Monday, April 11, 2016

Mayors, better watch those interims.

Governor Phil Bryant signed SB #2587 last week.  The new law cuts off all municipal funding for interim appointments who serve over six months and require confirmation by the legislative branch. The bill was authored by Senator Josh Harkins (R-JMAA).  The new law will go into effect on July 1.  There is no "grandfather clause".  A city will be barred from paying an interim appointment's salary if he has served over six months in that position on July 1.  The state auditor can recover the funds expended in violation of the law.  The bill states:

Senate Bill 2587
(As Sent to Governor)



SECTION 1. (1) No person shall serve in an interim or hold-over capacity for longer than one hundred eighty (180) days after the expiration of the term to which he or she was appointed in a position that is required by law to be filled by appointment of the governing body of a municipality, or by mayoral appointment with the advice and consent of the council or aldermen, including positions on boards, commissions or authorities.

(2) If such position is not filled within one hundred eighty (180) days after the expiration of the term, no municipal funds may be expended to compensate any person serving in the position.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2016.

Kingfish note: This bill strengthens checks and balances in municipal government.   Mayors have sought to avoid getting nominations confirmed by city councils or boards of aldermen by making interim appointments.  The "interim" appointment would then serve as if he were a permanent appointment.  Mayors Johnny Dupree, Frank Melton and Harvey Johnson were all guilty of using this tactic to avoid the checks and balances.  It will be interesting to see how many interim appointments are willing to work for free.


Anonymous said...

My friends in Hattiesburg will be glad to see this. I was hoping to read that it had been authored by one of the guys from down there. Pleasantly surprised Harkins authored. Good for him.

Anonymous said...

Gays, guns, confederate history, and now waste spending. Bryant has really been teeing off lately.

Anonymous said...

What is Josh after? Jmaa board doesn't get paid...

Anonymous said...


How about the same damn thing everyone in central Mississippi wants... A prosperous and well run airport. Not the crap hole it is today.

Anonymous said...

Why limited to municipalities? The same occurs with county boards and commissions.

Dullards Pay Attention said...

This ain't got shit to do with the damned airport. It's about mayors not fulfilling their obligation to govern. Not everything is related to Whole Foods, The Wylie Medgar airport and cop chases into Jacktown. There is actually life after all three.

Anonymous said...

Harkins seems to get a lot of bills passed. I wonder why.

Anonymous said...

Assume the reason this applies to municipalties and not counties is that municipalities are a creature of statute while boards of supervisors are constitutional in creation and powers. Also, a municipality is a balance of the executive and legislative branches while the county boards are quasi-judicial in nature, as well as legislative and executive at other times. Of course, I might be wrong about this but it seems to make sense.

Anonymous said...

This new law was written for municipalities because the mayor often makes appointments that must or should be approved by the governing board of aldermen or councilmen. Counties have no such process. The Board of Supervisors makes appointments directly; there is no one else that has to approve. If a County Board of Supervisors makes an interim appointment, it may mean that they have not yet decided on who to appoint permanently or they may need to have someone perform the duties temporarily while the board takes time to advertise the position or otherwise search for the right person to fill the position. This particular law is just not really needed for Counties.

Anonymous said...

Many times an interim appointment is made to give the job to a person who has absolutely no knowledge of the job instead of hiring a person who is qualified. This allows the person to be on the job for an amount of time which can be used as an excuse to hire a buddy or friend instead of a qualified person.

Anonymous said...

11:04 - Which parish do you live in? Individual supervisors nominate appointees and the whole board must vote to confirm. While the law may more directly apply to towns, your lesson is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

to 6:07 from 11:04:

You are mistaken. Mississippi has Counties, not parishes. (Parishes are in Louisiana.) While individual County Board members frequently nominate appointees, only the entire board may vote to fill a position either with an interim appointee or a regular appointee. In Mississippi, an individual County Supervisor has no legal authority to make interim appointments. I do not seek to argue only to point out the facts about the law in question. There would be no purpose to making this applicable to Counties unless the Legislature just wanted to limit the time of interim appointments in general. Sheriffs, Tax Assessors, Tax Collectors, Circuit Clerks, and Chancery Clerks have independent authority to appoint deputies. The County Administrator (for those Counties that have one) has authority to appoint certain employees subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors. Counties don't have "recess" appointments like the President of the U.S. or appointments to boards and commissions by a "Mayor" which require confirmation by the Governing Authority Board. The reasons for this new law are unique to municipalities. Speaking from 30 years of local government experience.

Fed Up said...

The Mayor of Bay Saint Louis, Les B. Filingame, has had his close friend as Interim Chief Building Inspector for 7 years. He was tutored to become qualified at a cost of $2600 to the Tax Payer but after several years is yet to be certified. He has recently been embattled over driving under the influence but is still in place driving a City Vehicle.

Anonymous said...

Gulf coast commenters in da house!

Can this building inspector get that Walker dude his retroactive VRBO approvals?

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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