rejected Cowart's proposed exception finding the policy considerations to be the same even if the governing body has perpetual succession by its enabling legislation.
We agree with the Court of Appeals that the policy considerations are not changed by the bestowal of perpetual succession. The purpose of the rule in Newman is to prevent impairment of the successor commissioners' right to exercise discretion regarding governmental functions. Perpetual succession relates only to corporate business and proprietary functions,*fn6 functions distinguished in Newman from governmental functions.*fn7 To qualify for the exception under Newman, the enabling legislation must clearly authorize a contract regarding a governmental function for a term beyond the terms of the members of the local governing body. The general reference to perpetual succession does not rise to this level.
We conclude the Court of Appeals correctly applied Newman and hold the contract signed in 1984 and modified in 1985 was not binding on District's successor commissioners in 1992. Accordingly, Cowart was not entitled to five years' severance pay and he was properly ordered to repay the $30,000. In light of this conclusion, we decline to address the Court of Appeals' alternative ground for affirmance that the contract was unreasonable as a matter of law and therefore void as against public policy. Cowart's remaining argument is without merit and is affirmed under Rule 220 (b), SCACR.
FINNEY, C.J., and TOAL, WALLER and BURNETT, JJ., concur.