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Board of Aldermen
History of Iuka



     Iuka is run on the Mayor-Board of Aldermen form of government, (also known as the "code charter" form).  This form is used today by approximately 95% of Mississippi's nearly 300 municipalities.
      Under this form of government, the governing body is comprised of a mayor and either five or seven aldermen.  Iuka, with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, has five aldermen.  Although both the mayor and the board have powers and responsibilities that are theirs alone, the Code frequently (and interchangeably) uses the phrases governing "authorities" and "the mayor and board of aldermen" in awarding power to municipal governments.  
     It may be argued, in fact, an examination of the statutes reveals that most of the municipal authority has been awarded to the mayor and the board of aldermen, acting as a body.  Of particular significance is the fact that the five (5) "elective officers" (other than the mayor and the aldermen) established by law- municipal judge, marshal or chief of police, tax collector, tax assessor, and clerk-may be made appointive at the discretion of the governing authorities.  Where and elective officer is made appointive, the person appointed serves at the pleasure of the governing authorities.  Moreover, it is discretionary with the governing authorities whether or not that person must reside within the corporate limits.
     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.  In Iuka, the five aldermen may be elected entirely at large, or one may be elected at large and four by ward.   The mayor and aldermen are elected every four (4) years in a general municipal election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June.  If an alderman moves from his ward, or if the mayor or an alderman moves from the municipality, the office is automatically vacated and refilled.
     The mayor is vested with the "superintending control" of all officers and affairs of the municipality and is charge with seeing the laws and ordinances are executed.  He presides over all meetings of the board of aldermen, but is allowed to vote only in case of a tie.  He has the power to veto any ordinance, resolution, or order adopted by the board of aldermen by returning the measure to the board with a written statement of his objections to all or any part of it, within ten (10) days of its receipt.  The mayor is required to sign all commissions and appointments of officers chosen b the mayor and board of aldermen.  In addition, he, along with the clerk, is required to approve all bonds of municipal officers.
     Although the mayor presides over all meetings of the board, 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 require o 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 may override the veto by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members.
     One of the most important areas of shared power is that of appointing and dismissing various municipal officials and employees.  As noted earlier, the mayor and aldermen share authority to make the municipal judge, marshal or chief of police, tax collector, tax assessor, and clerk, "appointive" officers rather than "elective officers".  When that power is exercised, the officer serves at the pleasure of the mayor and board.  In addition, these officers, the mayor and aldermen may appoint a street commissioner and any such other officers and employees as may be necessary and and may prescribe their duties and fix their compensation.  A surety bond is required for all officers and employees handling public funds.  In practice, the aldermen hire and fire subject to the mayor's veto, while the mayor oversees the daily operation of municipal government and makes recommendations to the board.  In 1976 the mayor and board of aldermen were give the specific authority to establish the position of chief administrative officer, but the ordinance doing so requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the aldermen.

Excerpts taken from "The Handbook for Mississippi Municipal Clerks and Tax Collectors"

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