This entry was posted on respectable 27th, 2018 and also is filed under basic Local federal government (Miscellaneous).

You are watching: What does mayor pro tem mean


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North Carolina law, GS 160A-70 requires city governing board to elect from among its members a mayor agree tem. What strength does the mayor agree tem have? walk the mayor pro tem vote on every matters also in cities where the mayor votes only to break a tie? go the mayor pro tem automatically become mayor if the mayor resigns? What walk “pro tem” mean, anyway? read on to learn the answers come these and also other questions around mayors pro tem. 

“Pro tem.” sounds favor some fancy Latin term. What does that mean? Pro tem. Is an abbreviation the the Latin expression pro tempore, which method “for the time being” or “temporary.” So it is the very first thing come know about the mayor pro tem. The mayor agree tem offer temporarily in location of the mayor when the market is absent. Because that efficiency, I’ll substitute MPT because that mayor pro tem. And I’ll call GS 160A-70, the MPT statute.

How is the MPT chosen?

The MPT statute requires the the supervisory board to selected the MPT from amongst its members. There is no statutory guidance around how to structure the election. There room two options – motion and also vote, and also nominations and also ballot. You have the right to learn an ext about these techniques in a blog article here.

Does the MPT serve in that function for the duration of his or her term of office on the council?

Not necessarily. The MPT statute claims that the MPT must be chosen at the company meeting, and that the MPT offer at the satisfied of the council. This way that the council has to pick a MPT in ~ each business meeting, and that the council has the selection of reelecting the current MPT, or electing a new one. That also way that the the supervisory board can, with or there is no cause, poll to remove the MPT at any type of time, and also appoint a brand-new one.

What powers does the MPT have?

The general ascendancy nationally is that, unless state law offers otherwise, the MPT “exercises all of the functions of the mayor, consisting of discretionary, ministerial, executive and also administrative, legislative and also judicial or quasi-judicial powers,” once acting in location of the mayor. 3 McQuillin Mun. Corp. § 12:72 (3d ed.). View State v. Thomas, 141 N.C. 791 (1906) (upholding a warrant authorize by the mayor pro tem. Issuing warrants was one of the powers of mayors at that time.)

The north Carolina MPT statute departs from the national dominance and permits the council come confer upon the MPT “any that the powers and duties the the mayor.” In the college of Government’s said Rules of Procedure because that a City Council, 4thEd., recommended preeminence 18 delegates come the MPT the strength to preside in the Mayor’s absence, including every one of the strength of the presiding officer as specified in preeminence 17(d). As provided in my blog short article here, phibìc Carolina mayors have few statutory powers. As soon as electing a MPT, the the supervisory board should consider whether come delegate powers past simply presiding in ~ meetings. The common, because that example, for mayors to have delegated government to authorize contracts, participate in agenda preparation, sign ordinances, and also conduct various ceremonial functions. Need to the board of directors delegate all of those powers to the MPT? The degree of a delegation come the MPT will most likely depend ~ above the anticipated term of the mayor’s absence. Much more on the below.

Are there any kind of statutory powers the a MPT can exercise any kind of time, also when the market is not absent?

Yes, at least one. GS 160A-71(b)(1) gives the MPT government to speak to a unique meeting. Other powers could exist in individual city charters.

Does a the supervisory board member serving as mayor agree tem poll on all matters, also if the mayor just votes in a tie?

Yes. The MPT state says, “A councilman serving together mayor agree tempore chandelier be entitled to vote on every matters and also shall be thought about a councilman for every purposes, including the determination of whether a quorum is present.” This is true even when also when the MPT is presiding in the mayor’s absence.

What happens if both the mayor and also the MPT space both absent?The MPT statute states that if castle both absent, the council have the right to elect native the members present, a temporary chair come preside.

What if the market is absent for one extended period of time? Is there a time border after which the board can declare the mayor’s seat vacant?

There space multiple scenarios that can take place so let’s look in ~ them separately.

What if the mayor becomes physically or mentally i can not qualify of the performing the duties that the office?

The MPT statute allows the council, by unanimous vote, to declare the the mayor is incapacitated and also confer any type of of the mayor’s powers and also duties on the MPT. If the mayor consequently declares that he or she is no much longer incapacitated, and a majority of the the supervisory board concurs, the market resumes his or she powers and duties. The statute doesn’t set any limit on how long this situation can persist if the mayor continues to it is in incapacitated.

What if the mayor continues to be incapacitated and it appears that the or she will not be able to return come the office?

One option is because that the mayor to resign. Sometimes, however, the mayor is can not or unwilling come make the decision. There are no statutory provisions that permit a plank to eliminate member that the board. Amotion is a common law device for remove a member that an elected board as soon as the member is unable or unwilling to properly lug out the duties that the office. The traditional for remove of an elected board member by amotion are an extremely high, and also the process requires a hearing and also presentation of proof in assistance of the action. For an ext on amotion, see my blog write-up here.

What if the mayor wants to take a leave of absence?

Although it’s hardly ever used, state law allows any chosen or appointed official of a city or ar to achieve a leaving of lack for protracted disease or “other factor satisfactory come the governing body” that the city or county. See GS 128-40 (counties) and GS 128-41 (cities). The procedure must it is in initiated by the official seeking the leaving of lack and must be approved by the administrate body. If on leave the official does not receive a salary but retains any sick leave to which the or she is entitled. The leaving does not expand the term of office.

If the market takes a leave of absence, it seems most likely that the council would certainly delegate to the MPT part or every one of the mayor’s duties during the leaving period. The statute, however, provides an alternate option:

If, by reason of the size of the period of absence or the nature the the duties the the official, the governing body deems it necessary, it may appoint any kind of qualified citizen of the municipality together a momentary replacement for the duration of the official’s leave of absence. This appointee shall have actually all the authority, duties, perquisites, and also emoluments the the official temporarily replaced. The appointee chandelier possess every the qualifications forced by legislation for hold the office because that which the short-term replacement official is appointed. GS 128-41.

What if the mayor moves the end of the city, or does something else that provides her ineligible because that the office? have the right to the administer board remove the mayor?

Not exactly, but they may be able to declare the office vacant. If over there is documented evidence the the mayor ceases to be qualified because that the office, state law gives that the office is “ipso facto” (Latin for “by the reality itself”), vacant. As defined in a blog post here, in this circumstance, the board have the right to declare the office vacant and also fill the vacancy.

If over there is a vacancy in the mayor’s seat, does the MPT immediately become the mayor?

No. As shown earlier, the council has authority to delegate the mayor’s duties come the MPT. But when it involves filling a vacancy in the mayor’s seat, the council fills the chair as noted in GS 160A-63. Under that statute the council can appoint the MPT, or any kind of other council member, or any kind of other human being who is eligible to serve. If they appoint the MPT or any other board of directors member, that creates a brand-new vacancy and the council filling it.

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What if the council desire to leave the mayor’s seat vacant and have the MPT bring out the mayor’s duties till the next election?

It’s not totally clear whether the council has the discretion to carry out this. The state doesn’t administer any time framework within in i beg your pardon a vacancy top top the council have to be filled, yet on the various other hand the, the regulation says that the board of directors “shall” fill the vacancy. For much more on this problem see mine blog article here.