4.5.3 The mayor and the other council staff


  1. The chief executive is the main point of contact between the mayor and council staff. The mayor respects the chief executive’s role as the employer of council staff. The mayor cannot specifically direct council staff in relation to their day-to-day work.

  2. On a day-to-day basis, the mayor and his/her office will have contact with senior council staff best able to provide the necessary information or advice, particularly as it relates to the mayor’s role. The scope of this working relationship operates within parameters agreed to between the chief executive and the chief of staff.  

  3. Council staff and the mayor’s office should keep the chief executive informed, at least in general terms, of contact between staff and the mayor. This information helps to keep clear lines of accountability between the mayor and the chief executive.

  4. The mayor and senior staff are likely to benefit from ongoing discussion about council strategy, capability and performance. This is especially so where it relates to the mayor’s role (including, for example, the annual plan).

  5. The mayor should bear in mind that he or she has the capacity to exercise considerable influence over council staff. The mayor should take care to ensure that he/she does not inappropriately influence staff or become involved in matters that are not his/her responsibility. This is part of the mayor’s duty to maintain the integrity of council’s institutional boundaries and avoid compromising staff impartiality. 

  6. The mayor must avoid undermining the chief executive in the performance of his or her role and respect the impartiality of council staff.

    • If the mayor has concerns about the performance of any staff member, he/she must raise this only with the chief executive and not directly with the individual staff member. The mayor should avoid publicly criticising any staff member or doing anything that compromises a staff member’s impartiality. These principles equally apply to all elected members with concerns about council staff. 

    • The same principles do not apply to the mayor’s concerns and criticisms of other elected members, which may appropriately be raised directly or publicly and are not usually the concern of the chief executive.



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