Q Must a professional services agreement or contract with an underwriter of municipal bonds, which may include terms such as compensation , scope of duties and conflicts of interest, be duly authorized and approved by the governing board and recorded in the minutes before it is effective and signed by the mayor?

A Any contract entered into on behalf of a municipality must have been previously authorized, as reflected in the official minutes, by the board of aldermen. As a municipality only speaks through its minutes, no authority to enter into a contract would exist unless the minutes reflect the desire of the governing authorities to enter into that contract. Therefore, such an agreement is not effective until it has been approved by the board of aldermen and the action recorded in the meeting minutes. (Attorney General’s Opinions to Young, February 6, 2015)