Selected Readings for the Municipal Official

Since the League was formed in 1935, certain questions are asked again and again. Every municipal administration seeks advice on questions relating to council organization, parliamentary procedure, basic municipal powers, territorial jurisdiction, revenue powers, municipal courts and a number of other pertinent issues. This collection of Selected Readings articles has been revised and republished for many years. We hope these articles will prove helpful to newly-elected Alabama municipal officials in the orientation process and to veteran municipal officials as a reference on municipal government. It should be emphasized that this collection of articles is not intended to be an exhaustive study of all aspects of municipal government. Nor is the advice the definitive "last word" on any of the subjects. These are reference articles.


Information contained within the Selected Readings for the Municipal Official and the Handbook for Mayors and Councilmembers and any other League publications, are copyrighted by the Alabama League of Municipalities. The information provided therein is for research purposes only and is not legal advice from the League of Municipalities, its instrumentalities, or staff nor is it a substitute for individualized legal advice. While the League updates its publications regularly, all information contained in any League publication must be verified and updated before use to make sure it accurately reflects the current state of the law. Use of these publications or other information from the League is at the sole risk of the user. The Alabama League of Municipalities, its instrumentalities, and staff disclaim any responsibility or liability which may arise or result from the use or implementation of all or any portion of information included in its publications.

  1. What is the League
  2. Legal Department – A User's Guide

Fundamentals of Municipal Government

  1. Forms of Municipal Government in Alabama 
  2. General Powers of Municipalities 
  3. Duties of the Mayor and Council 
  4. The Municipal Police Jurisdiction 
  5. Council Meeting Procedure 
  6. The Council and Public Participation 
  7. Basic Parliamentary Procedure 
  8. The Open Meetings Act 
  9. Keeping the Journal 
  10. Municipal Ordinances 
  11. Tips for Drafting Ordinances 
  12. Presumptions 
  13. Public Records 
  14. Municipal Boards in Alabama 
  15. Working with Municipal Boards 
  16. Municipal Contracts 
  17. State Regulated Professions and Licensing Requirements 
  18. Economic and Industrial Development 
  19. Commercial Development Authorities 
  20. Solid Waste Collection and Disposal 
  21. Municipalities and Recreation 

Laws Governing Officers and Employees

  1. Conflicting Offices and Interests 
  2. Expenses of Municipal Officers and Employee
  3. Military Leave for Municipal Employees 
  4. State Mandated Training for Municipal Personnel 

Revenues and Expenditures

  1. The Municipal Budget and Auditing Processes 
  2. Sources of Revenue for Alabama Cities and Towns 
  3. State Collected and Distributed Local Revenue and State Taxes Paid by Municipalities 
  4. Municipalities and State Shared Fuel Taxes and Inspection Fees 
  5. Municipal Sales Tax in Alabama 
  6. License Schedule Ordinance 
  7. License Exemptions and Limitations 
  8. Due Process Issues in Licensing 
  9. License Enforcement 
  10. The Commerce Clause and Municipal Taxation 
  11. The Special Federal Census 
  12. Municipal Franchises 
  13. Municipal Debt Financing 
  14. Sale or Lease of Unneeded Municipal Property 
  15. Authority to Expend Municipal Funds 
  16. The Public Purpose Doctrine 
  17. Paying Legal Expenses of Officers and Employees 
  18. The Competitive Bid Law
  19. Public Works Bidding