DUTIES OF THE COUNTY MAYOR

As chief executive officer of the county, the County Mayor exercises a role of leadership in county government. The primary duties focus on county financial management. The County Mayor is the general agent of the county and thus may draw warrants upon the general fund. The County Mayor has custody of county property not placed with other officers, and may also examine the accounts of county officers. 

The County Mayor is a nonvoting ex officio member of the county legislative body and of all committees of the body, and may be elected chair of the county legislative body (a post that the County Mayor is not required to seek or accept). If the County Mayor is chair of the county legislative body, the County Mayor may break a tie by casting a deciding vote; otherwise, the County Mayor cannot vote on measures before the county legislative body. The County Mayor who is not chair may veto legislative resolutions of the county legislative body, but such a veto may be overridden by a majority vote of the members of the county legislative body. The County Mayor may call special meetings of the county legislative body.

Unless an optional general law, charter or private act provides otherwise, the County Mayor compiles a budget for all county departments, offices, and agencies, which is presented to the county legislative body. The amount of discretion in making budget proposals varies from county to county, and in almost all counties the school board's budget proposal is submitted to the county legislative body without modification. If the county operates under the 1981 Financial Management System, the County Mayor is a member of the financial management committee. If the county operates under the 1957 County Budgeting Law, the County Mayor is a member of the county budget committee. 

The County Mayor may employ a county attorney if a county attorney is not provided by private act or charter and has approval power over the delinquent tax attorney selected by the county trustee. By virtue of private acts, the County Mayor is often granted authority in addition to that given by the general law. For example, in many counties the County Mayor serves as county purchasing agent. The County Mayor also serves on various boards and committees with multi-county jurisdiction, such as the Development District Board.

Subject to the approval of the county legislative body, the County Mayor appoints department heads and members of county boards and commissions when the general law or private acts do not provide a method for the election or appointment. This authority is limited, however, as the general law or private act creating the department or board usually specifies the method by which the various department heads or board members are selected.

OTHER DUTIES - Since office management is an important function of the office, County Mayors should have knowledge of personnel procedures as affected by both state and federal laws. The County Mayor should have a basic understanding of potential liability, including both personal liability and county liability, and of the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act. All county officials should be familiar with the conflict of interest and disclosure laws applicable to their offices.