitants of the city of Houston shall be a body corporate, by the name of the mayor, aldermen and inhabitants of the city of Houston, and by that name they shall be known in law and shall be capable of suing and being sued, and defending in all courts, and in all matters whatever; may have a common seal, and may alter and change the same at pleasure; may hold and convey any estate, real or personal, for the use of said corporation, within the city limits; provided, that said corporation may hold real estate outside of the limits of said city, for cemetery, powder house, pest house and work house purposes.
Sec. 2. That the bounds and limits of said corporation shall be three miles square, to be run with the cardinal points of the compass, of which the centre of the court house square in the city of Houston shall be the
Sec. 3. That the city council may divide the city into a convenient number of wards, not exceeding eight, and define and establish the boundaries thereof, and may change the same from time to time as may be deemed expedient, having regard for the number of inhabitants, so that each ward shall contain, as near as may be, the same number of qualified electors for city elections.
Sec. 4. That the administration of the business affairs of said corporation shall be conducted by a mayor and board of aldermen, who shall compose the city council.
Sec. 5. All qualified electors of the state, who shall have resided for six months immediately preceding the election within the limits of said. city, shall have the right to vote for mayor, and all other elective officers of said city; but in all elections to determine the expenditure of money or assumption of debt, only those shall be qualified to vote who pay taxes on property in said city.
Sec. 6. That the mayor shall be elected by the qualified voters of the city, and shall hold his office for the term of two years, and until his successor is elected and qualified. No person shall be mayor unless he is a qualified elector of the city. He shall be a conservator of the peace throughout the city. He shall have power
by and with the consent of the city council to appoint any number of policemen on any special occasion that he may deem necessary to preserve the peace of the city, and to discharge the same at pleasure. He shall have power, in case of necessity, to call out the militia, or any military company in the city, to aid in the suppression of any riot or public disturbance. He shall be active and vigilant in enforcing all laws and ordinances for the government of the city; and he shall cause all the subordinate officers to be dealt with promptly for any neglect or violation of duty. He shall preside at all meetings of the council, when present; and, in case of a tie vote in the board of aldermen, he shall give the casting vote. He shall have power to veto any resolution, by-law, ordinance, motion or order passed by the council in the following manner: He shall give notice of his veto at the same meeting in which said action was had, which shall be entered upon the minutes; at the next regular meeting he shall furnish to the council his reasons in writing, and unless the council shall pass such law, ordinance, etc., over his veto by a vote of twothirds of the aldermen present, taken by "yeas and nays," and entered upon the journal of the council, the same shall be inoperative. He shall have and exercise such powers and authority as may be conferred by the city council not inconsistent with the general purposes and provisions of this charter.
Sec. 7. That each ward in the city shall be represented in the council by two aldermen, elected by the qualified voters of each ward, who shall vote only in their respective wards. No person shall be. an alderman unless he is a qualified elector of the city, and a bona fide resident of the ward for which he is elected.
Sec. 8. That regular meetings of the city council shall be held in the council chamber, at least twice in each month, at such times as may be fixed by resolution of the board, and the mayor of his own motion may call special meetings for the transaction of special business, by written notices served personally upon each member of the board, or left at his usual place of abode. Any three members of the board may in like manner call special meetings of the council; but no special meeting shall be called except in cases of urgent necessity, and the written notices served upon the members of the board shall state the object and purpose for which the meeting is called. General business shall only be transacted at the regular meetings. The city council may adjourn from day to day until the business properly coming before it is disposed of.
Sec. 9. That a majority of the whole number of aldermen elected and qualified shall be required to constitute a quorum, but any four aldermen may convene and compel the attendance of absent members on any day of regular meetings, requiring the city marshal or other police officer to arrest and bring in the absent members.
Sec. 10. That the city council shall adopt rules and regulations for the government of the council in its proceedings, and the order for the transaction of business before it. It shall be the judge of the qualifications and election of the members of the council, including the mayor. It may punish members or other persons during the sittings of the council for disorderly conduct, to the extent that it may fine and imprison by its by-laws and ordinances, and with the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the whole number of aldermen elected and qualified. The council may remove any officer of the city for any conduct or offense, which, in the opinion of the council, expressed by the two-thirds vote, as aforesaid, shall render him unfit to hold his office, but no officer shall be removed
until he shall have had the opportunity of being heard by himself or counsel, or both.
Sec. 11. That the meetings of the council shall be held with open doors, except when, by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, it may be deemed expedient upon a special question to deliberate with closed doors.
Sec. 12. That whenever it shall be necessary so to do, the board of aldermen shall by ballot elect a member of their own body to act for a designated period as mayor pro tempore, who, for the time, shall have and exercise all the powers and authority of the mayor.
Sec. 13. That in case of a vacancy occurring in any office elective by the qualified voters of the city, the council shall order an election to fill the vacancy upon giving ten days' notice thereof, which election shall be held and conducted in the same manner, and under the same rules and regulations prescribed for the holding of the general elections in the city.
Sec. 14. That there shall be a secretary and treasurer, city marshal and assessor and collector of taxes who shall hold their respective offices for two years, and until their successors are duly qualified. The secretary and treasurer shall be nominated by the mayor and confirmed by a majority of all the aldermen elected and qualified, taken by ballot. The city marshal and assessor and collector of taxes shall be elected by the qualified voters of the city.
Sec. 15. That the office of city recorder is hereby abolished, and the duties of the same are devolved upon the mayor, who shall have jurisdiction within the limits of the corporation, with power to hear and determine all cases of violation of the ordinances of the city council, which shall be prosecuted in the name, and in behalf of the mayor, aldermen and inhabitants of the city of Houston; and for the proper exercise of such jurisdiction the mayor shall have power and authority to issue process; to preserve order and punish for contempt committed in the presence of his court; to administer oaths and affirmations, to summon witnesses, either in the city or from any part of Harris county, and compel their attendance, but process beyond the city limits shall be directed to and executed by the sheriff or some constable for the county; to summon jurors and compel their attendance. The mayor's court shall be opened daily, and the accused shall have a speedy trial. The law of the state regulating practice and procedure in courts of justice of the peace shall be the rule of practice and procedure in the mayor's court. In the absence, sickness, or inability of the mayor to act and hold his court, the mayor's court may be held by the mayor pro tempore, [who] shall have the same jurisdiction, power and authority of the mayor. The salary and fees of the mayor's court may be determined by the city council. He shall make report to the council from time to time as required, and shall do and perform such duties properly appertaining to the office, as may be prescribed by the city council.
Sec. 16. That the secretary and treasurer shall attend the city council at its meetings. He shall have the custody of all the laws and ordinances of the city. He shall have the custody of the common seal of the corporation, and shall only affix the same to the obligations of the city, by order of the city council. He shall keep a regular and correct journal of the proceedings of the council, in well bound record books. He shall be the treasurer and have the custody of all moneys and valuable papers, records and archives of the city. He shall receive all moneys and revenues coming into the city treasury, and pay the same out by order of the council. He shall keep the money and funds of the ( 17 )
city on deposit in some bank in the city of Houston. He shall keep the accounts of the city in well bound books, and the books and records of his office shall be opened to the inspection of any citizen upon request, at any reasonable and proper time. He shall prepare and publish in one or more newspapers, printed in the city of Houston, an accurate and detailed statement and account of the receipts and disbursements of the revenues of the city; the outstanding obligations and liabilities of the city, and the condition of the city treasury, which statement shall be prepared and made up to the first Monday of December of each year, and published on or before the fifteenth day of December; and it shall be the duty of the city council to require this statement so to be made and published; and should the said statement not be made in the manner and at the time provided, the secretary and treasurer shall be liable to a fine of one thousand dollars, to be recovered in the district court of Harris county at the suit of the city attorney for and in behalf of the mayor, aldermen and inhabitants of the city of Houston; and the securities of the city secretary and treasurer on his official bond shall be liable for the amount of such fine; and judgment nisi shall be entered against them at the same time with the principal, to be made final upon a return of a writ of scire facias; and the city council may prescribe such other duties to be performed by the secretary and treasurer, concerning the administration of his office as may be deemed advisable.
Sec. 17. That the city marshal shall be the chief police officer of the city under the mayor. He shall attend all regular and special meetings of the council. He shall attend upon the mayor's court, and shall promptly execute and return all process issued from said court. He shall be active in quelling riots, disorders and disturbances of the peace within the limits of said city, and shall take in custody all persons so offending against the peace of the community. He shall arrest all offenders against the ordinances of the city for offenses committed in his presence, and shall have authority to take bail for their appearance before the mayor; and, in default of giving which, he shall commit them to the city prison for safe keeping until they can be brought before the mayor for trial. He shall have authority to appoint one deputy, for whose acts and conduct he shall be responsible; and such deputy shall have all the power and authority of the marshal. He shall perform such other duties, and shall be invested with such other power, rights and authority as the city council may by ordinance confer, not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the state.
Sec. 18. That the assessor and collector shall assess and collect all licenses and taxes levied and imposed by the city council, and shall pay the same over to the secretary and treasurer weekly on the Saturday of each week, taking duplicate receipts therefor, one of which he shall retain, and the other he shall return to the council (or the proper committee appointed by the council to receive the same) with his report in detail showing the several amounts received and by whom paid, which report shall be made to the first meeting of the council in each month. He shall be governed by the rules and regulations hereinafter prescribed in relation to the assessment and collection of licenses and taxes imposed by the city council, and shall do and perform such other acts and duties concerning the administration of his office as may be prescribed by the city council.
Sec. 19. That the officers named in this charter shall perform the duties prescribed by this act, and such other duties as may be prescribed.
by ordinance; and there shall be such other officers, servants and agents of the corporation as may be provided by ordinance, to be appointed by the mayor with the approval of a majority of all the aldermen elected and qualified, who shall perform such duties and receive such compensation as may be prescribed by ordinance. The council may require any officer or agent of said city as it may deem proper to give good and sufficient bond with approved security for the faithful performance of his duties in such sum as it may prescribe.
Sec. 20. That bonds shall be required of the city assessor and collector and of the city secretary and treasurer in an amount not less than double the amount of the funds which may probably be in their hands at any one time, to be determined by the council, which bond shall be upon such conditions as may be determined by the city council, and with good securities to be approved by the city council, and the city shall in like manner require bonds of any officer or agent of the city, through whose hands the money of the city may pass.
Sec. 21. That the by-laws and ordinances of the city shall be enforced by fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty days; and the council may provide by ordinances that fines may be commuted by labor in a work house or in the public works; and execution may issue against the goods and chattels, lands and tenements of the offender.
Sec. 22. That the salaries and fees of officers of said city shall be determined by the city council at least one month previous to their election, which salaries and fees, when so determined, shall not be raised nor lowered during the period for which said officers were elected.
Sec. 23. That the city council shall have power and authority to determine the dimensions, and provide for grading, paving, repairing or otherwise improving the streets or sidewalks, or any parts or portions thereof within the limits of the city, and to make provisions for the payment of the cost and expense thereof, in whole or in part, by the levy, assessment and collection of a tax upon the lot or lots fronting thereon, which assessment shall be a charge against the owner of said lot or lots, as well as a charge upon the property itself, which may be collected and enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction; provided, that the powers herein conferred shall be exercised only upon the petition of the owner or owners, or their legal representatives, of seventy-five per cent. of the property of the block or blocks fronting on each side of the street or streets proposed to be paved, and to maintain the cleanliness of the city; to secure the safety and convenience of passing in the streets, sidewalks and other places in the city; to fix the squaring and to prevent encroachments and obstructions on the streets, sidewalks, squares, ways, levees and public roads and places to fix the place for anchoring all water crafts on Buffalo bayou; to establish an active system of inspection over the conduct of persons and premises; to prevent cattle, horses, swine, goats, geese and animals from running at large in the streets; to establish and maintain city police, prescribe the duties of policemen and regulate their conduct; to provide for lighting the streets, and for this purpose may establish gas works for the manufacture of gas for the use of the city, and the inhabitants thereof at cost price; to determine in what part of the city slaughter houses, bone boilers, soap makers, or other establishments for any business, which is or may be injurious to the value of adjacent property, or unwholesome or disagreable to the occupant of adjacent property, shall not be allowed to be erected; to