Model Ordinance to Create a Local Department of Public Welfare: 1918
An ordinance creating a Board of Public Welfare, of the City of ___________ County of ________ State of____________; providing number of members therefor; providing method of selecting said members and duration of term of offices; providing powers and duties of said board and providing penalties for violations of the provisions of this ordinance.
Be it ordained by the Mayor and City Council of the City of ______ State of______; That there is hereby created a Board of Public Welfare for the City of ________, which Board shall consist of five citizens, two of which shall be women, who shall be elected by the Mayor and City ______, in the manner hereinafter provided for in this ordinances. The members of said Board shall receive no pay, nor be compensated for services rendered as members of said Board of Public Welfare.
The members of the Board of Public Welfare shall hold office for a term of five years, except that the first members shall be elected for One, Two, Three, Four and Five years respectively. A majority of said Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, provided, however, that no business shall be transacted unless a majority of the total membership of the said Board shall concur therein. The members of the said Board of Public Welfare shall meet within ten days after their election, and shall organize by selecting, from among their members, a President and Secretary shall adopt such By-laws, rules and regulations, not conflicting with the law of the sate or Ordinances of the City, as may be necessary and proper to carry out successfully the work it is authorized to do. Any member or members designed by the Board of Public Welfare or its officers shall be commissioned officers with all powers of a police officer of and for the City of ________, and shall have full and complete authority, in conjunction with the school authorities, as truant officers to investigate and enforce attendance at the public schools in the City of ________.
Said Board of Public Welfare and its duly qualified officers shall have power, with the consent of the City ________, to manage and regulate all public playgrounds and play fields, and to supervise and equip and care for playground and play fields, and to provide regulations for suitable attire thereon. It shall also provide for proper and sufficient lighting of all public parks, playgrounds and other places of public amusements, and provide for an effective curfew ordinance and for enforcement of same.
Said Board of Public Welfare, subject to the control of the City ________, shall have charge of the inspection and supervision of all commercial amusements and entertainments, and shall make all needful regulations in reference thereto, and shall enforce all laws, ordinances, and regulations relating to or dealing with commercials amusements and entertainments, and shall investigate and recommend necessary regulations in relating to and erecting the constitution, lighting and sanitary regulations in the erection, repair or occupancy of buildings.
It is further provided that said Board of Public Welfare shall exercise supervision of such places of public amusements as are or may hereafter be provided, by or within said City of __________, for the public without profit. Said Board shall promote public recreations in every practical manner. Any member of the Board and duly appointed officers of the Board shall have, upon demand, full access to any place, room or building wherein any commercial or public amusement or entertainment is being held, conducted or carried on in the City of __________.
The Board of Public Welfare is further empowered to prescribe and enforce regulations for the operation and conduct of any place of business, amusement or recreation within said City which becomes a place of common gathering, loitering or loafing.
Any person or persons who shall attempt to conduct any amusement or recreation, or give any public exhibition without first securing permission from the Board of Public Welfare shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction in the police or justice court, be fined in any sum not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 and shall be committed to the city jail until such fine and costs are paid. Each day a violation is committed shall constitute a separate offense.
In all cases of violation of the laws of the State or ordinances of the City, the Board of Public Welfare shall furnish all information, of such violation, as may come within their knowledge, to the officers of the city and county, and shall render all possible assistance in prosecuting violations of law, particularly the prohibitory amendment, also all immoral persons or resorts and nuisances of whatsoever character, and the laws and ordinances pertaining to the sale and use of tobacco and cigarettes to and by minors.
The member of the said Board of Public Welfare or its officers shall have the right to investigate fully the cases of any and all persons confined in the city jail or prison, and to consult with such persons confined therein at all reasonable times. Said Board shall at all times see that poor persons arraigned in any justice or police court shall have full opportunity for defense, and shall safeguard in every way the rights of such persons.
Said Board shall be especially charged with the duty of co-operating with the police department and any charity organization of the city in the suppression of vagrancy or professional begging. The unemployed shall, at all times, have the careful and considerate attention of said Board, and employment shall be secured for such persons as far as practical. The Board shall proceed against all persons refusing to accept such employment so as to eliminate vagrancy in said city. Desertion and neglect of families shall be carefully inquired into by the Board, and prevented to the fullest extent authorized by law.
Said Board of Public Welfare shall, from time to time, investigate the efficiency and merit of any organization soliciting funds or property for any charitable purpose, and may issue cards in such from as the Board may adopt endorsing any such organizations as may be worthy of confidence and assistance. All organizations receiving such cards of endorsement, shall report in writing to said Board, in the manner and form required, stating the use or purpose to which the funds of property have been or are being applied.
The Board shall provide for the study of and research into the causes of poverty, delinquency, crime, disease, and other similar social problems in the community and shall in all proper ways promote the education and understanding of the community in those matters which concern the public health and welfare.
Be it hereby resolved by the mayor and __________ of the city of _________ that within ten days of the passage of this ordinance the mayor shall request the following organizations: Board of Education, Ministerial Union, ___________________________________; to each appoint one member to act as committee on nominations, said committee to meet at such time and places shall be designated by the Mayor.
Said committee shall organize by electing a chairman and secretary and then place in nomination twice as many persons as shall be elected on said board. The committee shall report its nomination to the mayor and ____________ at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose.
The mayor an _________ shall then elect the City Board of Public Welfare from the persons thus placed in nomination. All vacancies shall be filled in like manner.
The ordinance shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage, approval and publication according to law.
Passed and approval……………………………………………………1918
………………………………………. Mayor …………………………………………………… City Clerk
Source: Personal files of L.A. Halbert shared by his granddaughter Mary Mall.