Q What actions may be taken when the mayor attempts to delegate the mayor’s authority to preside over the municipal meetings to a municipal deputy clerk?

A The duty to preside over meetings of the Board of Aldermen is statutorily imposed by Section 21-3-15(1). In his absence, the mayor pro tem presides. There is absolutely no authority which would authorize a municipal clerk or deputy to preside over a meeting, even when a mayor attempts to delegate such authority. When one of its public officials fails to perform his or her statutorily-mandated duties, a governing authority may seek relief from the courts by securing a writ of mandamus requiring the Mayor to perform his or her mayoral duties, pursuant to Section 11-41-1. In addition, Section 175 of the Mississippi Constitution specifically provides for the removal from office of all public officers for the willful neglect of duty, upon conviction. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Bryant, March 6, 2015)