Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy



Springfield's First City Charter

From Directory of the City of Springfield
John W. Kees & Co., Springfield. 1852


Sec. 5. That each white male citizen of this State who shall have been a resident of said city for six months, having the qualifications of an elector of members of the General Assembly, shall be a qualified voter of said city, and shall be entitled to vote for Mayor, Trustees, and for all other city officers, directed by this act to be elected by the voters of said city, and also for such officers as the City Council shall provide by ordinance for their being elected by the said voters; provided, that no person shall be capable of holding any office in the government of said city who shall not have the qualifications of a voter of said city, and also such other qualifications as shall be required by this act, for each office specified.


Sec. 6. That the exercise of the corporate powers of said city, granted by this act and the administration of its fiscal, prudential and municipal concerns, with the conduct, direction and government thereof, shall be vested in one principal officer, to be styled the Mayor, and a board of Trustees consisting of six members, whom, with said Mayor, shall consitutte and be denominated the City Council, together with such other officers as are hereinafter provided for.


Sec. 7. That the Mayor of said city shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof biennially, at the regular election on the first day of March, and shall hold his office for the term of two years, and until his successor shall have been chosen and qualified. No person shall be eligible to the office of Mayor, who shall not have resided in the said city and been a qualified voter therein, for one year next preceeding his election or appointment, and who shall not also be a freeholder, or householder, at the time of his said election or appointment. It shall be the duty of the Mayor to be active and vigilant at all times, in causing the laws and ordinances of said city to be put in force and duly executed — to inspect the conduct of all subordinate officers in the government thereof, and as far as in his power, to cause all negligence, carlessness, and positive violation of duty of such officers to be prosecuted and promptly punished. He shall keep an office in some convenient place in said city, to be provided by the City Council, if by them deemed advisable, and shall keep the seal of said city, and sign all commissions, licenses and permits, which may be granted by or under the authority of the City Council. He shall perform such duties and exercise such powers as from time to time, may devolve upon him by the ordinances of said city, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act, or the character and dignity of his office, and do and perform generally, all such other duties, and exercise such other powers as pertain to the office of Mayor. In his judicial capacity, he shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all cases for the violation of the ordinances of said city, and he is hereby vested with powers co-equal with Justices of the Peace within said city, and shall have power to exercise the same jurisdiction, and authority in civil and criminal cases within the limits of said city, and shall be entitled to the same fees as a Justice of the Peace in like cases; and for the due and sufficient exercise of the powers vested in him by this act, he hsall have power, and it shall be lawful for him to award all such process and issue all such writs as may be necessary to enforce the due administration of right and justice throughout said city, and for the lawful exercise of his jurisdiction agreeably to the usages and principles of law; provided that in all cases brought before said Mayor for the violation of the ordinances of said city, in which the said Mayor shall adjudge the defendant or defendants to pay a fine of ten dollars and upwards, exclusive of costs, the defendant or defendants shall have the right of appealing from said judgment to the court of common pleas of said county of Clark, upon giving bond in double the amount of the judgment and costs, with such securities as shall be approved by said Mayor, within ten days after said judgment shall be rendered, which bond shall be conditioned to pay and discharge the judgment and costs which may be recovered against such defendant in the court of common pleas, which appeal when perfected by giving bond as aforesaid, shall be heard and adjudged summarily, without pleading upon the papers certified up to said court by said Mayor, and such proofs as the parties may make; and the said court of common pleas of Clark county is hereby authorized and directed to take cognizance of, and hear and determine all such cases as shall be brought before them by appeal as aforesaid, and to assess such fine and pass such judgment against such defendant or defendants, as shall be prescribed by the ordinance of said city.


Sec. 8. That the qualified voters in said city at the annual election on the first Monday of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, shall elect six Trustees, who shall at the time be freeholders, or householders in said city, and qualified voters therein — and when said Trustees elected on that day shall have been organized by the Mayor, or the election by them of a President in case of the absence or sickness of the Mayor, as herein provided, they shall proceed and determine by lot the term of service of each Trustee so elected, so that three of said Trustees shall serve for two years, and the other three for the term of one year. And at every succeeding annual city election, three Trustees shall be elected by the qualified voters of said city, who shall possess the qualifications hereinbefore required, and whose term of service shall be two years, so that the terms of three Trustees shall always expire in different years; and the said Trustees so elected, after being qualified according to the provisions of this act, by oath, together with the Mayor who shall preside in their meeings, shall consitute the City Council of said city, a majority of whom shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. They shall be judges of the election, qualifications, and returns of their own members, and they shall determine the rules of their proceedings, and keep a journal thereof, which shall be open to the examination of every citizen of said city, and they may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as they shall think fit to prescribe. When the said Council shall have organized as aforesaid, they shall, at their first meeting, elect some suitable person, not a member of their own body, but having the same qualifications as required for a Trustee, City Recorder, who shall hold his office for one year, and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified. He shall have the custody of all the laws and ordinances of the Council, and of their records and papers during his term of office, and shall keep a regular and correct journal of their proceedings, and shall perform such other duties as may be enjoined on him by ordinance.



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