The Functions of a mayor Vary significantly according to the legislation of the city that chooses it. In some cities, the mayor's functions are ceremonial, while in others he is responsible for the administrative, legal, and operational activities of the municipality.
The word mayor is used to refer to the spokesperson of the city council who is responsible for making decisions on matters of vital importance to the municipality. The mayor is often identified as the representative of a city in ceremonies and social events. He is also an important community leader elected by popular vote. (Satterthwaite, 2009)
There are some functions of the mayor that can be generalized independently of the city where he is elected, since, everywhere in the world, a mayor always plays the role of maximum municipal authority, which is why this political post is quite coveted. (Hirby, 2017)
A mayor is not only in charge of all municipal procedures and matters, he also has the obligation to preside and attend council meetings and to exercise his legislative power when necessary for the benefit of citizenship.
The role of a mayor goes beyond administrative tasks. A mayor should be a leader who promotes good relations between municipalities and behaves exemplary behavior at all times.
The 10 most important functions of a mayor
1- Chair the council meetings
The way a mayor chairs council meetings can make a significant contribution to good governance by your government. Meetings that address inclusive issues, and are based on a governance model with high standards of quality, make the work of the mayor more profitable. (RBKC, 2017)
On the other hand, the mayor must know the procedures that take place during the meetings of the council in accordance with the local laws in force. So that, no councilman imposes his will and all decisions are accepted by the majority of council members. This includes controversial issues that may precede difficult decisions.
An effective exercise of the functions of the mayor during council sessions should ensure that councilors have the opportunity to be heard, being careful with the position that can take in front of the different subjects treated. All this in order to avoid the discrimination of points of view supported by the minority of members and potential inconveniences when making decisions. (GoodGoverance, 2017)
2- Listening to all points of view
Among the functions that the mayor exercises is to recommend legal actions to the city council that lead to a decision making that benefits the majority of citizens. The mayor must attend to the requests and concerns of the council members in an equitable way in order to contribute to the better performance of the councilors during his government.
The mayor should avoid taking sides during council meetings, always promoting the participation of all members of the council, good communication, consensus, mutual respect, listening, commitment and participation in decision making.
A mayor who listens to all points of view, including those from minorities, will be more likely to succeed in implementing their projects, as all members of the community and the council will feel that their views have been taken care of and Respected, and will not resist the decisions made, even if they are not in favor of them.
2- Promote good relationships
A mayor is the most important political figure of a municipality. That is, it has the power to influence the majority of initiatives that take place during his government. One of these initiatives should be to maintain good relations with all the people who are related to its government.
Working for good relationships will prevent segmented opinions during mayoral government. Good relationships are based on cooperation and support between colleagues and administrative staff in order to achieve a common goal. Understanding, good communication and understanding are key aspects for the management of good relationships to be possible.
The mayor has the function of establishing an exemplary code of conduct that can be replicated by council members, administrative staff, different municipal government directives and even citizenship.
4- To exhibit exemplary behavior
The figure of the mayor exerts a considerable influence in the establishment of parameters of good government, good behavior and ethics.
As a council leader, the mayor has the role of promoting good behavior and must give administrative management to all those acts that are outside the parameters of good behavior established within his government. In some cities around the world, the mayor has a responsibility to participate in resolving disputes that may occur between council members.
In this sense, the functions of the mayor are relatively complex, for with his conduct he must always show impartiality and justice according to natural laws. This impartiality must take place so the mayor is aware that not all councilors are in favor of his government.
5- Guide the council members
It is a function of the mayor to guide the council members and explain to them what is expected of their work as stipulated by local law. The mayor must ensure that each member of his government behaves in accordance with the codes established within his government.
As the person in charge of guiding the members of the council, the mayor has the function to promote the good relations between them and to set good example with their behavior. One of the most important factors affecting outcomes during mayoral management is his leadership style, which must be consistent with his governance model.
6- Enforcing the laws of the city
Before assuming the position of mayor, it must be in accordance with local legislation, fulfilling and respecting everything stipulated. In this sense, the mayor has the function of ensuring compliance with the law, using the support of all the official institutions that are responsible for this work, such as the police and the army.
Sometimes the people who put the most pressure to break the law are those who work directly for the protection of the law. For this reason, the mayor, as city leader, must establish formal and informal labor relations with law enforcement agencies, so that he can modify and coordinate corrective measures if necessary. (Thomas, 2014)
7- Work for the conservation of peace and order in the city
The mayor has the function of ensuring security in the streets, supervising the work of those members of his government team in charge of promoting security and development of the city. To accomplish this, the mayor must also oversee the police and fire departments in order to establish preventive and disaster control measures.
A good mayor should always work for the creation and promotion of programs that improve the common welfare and health of its citizens.
8- Manage the operations of the city
Among the functions of the mayor is to manage the budget of the city. This role involves deciding how the funds will be spent, what type of hiring will be done during your government for the current year and the next fiscal year.
As the chief supervisor of the behavior of municipal government agents, the mayor must be aware of the financial operations that take place daily during his administration. All this with the aim of being able to plan in the long term the investments that will take place during the years to come. (Communications, 2017)
9- Deliver an annual report of results
Usually, the mayor's government takes place for a period of at least four years. During each of these years, the mayor has the responsibility of informing the public about the results of his or her management. These results should address vital issues for the city's development, such as the unemployment rate, the percentage of investment in education, health, public works, among others.
The mayor is a mediátic personage, and the annual report of its results usually is presented by way of speech. However, it must be available so that any citizen can consult it in an extraordinary way.
10- Attending social events
Being a public figure, and the spokesman of the citizens, the mayor has the duty to attend different social events that take place locally or regionally.
Within these ceremonial tasks, the mayor also has the duty to welcome dignitaries who are visiting the city and to be present in inaugural galas of works built during his term. (League, 2015)
- Communications, O. o. (2017). The City of Canton. Retrieved from Mayor's Office - Duties of the Mayor: cantonohio.gov.
- (2017). Good Governance Guide. Retrieved from ROLE OF THE GREATEST: good governance.org.au.
- Hirby, J. (2017). The Law Dictionary. Retrieved from Duties And Responsibilities Of A Major: helawdictionary.org.
- League, T.M. (2015). Roles and Responsibilities of Officers In General Law Cities. Handbook for Mayors and Councilmembers, 17-21.
- RBKC, T.R. (2017). ARTICLE 5 - ROLE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE MAJOR. Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, 25.
- Satterthwaite, D. (2009). What role for mayor in good governance? . Environment & UrbanizationBrief - 18, 1 - 2.
- Thomas, A. (2014). Divided Community Project. Retrieved from Law Enforcement Protocols: moritzlaw.osu.edu.