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May a City Mow an Overgrown Lot without a Court Order?

April 10, 2017

The Town of Manicure has been working hard to revitalize the historic neighborhood adjacent to downtown. As part of the effort to improve conditions in this and other neighborhoods, the town has been more vigilant in enforcing its overgrown lot … Continued

One Oath or Two? What is THE Oath of Office?

January 27, 2017

Article VI, Section 7 of the North Carolina Constitution instructs anyone elected or appointed to public office in this state to take and subscribe – that is, swear (or affirm) and sign – the oath prescribed therein before entering upon … Continued

Counting the Mayor in Quorum Calculations

July 22, 2016

Scenario 1: A city council has six members and no vacant seats.  Three of the members fail to show up for this month’s regular meeting, leaving only the mayor and the other three members in attendance. Scenario 2: The same … Continued

Ordinance Enforcement Basics

February 1, 2016

I am often asked about the steps that local governments may take to enforce their ordinances. This blog post describes the basic enforcement options available to cities and counties.  It is adapted from a section of my chapter General Ordinance … Continued

Repealing Ordinances

November 13, 2015

The Upsette City Council adopted a controversial ordinance limiting the number of dogs and cats per residence.  Three of the council’s five members lost their seats at the next election to opponents who campaigned on pledges to repeal the pet … Continued

Business Registration Programs: 10 Questions and Answers

August 28, 2015

My colleague Chris McLaughlin has blogged repeatedly about the legal impact of the General Assembly’s repeal last year of the statutory authority for most local privilege license taxes (“LPLTs”). (See his blog posts here, here, and here.) Local governments – … Continued

When May a Board Member Change a Vote?

June 15, 2015

A five-member city council is debating a motion to adopt the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Eager for more time to persuade others to support increased funding for some of his priorities, Councilmember Tom Delay moves to postpone … Continued