FIRE DEPARTMENT CHARITABLE FUND.
1866 March 15
The bill abolishing the present Volunteer Fire Department having become a law, to take effect on the 1st July next, the Charitable Fund—amounting now to nearly $100,000 and the question of its future management and disposition, an exciting considerable interest in the community at large, as well as in the Department. Hitherto it has been controlled by the active members of the Department, represented in the Board of Delegates. The Trustees of the Fund were elected by the Board, and the Fund was managed under laws and rules made by the Board. The exempt members were entitled to relief from the Fund, but whether belonging to the Exempt Company or not, were expressly prohibited by statute from any participation in the management of it. In other words, the Fund was managed by the Active Department for the benefit of both the active and exempt members. To the Exempt Company, composed of three hundred members, it is now proposed by one party to give the control and management of the Fund, and to that end a bill has been introduced at Sacramento by Mr. McClelland. The main features of this bill areas follows:
Section 1-Entitlse the Director of the Exempt Company to the Charitable Fund, and vests and transfers it to them: directs the present Trustees to transfer it to said Directors of the Company, who are authorized to loan the same only on real estate in San Francisco, and to manage said Fund for the charitable use for which it was created.
Section 2— Directs the Supervisors to convey to said Exempt Company some suitable house and lot.
Section 3— Repeals all conflicting acts.
The Board of Delegates of the Active Department who now absolutely control the fund, have also prepared a bill, which has been prepared by Mr. Lupton, and of which we append the following abstract :
Section one empowers present active members and all exempt members of the Department, excepting persons who resign or are expelled from the active role, to form a "Firemen’s Benevolent Association," to take charge of the Charitable Fund and all other property of the Department.
Section two empowers the Association to hold real and personal property, to sue and be sued, and to adopt a seal. Its members and their widows and orphans are entitled to relief under such rules now exist or may be hereafter prescribed by the Board of Directors.
Section three declares the active and exempt members of the present Department to be members of the Association, and that the officers of the Association shall be a President, Secretary, Treasurer, a Board of Five Trustees of the Charitable Fund, and a Board of twelve Directors.
Section four provides for the election of a President, Secretary and Board of twelve Directors of the new Association to be called by the President of the present Department within thirty days after this act becomes a law, with the details of how and when such election shall be held. All persons now on the active rolls together with all exempt members of the Association are eligible office and have the right to vote in said association
Section five provides for insurance of certificates by the present Board of Delegates to the officers so elected.
Section six and seven provides for the annual election of officers of the Association on the 1st Monday in June, and the canvass of returns, etc.
Section eight gives the President and Secretary power to administer oaths. The President shall be ex-officio member of the Board of Directors, but shall have no vote unless in case of a tie vote.
Section 9. The Directors have power to make laws to govern the Association, officers and members the Trustees of the Charitable Fund to manage the Fund and the Cemetery Lot: such laws to be binding when approved by a majority of the members present at a meeting of the Association. Any officer or member violating said laws, or this act, may be censured or expelled from the Association by the Board: provided that such expulsion shall not deprive him of his right to relief from the fund. The Board of Directors shall elect the Trustees of the Fund, and should a vacancy occur in any of the offices, they shall fill such vacancies for the an expired term.
Section 10. Board of Delegates to transfer all property of the Department to the new Association. A large number of the active members of the Fire Department, probably a majority thereof appear to strongly favor the latter bill. Should it prove to be the will of the majority of the members of the Department that the common property should be disposed of v provided in this last described bill, it would seem to be but right that their wishes should be respected.
Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 18, Number 5848, 15 March 1866 — Fire Department Charitable Fund. [ARTICLE]