Before considering running for a mayor, or working for a municipal government, it is often essential to understand how it operates first. However, depending on the town size, mayors can opt to work for full time or part-time. The duties of a major in small towns do vary among towns/cities.
For instance, in some towns, the mayors may play a ceremonial role, while in other towns, they are responsible for administrative and legislative tasks. There are, however, typical duties that majority of mayors share as part of their job. This includes the following:
Mayors are often elected by town residents to represent them in the town council meetings. They are the voice of the people whom they serve. As such, they are entitled to forward peoples grievances, complains, and the general issues affecting townsmen and women.
• Administrative duties
There are a variety of responsibilities and tasks that often occur in small towns. These duties are usually signed by the mayors who also secure professional services to the people when needed. Also, the mayors may sign various licenses and permits of his/her community.
• Law enforcement
Mayors work hand in hand with the town council to ensure safety and security. To achieve this, the mayors are given the legal mandate to establish bylaws that benefit the local town residents. These laws, however, vary from town to town. In some cities, the mayors have the full authority to enforce laws regardless of the contribution from the council members.
• Selecting town officials
The local small towns also have officials who help to ensure the smooth operation of the local government. These officials are non-elected by the people. However, they are often selected by the local mayor. Some of the posts filled by these officials include the chief of staff, board of trustees, and chief of police. Further, the mayors also can decide to fire the member(s) from the office if at all, they are found incompetent or when they violate laws.
• Presiding officer
Council meetings always need a leader. Therefore, mayors are given the legal mandate to preside over such meetings and often sets their agendas. In some municipality, mayors can sometimes vote alongside other council members, while others allow mayors only to vote when there is a tie. When there is a debate at the council meetings, it is the mayor who recognizes their members to speak. They ensure that the meetings stay in order as required.
• State of the city address
Another important role of mayors is to enlighten and inform the town residents on the town’s progress as well as future plans and outlook. This always occurs on an annual basis. Such information is crucial to the business communities as it helps them to prepare and plan for their businesses and investments.
Lastly, being a mayor calls for dedication and leadership skills to serve your local communities without favor or discrimination. In also calls for servant leadership as well as putting the interest of your community first instead of your own.