What Are the Responsibilities of a Small Town Mayor?

A mayor will have the same responsibilities whether they are working for a small-town council or a large urban center.

The responsibilities include keeping their people safe, making and enforcing laws, and the many administrative duties that they need to perform in order for their town to run effectively.

Learn more about the job of a small-town mayor and what they need to do to ensure their people are well taken care of.

The responsibilities of a small-town mayor include ensuring police, fire, and ambulance services are well taken care of.

Other responsibilities include making sure that water and electric needs are met, and contingency plans are in place if they fail.

Additionally, they must attend town council meetings and work daily in the administration of making laws and enforcing them.

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Do all mayors have the same job?

the same job

No, all mayors do not have exactly the same daily duties, however, they do all have the same goals.

The title of mayor for a town is a standardized title across municipalities and it essentially means the same thing.

The mayor is one voice in a municipal system, the highest rank, and the final say on a number of matters.

Some mayors will work full-time as a mayor, and this is most likely the case in large urban centers.

In a small town, where there is less to manage, a mayor may have a full-time job while also carrying out their duties as a mayor.

Additionally, some towns and municipalities will stipulate the mayor’s duties by laws or regulations.

If the mayor’s duties are not stipulated by the state, then the mayor must decide how to run their own job.

In that case, the mayor might experience more scrutiny by the people that they serve, but in a municipality with strong leadership, that isn’t necessary.

Do small-town mayors have more hands-on duties?

This depends on the size of the municipality and the needs of the people that it serves. It also depends on who else the mayor has on deck to help, or, in other words, how big the City Council or Town Council is.

Some small-town mayors will be managing the town on a daily basis and doing things that would be unheard of in other municipalities because they have to.

In some municipalities, for example, a mayor might never leave a flood scene, whereas, in others, police and fire can handle a flood crisis and update the mayor when needed.

flood scene

Mayors with a lot of hands-on duties will have a lot more pull at their own Town Councils, whereas mayors that manage the basics will have less.

Some mayors in strong leadership roles will be permitted to appoint their own council, but it will depend on the municipality.

Others will hold elections to ensure the people get a say on who makes the biggest decisions of the town. Here, mayors have to rely on the team at their table in order to get the most done for their town.

Is the mayor the boss of the entire council?

The mayor serves as the chief executive officer of a town. So, you could think of a small town as a small business, so to speak, but with public funding and working for the public sector as opposed to the private sector.

In most municipalities, the main departments of government will report to the mayor.

So, the police chief will talk to the mayor to update the mayor, for example.

If there is a power outage, hydro and electric are on the phone with the mayor throughout the crisis.

The financial outlook of the council is also a key role of the mayor.

The mayor also meets the Town Council regularly to update them on what they are updated on.

In a small town, this is typically extended to serving on committees and boards to ensure everyone is doing their job.

The mayor is the boss. Their days are spent making sure the people are safe and everyone is doing their job.

How does a mayor preserve public safety?

police and fire

A small-town mayor preserves and ensures public safety by overseeing the police and fire, and all major health departments and agencies.

A mayor is tasked with shutting down buildings or regions when a crisis erupts and also must keep a close on issues such as protests and riots.

If a state of emergency needs to be declared, the mayor is responsible for calling it and managing it.

A mayor is also responsible for ordering evacuations and managing a transportation plan for the victims.

Often in a small town, the mayor will do this all by themselves. In larger towns, one council member might be in charge of police updates, another for fire, and so on.

How does a mayor manage the Town Council?

In a small town, the mayor’s council is the Town Council. A mayor must represent the people that elected him and does so by attending these meetings.

At these meetings, the mayor will help to set the tone and agenda of the evening.

The mayor will also preside over the major issues and will ensure that drama is kept to a minimum.

A mayor will sometimes get a vote at these meetings, and sometimes will not. In other jurisdictions, a mayor can also veto any vote that has just transpired, but there are jurisdictions where a majority vote by the council is all that is needed to overrule a veto by the mayor.

Does the mayor make laws in a small town?

mayors of small town

The role of any leadership in government is to identify the needs of the people and ensure they know they have access to the services that will meet those needs.

Most of the time, that requires making a law.

In many cases, there may be disagreement about whether or not a law should even be in place, and the mayor gets the final say here.

Every town will vary according to its function here and how this process occurs and is managed.

What administrative duties do mayors have?

Mayors have many tasks, even more so in a small town as their base of the council is likely to be smaller.

They must perform many administrative functions such as handling paperwork and attending appointments, signing permits, handling licenses, and making sure that the police and fire department are taken care of.

Staying in contact with critical agencies is the number one job of a mayor, as this is the most time-effective way of keeping their people safe.

Do you want to be a mayor?


Being a mayor may look glamorous at the parades and other ceremonies, but it can be a job with a lot of grunt work.

Also, there are many hard decisions that come with being a mayor. A mayor has a town council and bylaws to back up most of those decisions, but many are still very difficult.

Have you ever thought of being a mayor? What do you think would be your favorite part?