What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of Mayors?

A mayor serves as the governmental head of a city and leads city council meetings, makes appointments to boards and commissions, leads city events, serves as ambassador of the city for state and national agencies, and coordinates responses to city disasters. The exact duties and responsibilities of a mayor vary by state and city, with mayors of charter cities having different duties from those of cities operating under state organizational procedures.

Each city has specific duties the mayor fulfills. For example, the mayor of a non-charter city in Minnesota also has duties to inspect weeds in the community or to appoint someone for that position, serve as a fire investigator, and play a role in the validity of local elections, as of 2015. The mayor of Canton, Ohio, must address city council requests and deliver an annual speech or written report on the state of the city.

Some cities use a city manager in conjunction with a city council instead of a mayor and a city council. Under this structure, the people of a city elect a city council, and the city council hires a city manager to act as the executive of the city. A city manager advises the city council, oversees all city staff and implements local laws.