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What does a Mayor do?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A mayor is traditionally perceived as the official leader of a city, town or village. She is commonly expected to develop and support policies that have the best interests of the citizens in mind and graciously entertain suggestions from the populace on how to improve the local living conditions. A panel of citizens, often called a board of commissioners or city council, typically work in unison with her to accomplish mutual goals intended to benefit the community at large.

Depending on the structure of the government of the region in which she serves, her responsibilities and power may be expansive or limited. There are also many variances regarding how a mayor gets her job, as she may be elected or appointed. She may be in charge of the council with whom she works or on an equal level with them when it comes to casting votes or setting policy.

Many duties of a mayor are customarily part of her job regardless of how her powers are divided, assigned or limited. These normally include responsibilities that concern the general maintenance of local services and utilities required by the citizenry. They may also involve issues of local commerce and business development.

The health of a community often depends on its ability to be as self-sustaining as possible. This frequently requires the mayor to initiate and participate in community discussions and plans related to business retention and development. She is also commonly involved in projects dedicated to improving educational resources and promoting cultural and artistic affairs and programs.

Budget planning and funds allocation also commonly fall under the responsibilities of the mayor. She may be asked to review capital improvement plans and consult with the city council or commissioners on related costs and issues. Allocating funds from other agencies and municipalities also regularly fall under her jurisdiction.

Public relations are typically part of a mayor’s job description. She is often the region’s representative at civic affairs and functions. At ceremonies celebrating new business openings or the dedication of public monuments or statues, she is commonly asked to make a speech or cut ceremonial ribbons.

The personality traits of a mayor commonly include charm and diplomacy. She is normally required to be hospitable and approachable by all members of the community. Her ability to maintain an atmosphere of equity and open communications is important to her success.

There are normally no educational requirements for this position. A mayor is often a well-known and longstanding community member who frequently operates a local business. Whether her position is elected or appointed, her general popularity with local citizens is normally considered more important than her educational background.

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Discussion Comments
By anon993063 — On Oct 21, 2015

I appreciate them trying to include females into the job, but this isn't really a step forward or backwards. It's just a stick in the mud. They're not changing anything by including a female pronouns instead of male. They're just excluding males. Say someone who was new to this country came and was looking for answers on how the government worked or something came, and for some reason read this article, they might get the impression only females can run for mayor, it would be the same if they only used male pronouns. However, this is a very will written article minus the unintentional sexism, and was very helpful to me. They should have just used neutral pronouns to avoid the drama, which I have a feeling they knew they would cause.

By anon955142 — On Jun 05, 2014

"Funny, no one ever seemed to complain when it was automatically a he." That's because it was always understood to be inclusive, but just as often people used "they" as a neutral pronoun. Using "she" is intentionally attempting to push back at a perceived paternalistic viewpoint that rarely existed anyway.

By anon934847 — On Feb 22, 2014

I agree it should be a gender neutral pronoun, such as "sie" for me, he or she. But to think the writing style is ridiculous because of the female pronoun is just crazy. He means male; it is not a stand in for either sex. Using she is just as biased as using he. Likely the author just had more experience with female mayors in his area. Ultimately, being gender neutral is best!

By anon300370 — On Oct 29, 2012

The usage of the male pronoun to stand in for both the male and female pronouns is being phased out of the English language.

By anon205830 — On Aug 13, 2011

Funny. I thought using "she" made it sound up-to-date.

By anon188486 — On Jun 20, 2011

"He" can be used to refer to all people. That's how the language is understood. "She" can only be used to refer to women. The writing style is ridiculous.

By anon183859 — On Jun 06, 2011

This article was very helpful. Thank you to the author. For those who only noticed the pronouns, I beg you please don't run for office. I love my country.

By anon153474 — On Feb 17, 2011

I love that this article states "she" and "her". I laughed when I started to read it and thought, "I wonder how many people will complain". I love it, love it, love it! Whoever wrote this, write more!

By anon146264 — On Jan 25, 2011

Many men fail to retain the "important" part of an article simply because they are so put off by a pronoun chosen by the author?

By anon106920 — On Aug 27, 2010

Because that is the norm that we grew up in. By changing he to 'she' it gives the author a sexist tone and makes it difficult to read. 'he' when used in this context can mean either male or female, while using 'she' implies only females.

By anon106297 — On Aug 25, 2010

Funny, no one ever seemed to complain when it was automatically a he...

By anon84906 — On May 18, 2010

Why is it automatically a she?

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