Why You Don’t Vote for Mayor

Roseville, Calif. – Over the years, we’ve fielded a few inquiries from residents wondering why Roseville and Rocklin residents don’t have direct mayoral elections? It turns out, the answer is quite simple.

In the the United States, most small to medium size municipalities operate as council-manager governments. In this arrangement, mayors are considered first among equals with no special legislative powers, but often chairing the city council.

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In essence, when voting for city council positions, each member can become mayor. The mayor position is often passed around, round-robin style and it’s not uncommon to see long term city council members tout multiple terms as mayor.

Purely Symbolic

Except for bragging rights and political marketing purposes, being mayor is often meaningless outside the scope of being a city council member. They’re purely symbolic.

Conversely, in a strong mayor system, the mayor wields much power and acts as a CEO of a city.

In smaller cities, executive functions are typically performed by an appointed city manager.

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