Monday, January 7, 2013

What Does the Mayor Do?

Since the city council will be choosing a new mayor, I thought it would be appropriate to list some of the things our current Taylorsville mayor does:

1. He must be available to do things on evenings and weekends – including Sundays.

2. A mayor must be able to lobby for our city without offending his colleagues. It is important to be able to negotiate and know when to give up things and help other cities, knowing down the road we might need help.

3. The mayor attends Council of Governments with all mayors in Salt Lake County. This is a formal meeting organized by legislation that deals with county-wide issues, like transportation, political, and social issues. Mayors are also serve on COG sub committees.

4. Another meeting he attends is Conference of Mayors. This is also with all the mayors in the county and is an informal gathering to discuss issues and build camaraderie.

5. Wasatch Front Regional Council is an organization of elected officials from Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Morgan counties to discuss regional transportation issues. There are also sub committees (mayor currently sits on JPAC – Joint Policy Advisory Committee – a state-wide transportation group).

6. Legislative Policy Committee with the Utah League of Cities and Towns – they meet weekly during the legislative session and monthly throughout the year.

7. Western Growth Coalition is a group made up of elected officials on the west side. They meet monthly to discuss issues relevant to the west side.

8. The mayor may sit on various community boards and committees. Some that Mayor Wall has been involved in include Chamber West, SL County Board of Health, Utah Local Governments Trust, Habitat for Humanity, IMC Community Advisory Committee.

9. Our mayor is a board member of Unified Police Department. They set policy and budget for the police department.

10. By ordinance, the mayor sits on the Arts Council board and Taylorsville Dayzz committee.

11. The mayor has weekly meetings with the city council chair and vice chair as they set the agenda for council meetings.

12. He also has monthly cabinet meetings and weekly department director meetings. He has accountability meetings with the city administrator and department heads.

13. The mayor lobbies at the legislature. He fights for funding that goes to Taylorsville and laws that could impact the city (i.e. election laws, accounting, the way meetings are officially noticed, public safety, senior citizen issues, etc.).

14. The mayor visits community groups such as the Senior Center, schools, YMCA, food bank, churches, an Eagle Courts of Honor. He meets with scout troops and youth groups. He also meets with community service groups and participates in their projects like neighborhood clean up efforts, food drives, cultural festivals, Taylorsville Dayzz, civic events, school sporting activities, and flag retirement ceremonies.

15. You can frequently find the mayor on ride-alongs with the police and fire departments.

16. He sets the priority for the budget. According to state statute and city ordinance, the mayor is the budget officer for the city.

17. The mayor meets with residents, returns phone calls, and answers emails. Sometimes he has to deal with angry people and solve problems when residents or businesses have issues.

18. He meets with county and state service providers to coordinate services – UTA, UDOT, Workforce Services, Granite School District, and all the county agencies.

19. He is often asked to speak at various engagements such as Exchange Club, Chamber West, ribbon cuttings, city, county and state functions.

20. Annually he may go to Washington DC to lobby for federal grants and project funding. (Mayor Wall has brought in around $15 million to Taylorsville in his time as mayor.) He also goes to Utah State with the youth city council.

21. The mayor attends awards banquets and galas, representing the city.

22. Mayor Wall meets with developers and business owners to encourage them to locate to Taylorsville or urge them to improve their property.

23. The Jordan River Commission is a group of elected officials in cities that abut the Jordan River. They meet to discuss plans and problems pertaining to the river.

When I asked Mayor Wall what was his biggest surprise when he first took office, he said, “I had no idea how much time I would be spending outside of city hall.”

In our form of government, we have a full time mayor who acts as the CEO of the city. The mayor hires a full time city administrator to help run the day-to-day affairs of the city.

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