| Code Charter Municipal Government Mayor-Board of Alderman Form. The City of Moss Point is governed by a mayor and a board of seven aldermen elected to serve for four years.Qualifications and Selection of Mayor and Aldermen. The mayor and all members of the board of aldermen must be qualified electors of the municipality and must be chosen by election. The mayor is elected from the municipality at-large while the aldermen are elected either at-large, by ward or by some combination of ward or at-large voting (all alderman elected from and by wards must be residents of their wards). In municipalities where the population size mandates that there be seven (7) aldermen, six (6) are elected by ward and one (1) is elected at-large. Except for a few municipalities operating under a special or private charter which fixes a separate time for holding elections, mayor and aldermen are elected in a general municipal election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of June, 2009, and every four (4) years thereafter. If an alderman moves from his ward, or if the mayor or an alderman elected at-large moves from the municipality, the office is automatically vacated and is filled in the manner set out in Code, 23-15-857.
Powers and Duties of Mayor
There are several sections of the 1972 Mississippi Code which deal directly with a Mayor’s duties, powers and responsibilities, Sections 21-3-15, 21-15-7, 21-15-9, 21-15-11, 21-15-13 and 21-15-15. The general powers of the governing authorities are outlined in Section 21-17-5. Mississippi has recognized the “separation of Powers” branches of government, even in municipalities. The Mayor is considered the executive, administrative branch; the Board of Aldermen is considered the legislative branch; and the municipal judge and prosecutor are considered the judicial branch. One can compare these branches and their respective duties and powers with the State and Federal Governments, but in local City Government, the separations may be a little less defined. The legislative branch, or Board of Aldermen, pass the laws and regulations, allocate and spend the funds, make necessary appointments and similar acts.The mayor is vested with the “superintending control” of all officers and affairs of the municipality and is charged with seeing that the laws and ordinances are executed. He presides over all meetings of the board of aldermen (and thus recognizes its members for the purpose of making motions, speaking to motions, and so on) but is allowed to vote only in case of a tie. The mayor has power to veto any ordinance, resolution, or order adopted by the board of aldermen by returning the measure to the board, together with a written statement of his objections to all or any part of it, within ten days of its receipt. The mayor is required to sign all commissions and appointments of officers chosen by the mayor and board of aldermen. In addition, the mayor (along with the clerk is required to approve all boards of municipal officers). The Mayor has the day-to-day management and administration of a City, to include the supervision and direction of City officials and employees. The Mayor may submit suggested budgets, actions, or other matters for Board consideration. The big difference between the Mayor’s day-to-day powers and duties is managing the City and the Alderman’s powers and duties being effective and operational only when a City meeting is being conducted.
Powers and Duties of Board
Although the mayor presides over all meeting of the board of aldermen, only members of the board may make motions and cast votes (except in case of equal division, where the mayor may cast the deciding vote). The board of aldermen is required to elect from among its members a mayor pro tempore to preside over its meetings and otherwise serve in the place of the mayor in cases of his “temporary absence” or “disability”. The board is also required to submit all its ordinances, resolutions, and orders to the mayor for approval or veto; and in the event the mayor vetoes any measure, the board my override the veto by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members.