What Does a Mayor Do?

A mayor is the official spokesperson for all government and community matters for the city he represents. A mayor works to ensure the city exercises its powers under the law and fulfills all legal duties and obligations.

A mayor is generally the presiding member of the city council and works with the council to establish and enforce city law. Duties of a major include executing official city documents and making necessary appointments. A mayor can declare a local emergency and investigate fires. The mayor usually greets important visitors to his city and takes part in public events. The mayor is usually elected to office for a term outlined in the bylaws of the city, and he typically is eligible for re-election at the end of his term.

In a larger city, such as New York City, the mayor plays a much larger role. He may oversee city boards and commissioners and be more involved in the city's legislative process. A mayor in a larger city can veto laws the city council passes, but in many cases, the city council can override a mayor's veto. The mayor of a large city also appoints judges for the civil, criminal and family courts, and he may sit ex-officio on some boards.