AG says Bay must appoint new school bd. trustee
By Dwayne Bremer
Apr 11, 2017, 18:10
The Mississippi Attorney General's Office has ruled that a 180-day grace period for reappointing officials does not apply to school boards.
Thus, the Bay-Waveland School Board will have to operate a member short until the city of Bay St. Louis makes an appointment which was due by March 1, officials said Tuesday.
Maurice Singleton is one of two appointed members of the school board. The other three are elected.
Singleton has served on the school board since 2012.
His five-year term expired at the beginning of March.
The city, however, has yet to reappoint him or appoint a different school board member.
Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said last month that he believed the city had a grace period of 180 days before the appointment had to be made. Fillingame said he felt it would be best for the new city administration and council to make the appointment after it takes over in June.
For certain appointments, the law allows for a 180-day "hold over" period.
State law also prohibits governmental bodies from making decisions in the last quarter of their respective terms which would obligate the incoming board or council.
Bay St. Louis' general election for mayor and all seven city council seats are less than two months away.
When the school board met in March, Singleton sat in the audience. He said that he wanted to be at the meeting, however, he sat out as a precaution while a clarification of the law was obtained.
School Board Attorney Ronnie Artigues said Monday that he had received an AG's opinion which said, in part, that the 180-day grace period does not apply to school board members.
Once again, Singleton sat in the audience at Monday's meeting, but he did not participate.
In the opinion issued last week, Attorney General Jim Hood said there is no specific language regarding school board appointments and that the 180-day provision does not apply in this case.
Singleton said Tuesday that he will keep abreast of issues surrounding the school board, should he be reappointed,
Fillingame said he will likely discuss the appointment with the city council at the city's next meeting.
"We had several reasons why we wanted to wait to make the appointment," Fillingame said. "Now that we have an opinion, we will move forward."