Monday, April 6, 2009

Opinion regarding Village Law

A mayor is one among five members of a village board of trustees, and although a mayor has certain powers and duties, in many instances he or she does not have the authority to act unilaterally. As stated in §4-412(2) of the Village Law, "A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business..." Section 41 of the General Construction Law entitled "Quorum and majority" has long provided that a public body, such as a village board of trustees, may do what it is empowered to do only by means of an affirmative vote of a majority of its total membership. Consistent with those statutes is §4-400 of the Village Law entitled "Mayor", which in subdivision (1) states that a mayor "may have a vote upon all matters and questions coming before the board and he shall vote in case of a tie, however on all matters and questions, he shall vote only in his capacity as mayor of the village and his vote shall be considered as one vote..."

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