The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site -



Opinion No. 5354

August 4, 1978


Statute authorizing action by legislative body


Veto power of mayor

Where a statute provides that the legislative body of a municipality shall make certain appointments, the mayor may not veto an action of the council concerning appointment or removal of appointees even though the home rule city charter gives the mayor veto power over all ordinances, resolutions and proceedings of the council.

Honorable Alfred A. Sheridan

State Representative

29th District

The Capitol

Lansing, Michigan

You have asked whether the mayor of the City of Taylor may veto an action of the Taylor City Council concerning the appointment or removal of a member of the governing board of the People's Community Hospital Authority which was incorporated pursuant to 1945 PA 47, as amended, MCLA 331.1 et seq; MSA 5.2456(1) et seq.

1945 PA 47, supra, Sec. 5, provides in part:

'The hospital authority shall be directed and governed by a hospital board consisting of 1 member for the first 20,000 population and 1 for each additional 40,000, or fraction thereof, according to the latest or each succeeding federal decennial census for each city, village or township participating in the hospital authority to be appointed by their respective legislative bodies, and 7 members at large selected by the appointed members . . . The appointed members shall serve during the pleasure of the appointing authority. . . .' [Emphasis added]

Section 7.1 of the Taylor City Charter provides that official actions of the Taylor City Council are by ordinance or resolution. Section 7.13 of the Charter provides for a mayoral veto of each ordinance or resolution of the council.

In Raven v City of Southfield, 399 Mich 853 (1977), the Michigan Supreme Court considered whether a mayor of a home rule city whose charter gives the mayor the veto power over 'all ordinances, resolutions and proceedings of the council' may veto the city council's approval of a liquor license. In Raven, the statute in question provided that an application for a liquor license 'shall be approved by the local legislative body in which the applicant's place of business is located before being granted a license by the commission.' 1933 Ex Sess PA 17, Sec. 17, as amended, MCLA 436.17; MSA 18.988. Holding that the mayor could not veto the city council's approval of the license, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and reinstated the decision of the trial court for the reasons stated by Chief Judge Danhof in his dissenting opinion. Judge Danhof's opinion stated:

'It is axiomatic in the law that where statutory language is plain, certain and unambiguous, such language is not subject to construction by the courts.

. . . Nothing could be plainer than the term 'legislative body,' as employed in this context. To what purpose would the state Legislature add the modifier 'legislative' if they intended that the local executive should join in the approval process? The Legislature could have chosen to employ terms such as 'local unit of government' or 'local legislative body and executive', but did not do so. The term 'legislative body' has only one plain meaning and we are bound by that meaning.' 69 Mich App 696, 702-703.

It is therefore my opinion that the mayor of the City of Taylor may not veto an action by the Taylor City Commission concerning appointment or removal of a member of the board of People's Community Hospital Authority.

Frank J. Kelley

Attorney General