Q May an alderperson supervise a municipal employee?

A If an alderman is supervising a municipal employee to the extent that the alderman’s actions rise to the level of a “policy-making character” and he or she is making administrative decisions for the municipality, or if the alderman is directing actions of employees, such action would result in a violation of the separation of powers doctrine. An alderman, serving in the legislative branch of municipal government, may not simultaneously serve in the executive branch, provided that such exercise involves a core function of the executive branch. As a result of such violation, a person automatically vacates his or her office in one branch of government upon entering into office in another branch of government, pursuant to Sections 1 and 2 of the Mississippi Constitution. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Miller, dated January 20, 2012)