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Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government Monthly Quiz

Question: For cities and towns using the council form of government — not the mayor-council form of government — which of these statements about the mayor’s powers is false? 

a.  The mayor has no authority beyond that of other members of council.
b.  State law specifies that the mayor serves as the presiding officer during council
      meetings. 
c.  The mayor may exercise informal authority as leader of council and staff and as
      spokesperson for the city.
d.  The mayor performs administrative duties only if authorized by council.

The answer is below. The council form of government is sometimes called “governance by committee” because of the powers shared among all councilmembers, including the mayor. Information on how all three forms of government operate can be found in the Forms and Powers of Municipal Government handbook.

Answer: B is false. Under the council form, the mayor often presides at meetings, but does so only by tradition. There is no state law requiring this.

The Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government offers in-person and online courses. Elected officials who complete all of the required coursework graduate from the institute and are eligible to participate in the Advanced Institute. Register for the September 20 courses “Forms of Municipal Government” and “Municipal Economic Development."