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What is the Role of the Mayor?

Role of mayor?

by Christine Aubry

The presentation contained some great information, but it left me wondering: so what IS the role of the Mayor? Is he/she just another Councillor + a sort of Chief of Staff? I have searched the City of Ottawa web site in vain, it does not provide any clarity on the question. Do you want to have learned to get as quickly as possible? Enjoy with the casino spiele kostenlos ohne anmeldung perfect now. There may be a ton of money along with enjoyment!

Hi – the most important things about the role of the Mayor is to distinguish between the formal powers of the Mayor and the more informal sources of power.

Formally the Mayor in our system does not have many powers beyond those of the councillors. But this does not take into consideration the fact that he has a more important office staff and this obviously gives him more capacity. As well, the Mayor is the focus of attention of the media, much more than the individual councillors and this gives him or her considerably more power to define the issues and being able to define issues is really important. In addition, the symbolic role of the Mayor as being a representation of the City gives him or her more power in that people think of the Mayor as the major actor in the City. And finally the capacity of the Mayor to relate more directly to the senior staff also gives him or her more capacity to have the vision of the Mayor translated into policy proposals – which then the whole Council will vote on.

Maybe other people have other ideas of the informal sources of power of the Mayor?

by Christine Aubry

So he has the “capacity” to relate more directly to city staff, but has no more actual authority over them than any other councillor? Am I understanding this correctly?

by Caroline Andrew

No more formal authority than the councillors in the Ontario system. In BC, Saskatchewan and Quebec the head of council (Mayor) can suspend any officer or employee, subject to confirmation by Council (taken from Tindal and Tindal, Local Government in Canada, 7th edition). And another quote on this question from Andrew Sancton (Prof at U of Western Ontario) in Mancuso et al, Leaders and Leadership in Canada, “With easier access to senior officials than other council members enjoy, and the ability to interpret council’s wishes when they have not been clearly stated, the mayor can exert considerable influence within the municipal bureaucratic apparatus”. But again this is not formal authority but generalizations about actual practice.

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