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Incorporation

 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2007
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Location: Monterey County, California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Incorporation Reply with quote

By an act of Legislature, passed April 30, 1851, the town of Monterey was duly incorporated. Phillip A. Roach, who was then Alcalde, was elected the first Mayor. He was succeeded by Gilbert Murdock, who was followed by W. H. McDowell.

Although Monterey did not long remain a city, she kept her city council busy with legal enactments until, on May 11, 1853, an act was approved which amended her charter and vested the control of her municipal affairs in a board of three trustees. Early records of the city council and board of trustees, which are still preserved in the city archives, are interesting:

"Meeting of the Ayuntamiento of Monterey on January 2, 1850, at 10:00 P. M." The men present were: P. A. Roach, 1st Alcalde; Frcs. L. Riplety, 2nd Alcalde; James McKinley, 1st Regidor; Jos. Boston, 2nd Regidor; Benito Dias, 3rd Regidor; John O'Neil, 4th Regidor; Wm. L. Johnston, Lindico.

On January 7, 1850, with all present, the following were voted on:
Sec. 2. "That all hotels, taverns, barrooms, booths or tents engaged in selling wines or liquors be taxed ten dollars per month payable monthly in advance. Adopted unaniŽmously."
Sec. 3. "That all taverns or other places where gambling is carried on shall pay ten dollars per month in addition to the foregoing (liquor tax), payable monthly in advance."
Sec. 4. "Artists of the drama were not exempt from taxation."
Sec. 5. "That all theatrical companies, circus companies, companies of rope dancers, or any other public diversion to pay ten dollars per month, payable in advance. Adopted."

"Resolved that all the public lands belonging to this town shall be granted to actual residents at a uniform price and granted only to such as have not heretofore received grants."

Another interesting item taken up by the Ayuntamiento was the lighting of the homes. Streets in those days were dark. Lights shining through windows would help, not only to disperse darkness but marauders and thugs as well. Hence the following enactment was adopted in January of 1850.
Sec. 4. "All persons shall on dark nights expose a lantern (containing a light) in some conspicuous part of their homes, or dwellings, or be liable to a fine of fifty cents for the first omission, one dollar for the second, and for any other omissions they shall be liable to such penalties as the Alcalde may in his discretion seem fit."

It was not until 1891 that Monterey had electric lights. In March of that year the Monterey Electric Light and Development Company formulated contracts with the Edison Electric Light Company for a plant to supply a much needed effulgence to Monterey.
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