Q When the mayor in a mayor-council form of government engages the services of an attorney to carry out a statutory function of the office of mayor; may the city council pay directly or reimburse the mayor for such legal expenses actually incurred?

A Any contract for professional services must be approved by the governing authorities. A mayor, acting alone, cannot exercise powers granted to “governing authorities” and any approval of a contract must be made by the city council, subject to the veto of the mayor. In the event that the contract has not been approved by the city council, Section 31-7-57(2) provides a legal remedy in certain instances to vendors. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Bland, July 18, 2014)