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Civic Corner: Board of Aldermen Recap – October 18 Issue

Ricki Garrett alderwoman at largeBy Ricki Garrett, PhD, Alderwoman at Large

Because of Neighborhood Night Out, the Board of Aldermen meeting [on October 7] was a brief one. In one action, the Board approved the designation of parking spaces in Olde Towne, along existing curbing, in order to provide additional parking in that area. The Board also approved advertising for bids for landscaping services at Traceway Park and approved the hiring of a Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation.

At its Monday night Work Session, the Board continued its discussion of two issues related to zoning. The first is a proposal to designate all land that is currently zoned Agricultural to Residential Estate in order to align the zoning with our current comprehensive plan that was previously adopted. The other issue is a possible change that would allow the owner of a Residential Estate property of a certain size to come before the Board of Aldermen for a conditional use to allow a restricted number of farm animals, including chickens. The Board will continue to discuss the pros and cons of this proposed change.

The Board of Aldermen have also begun the process of reviewing proposed changes to our Personnel Policies that have not been reviewed and updated since 2012. As the legislative body for the City, it is imperative that the Board continually review and update policies, as well as create new policies that are in the best interest of the City. Despite the Mayor’s assertion that this is not the role of the Board, it is precisely the role of the legislative branch.

Another reason that the Board is reviewing and updating the Personnel Policies is because it has been brought to our attention that there are errors in the existing policies that give the Mayor – and even Department Heads – the authority to hire, fire, promote and demote City employees. As has been repeatedly asserted and upheld in numerous Attorney General opinions, that authority rests with the Board of Aldermen.


The sole authority to hire municipal employees, in a code charter municipality, is vested in the board of aldermen, subject to mayoral veto.
– MS AG Op., Littleton (November 30, 2001)

While the mayor may make recommendations to the board regarding employment decisions, the board of aldermen is under no statutory obligation to follow such recommendations.
– MAG AG Op., Sullivan (March 16, 2007)

While the mayor has “superintending control” over municipal employees and affairs, the authority to appoint employees and prescribe their duties rests with the board of aldermen, subject to veto power of the mayor.
– MS AG Op. Fermald (February 19, 1999)

The authority to employ, discharge, promote or demote municipal employees is a function of the board of aldermen subject to mayor veto.
– MS AG Op., Clark (July 20, 1990)


Of course, it is not the intent of the Board of Aldermen to take away the legal authority of either the Department Heads or the Mayor. Nor is it our intent to complicate the work of those who supervise the City employees. We are simply trying to do our jobs by assuring that our Personnel Policies conform with both State statues and with our form of government in Clinton. We will be doing that with input from our City Attorney, the Mayor, the Director of Human Resources and the Department Heads.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Space will be provided in each issue of The Clinton Courier to the Board of Aldermen for a recap of each meeting. Aldermen are asked to volunteer to provide this recap for the Courier.

1 Comment

  1. GlennStign on October 29, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    Address the process rather than the outcome. Then, the outcome becomes more likely

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