Weekly HR News - Hiring Practices

Weekly HR News - Hiring Practices

Who has the Authority to Hire City Employees?

The executive authority in all cities has the power to hire city employees and officers.  However, who has the executive authority will depend on the form of government that each city has adopted by ordinance.   

In the mayor/council form of government, which is the most prevalent form of city government, the executive authority is vested in the mayor.  The mayor has full authority in hiring decisions, unless they are hiring a nonelected officer.  In this situation, the city follows the procedures outlined in KRS 83A.080, which states that the mayor hires nonelected officers only after approval of the council.  This is true even for temporary or interim hires for a particular nonelected position. Nonelected officers include city clerks, police chiefs, fire chiefs (other than volunteer), city managers and city administrators. In addition to those positions set out in statute, it is possible for a city to create another nonelected office by ordinance, so it is important to be aware of those as well. 

In the city commission form of government, there is no division between executive and legislative authority.  The commission, including the mayor, has full executive authority which includes hiring all of city employees and officers. 

The same is true in the city manager form of government.  In this form of government the board of commissioners has ultimate authority to hire.  In most cases, the city manager will handle the hiring process and will present a recommendation to hire to the board of commissioners for their approval.

For questions on hiring or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower with the KLC Legal Department.