The person who is elected as Mayor represents everybody in the municipality. The Mayor chairs Council meetings and works with the elected Councillors. The Mayor has the right to oversee, investigate and monitor municipal operations, thereby ensuring Council’s transparency for the community. The Mayor is the one who conveys any mandates assigned by the Council to the municipal administration, supervises the application of the by-laws and resolutions, and communicates any information deemed to be in the public interest.
The Mayor must be particularly vigilant about ensuring that the municipality’s revenues are collected and spent lawfully. The Mayor may serve on other democratic bodies, such as the MRC council.
The Mayor has veto power over Council decisions, and may refuse to approve decisions by withholding his signature. This veto power is suspensive, which means that it can be overturned if the absolute majority of Council members take a new vote in favour of the decision.
The Mayor may take part in the decision-making process during Council meetings, but is not required to vote. He or she may not take part in the discussion or vote if in conflict of interest. In an emergency situation that is threatens the life or health of the population or the integrity of municipal equipment, the Mayor may, on his or her own, authorize the expenditures and assign any contracts deemed necessary to remedy the situation.
In addition to attending the Municipal Council meetings and representing the community’s interests, councilors help make decisions. Barring a conflict of interest situation, councillors are required to vote. Outside of meetings, they have no power to make decisions on behalf of the municipality.
Councillors may be appointed to commissions or committees created by the Council. They can also be assigned specific files that they can review in greater depth in order to help inform Council’s decisions. Finally, they may be asked to serve as Deputy Mayor.
The Mayor is the chief executive officer, who chairs the Council meetings and works with the other members of Council.