9.1.4 Relationship with other parts of council

  1. Relationship between mayor and chief executive

    • The relationship between the mayor and chief executive is a significant and important relationship largely governed by convention.

    • The style and frequency of contact between the mayor and chief executive develops according to the mayor’s preferences but is governed by the following principles

      • i. The council operates more effectively if the mayor and chief executive maintain a close working relationship based on mutual recognition of their respective roles, healthy dialogue and cooperation.
      • ii. The mayor cannot direct the chief executive in the performance of his/her functions. The mayor will represent the position of the council’s governance arm to the chief executive, including governing body decisions the chief executive is required to implement.  The mayor may discuss governance issues with the chief executive as they arise.
      • iii. The relationship between the mayor and the chief executive is not a relationship of direct employment. Formal performance matters are the responsibility of the governing body or the appropriate committee.  However, the mayor may informally raise with the chief executive issues relating to his/her role. 
      • iv. The chief executive should be guided by a ‘no surprises’ principle. He/she should inform the mayor (and the governing body) promptly of matters of significance relating to the council’s operation or service delivery, particularly where they may be controversial or become the subject of public debate. It is appropriate for the chief executive to discuss with the mayor the advice he/she will provide to the governing body or local boards.
      • v. The chief executive should exercise judgement when deciding whether to inform the mayor of any matter for which he/she has statutory or delegated responsibility, especially where it relates to regulatory decision-making. In all cases, the chief executive should ensure the mayor knows why the matter is being raised; both parties should act to maintain the chief executive's (or his/her staff’s) independence and professionalism in making decisions.



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