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Imperial Valley Press.
; VOL. VI OUR WATER RIGHTS In our issue of last week we publish ed certain :orrespondence with the Commissioner of the General Land Office at Washington concerning the situation regarding the water rights of thi people of this Valley. In his letter to us he pointed out the sections of the civil, code of this state, under which f water rights must be acquired In order for them to be sufficient to entitle the claimant to patent on lands entered under the Desert Land Act. As the basis of all laws in the State Is the Constitution, we deem It proper, at this point to quote that document regarding water rights: ARTICLE XIV. WATKR AND WATER RIGHTS. Section 1. The use of all water now appropriated, or that may hereafter be appropriated, for Bale, rental or distri bution, ie hereby declared to be a public use and subject to the regulation and control of the State, in the manner to be prescribed by law ; provided, that the rates or compensation to be collected by any j>ert»on, company or corporation in this State for the use of water supplied to any city and county, or city or town, or the inhabitants thereof, shall be fixed annually by the Board of Supervisors or City and County or City or Town Coun cil or other governing body of such city and county or city or town by ordin ance or otherwise, hi the manner that otheiN ordinances or legislative, acts or resolntions are passed by such body and shall continue in force for one year and no ionger. Such ordinances or resolii- Vtioiis shall be passed in the month of February of each year and take effect on the first day of July thereafter. Any board or body failing to pass the neces ."sary ordinances or resolutions fixing water rates, where necessary, within such time, shall be subject to peremp tory process to compel action, at the suit of any party interested, and shall be liable to such further processes and penalties as the legislature may pre scribe. Any person, company or cor poration collecting water rates in any city and county or city or town in this State otherwise than as so established, shall forfeft the franchises and water works of such person, company or cor poration to the city and county or city or town where the same are collected for the public use. Sec. 2. The right to collect rates or compensation for the use of waters sup plied to any county, city and county or town or the inhabitants thereof ie a franchise and cannot be exercised ex cept by authority of and in the manner prescribed by law. From this it will be seen that the use of water for Irrigation and domes tic purposes In this State is declared to be a public use, and the business of , supplying water to the Inhabitants of this State is a public franchise and cannot be exercised except in com pliance with law. So much for the constitutional pro visions. They are certainly broad enough to supply a base on which to erect a structure of law that will be un mistakable. We now come to the law as pointed out to .us by the Com missioner of the General Land Office In his letter of May Ist. Section 324 of the Civil Code of this State reads as follows: Sec. 324. Shares Personal Property. Transfer of Stock. Irrigation Stock. Whenever tho capital titock of any corporation is divided into shares and certificates therefor are issued, such shares ot stock except ac hereinafter provided are personal property and may be transferred by endorsement by Big nature of the proprietor, his agent, at torney or legal representative and the delivery of the certificate, 'but such transfer ia hot valid except an to the parties thereto until the same is so en tered upon the books of the corporation uh to show the names of the' parties' by whom and to whom tnumferred, the number of the certificate, the number MY F. 0. HAVENS or defMKnation of the Hliares and the date of tiie transfer. Provided however that any corpora tion organized for or engaged in the busi ness of selling, distributing, supplying or delivering water for irrigation pur* poses or for domestic use niay in its by laws provide that the water shall only bo so sold, distributed, supplied or de livered to o\«ners of its capital stock and that such stock shall be appurten ant to certain lands when the same are described in the certificate therefor. And when such certificate shall be so issued und a certified copy of such by law recorded in the ofllce of the County Recorder in the county where such lands are situated, the shares of stock so located on any land shall only he trans ferred witli said lands and shall pass as an appurtenance thereto. Sec. 324 Civil Code as amended in 1895. (James 11. Deering edition 1903.) This section refers to the stock of corporation organized under the laws of this State and after providing in a general way for the division of the capital stock of all corporations for profit into shares and the issuance of certificates therefor and setting forth the manner In which these' stock cer tificates shall be transferred it makes an Important exception In the case of water companies. This proviso, how ever, Is not mandatory upon the cor porations engaged in the business of selling, distributing, supplying or deliv ering water for irrigation purposes or for domestic use. Corporations en gaged in that line of business who do not comply with the provisions of Sec tion 324 and limit their business, to their stockholders only are common carriers under the laws of this State ana must file with the Board of Super visors annually a statement of their property and business and the Board of Supervisors must set the price .at which they must deliver water to users. A water user who Is once supplied by such a corporation cannot thereaf ter be denied water by It provided the corporation has the water to supply and the user tenders the legal price. Nor can the water company enterpose regulations or rules to shut off such party for the Supreme Court of this State has ruled in the case of Crow vs. the San Joaquin and- Kings River Can al and Irrigation Co. that it is the duty of the water company to supply the user with water whether he compiles with Its regulations or not. This pro viso regarding the stock of water com panies however gives tuch companies the right to limit their operations to their stockholders only and to sell, de liver, furnish or distribute water only upon lands which are described in the' certificates of stock and to which the stock Is made appurtenant. The meaning of the word "appurtenant" Is given by 'all the dictionaries of bur lan guage as "belonging to by right." Ths proviso further states that when the water company operating In accord ance with its provisions shall adopt by laws in conformity thereto and shall flte a certified copy of such by-laws with the county recorder- uf the county In which the land Is located 1 the" shares of stock of said company • located on any land shall only* be transferred with said land and shall pass as an appurt enance thereto." From the above It will be seen that the constitution and laws of this State contemplate the protection of the user of water In Its continued use, free from onerous ex actions and that the above quoted Sec tion 324 of the Civil Coda provides for the kinds of corporations which may engage In the business of selling, dis tributing, supplying or delivering water AND 'I III; IMI'IIUIAL PRESS EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA. MAY 19, 1906 for Irrigation purposes or domestic use. The next question to consider in Its relation to the water rights of the peo ple of this valley, Is that of the kind of corporation by which they are supplied with water. In order to determine whether their water rights are based on beneficial use of water delivered to them by a common carrier corporation, or whether they are acquired by the ownership of Irrigation stock In a mutual water company, organized In accordance with the proviso contained In Section 324 of the Civil Code of this State, above quoted. It will be noted In this connection that the above quoted section reads: " Provided, however.that any corporation organized for. or engaged In. the busi ness of selling, distributing, supplying, or delivering water for Irrigation pur poses, or for domestic use, may. In their by-laws provide thafthe water shall only be so sold, distributed, sup plied or delivered, to owners of Us cap ital stock and that such stock SHALL be appurtenant to certain lands, when the same are described in the certifi cate therefor." In order to furt .er elucidate this matter we herewith publish the by-laws of Imperial Water Company No. 1 , as certified to by the Secretary of said company on May 16th, 1906: ARTICLE I. CORPORATE POWERS. The corporate powers of this corpora tion shall be vested in a boaed of five directors, who shall be stockholders, holding one or more shares of stock in their own names on the books of the corporation, and three shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. ARTICLE 11. ELECTION OE DIRECTORS. The directors shall be elected by ballot at the annual meeting of tho stockhold ers.to serve for one year, and until their successors are elected. Their term of office shall begin immediately afterelec tion. ARTICLE 111. VACANCIES. Vacancies in the board of directors shall be filled by the other directors in where more than \ Glance at this Map will Show you that* — rjp 1 . $200,000 I J \ \ -] ■ I 13 BEING SPENT s > / jh~~ \ 5 The town of El Centro was started In the fall of "** /i...L.^*\ V 5 1905 and Is now about six months old. It is located in f f \ i%*c« \ b the center of the best part of the Imperial Valley, and Is i \ '»»* \ 5 destined to become the metropolis. // r ""~~^ fL* \ \ \ The following improvements now completed, or ( F" \ 2 under way. make a record to be proud of : /^ S: *aj-^ \ 'wf \ \ Ice and Cold Storage Plant (Brick) $75,000 • \ J^%f SSr gt f Hotel El Centro (Brick) - - 30,000 W^ \\ J,^ J Transformer Station and Power Lines 20,000 /~Y VV D ~ :r i Opera House Block (Brick) - 40,000 / .W'V A :^fe^^ Cement Sidewalks - - 10,000. _ _ _-V - - - " Water Works System - - 10,000 x/a^\ I Electric Light Plant for El Centro 5,000 f±3£ _ _, ■ _ s. p. r. r. Depot - - 6,000 EL CESINTTRO Holt Block (5 brick stores) - 1 5,000 wm |^i Machine Shop and Equipment 2,500 Hotel Franklin - - 5,000. METROPOLIS Hardware Store - - 2,000 o f the Hi v^entro Cantaloupe Association mmm r-» ■=>■-»■ a. ■ m/ *. n a ir-*-*./ ( Packing House 2.000 | Peterson Building (Brick) - 1,200 More money liaa been Hpunt in buildliiga and l?..ll«»*. RA.:*l<».r~R A .:*1<».r~ I W(\ permanent iniproveiii?-*"' -*v,i Centro in the last rullersKesidence - - I.DUU five months than in \n in the lm- Three Cottages - - 3,000 perial Valley in fiv< *-ul tee lot El Centro Und Co's Office - 800 yourßeH - V '• . 5 Blinn Lumber Co. Yards 2,500 This is the Fuller &Aten f s Office - - 600 ryr Grading Streets, Etc. - - 1,000 ITY .Total '- - $232,100 Come and* For Information regarding El Centro and the Im- perial Valley, and Its opportunities, address D. H. CHAPLIN farm GENERAL AGENT EL CENTRO LAND CO. EL OENTRO. CALIFORNIA office, and such persons shall hold office until the first meeting of the stockhold ers thereafter. ARTICLE IV. POWER or DIRECTORS. The directors shall have power: Ist. To call special meetings of the stockholders when they deem it neces sary. And they shall call a meeting at any time upon tho written request of stockholders holding one-third of all the capital stock. 2nd. To appoint and remove, at pleasure, all officers, agents and em ployees of the corporation, prescribe their duties, fix their compensation and require of them security for faithful ser vice. 3d. To conduct, manage and control the affairs and business of the corpora tion and to make rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the laws of the State of California, or the by-laws of the corporation for the guidance of the officers and management of the affairs of the corporation. 4th. To incur indebtedness. The terms and amount of such indebtedness shall be entered on the minutes of the board, and the note or obligation given for the same, signed officially by the president and secretary, shall tie bind ing on the corporation. ARTICLE V. DUTIES 07 DIRECTORS It shall be the duty of the directors: Ist. To cause to be kept a complete record of all their minutes and acts, and of the proceedings of the stockholders, and present a full statement at the reg ular annual meetingof the stockholders, showing in detail the assets and liabili ties of the corporation and generally the condition of its affairs. A similar state ment shall be presented at any other meeting of the stockholders, when thereto required by persons holding at least one-half of the capital stock of the corporation. 2d. To supervise all officers, agents and employees, and see that their duties are properly performed. To cause to be issued to the stockholders, in proportion to their eeveral interests, certificates of stock, not to exceed in the aggregate one million dollars. ARTICLE VI. OFFICERS. The, officers shall be a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, wliichoffieerßhall.be elected by and hold office at the pleasure of the board of directors. The compensation and tenure of office of all tlie officers of the corporation (other than directors) shall be fixed and determined by the board of directors. ARTICLE VI I. PJIKSIDKNT. The board of directors shall, at their first regular meeting, elect one of their number to act as president; and if, at any tinfe, the president shall bo unable to act, the vice-president slial' take his place and perform his duties; and if the vice-president, from any cause; shall be unable to act, they shall appoint Borne other member of the board to do so, in whom shall be vested, for the time be \ ing, all the duties and functions of his | office. Tho president, or in hie absence, thedirector appointed as above provided : Ist. Shall preside over all meetings of the stockholders and directors and shall have the casting vote. ■ 2d. He sliail sign, as president, all certificates of stock, and all contracts and other instruments of writing which have been first approved by the board of directors and shall draw checks upon the treasurer. 3d. He shall call the directors to gether whenever, he deems it necessary, and shall have, subject to the advice of thedirectors, direction of the* affairs of the corporation, and generally shall dis charge such other duties as may be re quired of him by the by-laws of the cor poration. "■ ' ;,/■•&' The president, or two. of tho directors,, may call special meetings of the- direct ors at any time, and notice shall be giv en of such called meetings by leaving a written or printed notice at the last known place of business or of residence cf each director. Such service of notice shall be entered on the minutes of the corporation, and the said minutes, upon being read and approved at a subsequent meeting of the board, shall be conclii- . sive upon the question of service. ARTICLE VIII ■ SECRETARY. The board of directors shall > elect ' a secretary, v i let. It sball be the duty of the secre tary to keep a record of the proceedings of the board of ' directors and of -the stockholders. 2d. He shall keep the corporate seal of the corporation and the book of blank certificates of stock, fill up and counter sign all certificates issuell, and make the Continued on Bth pa*e. NO. 6