Duties of the Lord Mayor

The Lord Mayor as Chairman of the Council

Chair of the Council and Steering Committee

The Lord Mayor holds the chair in the Council and the Main Committee, but is not a member of these. As Chairman of the Council, he determines the agenda and chairs proceedings.

Voting rights of the full-time Lord Mayor in the Council

The most important rights of the full-time Lord Mayor include his right to vote in the Council. This means that he is always able to be involved in the decisions of the Council. He is only excluded from voting when the municipal code explicitly restricts voting rights to members of the Council, or when deciding the composition of Council committees.

The Lord Mayor as head of the administration

The full-time Lord Mayor is simultaneously the head of the administration. As such, he is answerable for everything that the administration produces and decides on. His responsibility is manifested in his relationship with the Council, which he is required to advise on all matters.

Comprehensive responsibility

For the Lord Mayor to live up to his responsibilities vis-à-vis the Council and the people, he must be capable of decisively influencing the activities of the administration:

  • He must inform the Council regarding all important matters (article 55 para. 1 Municipal Code NRW).
  • He prepares the resolutions of the Council, and executes them (article 62 para. 2 Municipal Code NRW).
  • He decides, without the Council being entitled to give him instructions in this regard, on the allocation of duties and the internal organisation of the municipal administration (article 62 para. 1 Municipal Code NRW); the Council is only entitled to determine the portfolios of the appointed deputy mayors (article 73 para. 1 Municipal Code NRW).
  • As a result of his function as head of the administration, it follows that he is entitled to give technical instructions to the employees of the administration; as such, he is their supervisor.
  • As their service supervisor (article 3 para. 4 LBG) he is responsible for the decisions made by all employees of the municipality in relation to public services law (article 73 para. 2 Municipal Code NRW).
  • He represents the municipality in legal relations (article 63 para. 1 Municipal Code NRW)
  • He determines the budget (article 79 para. 1 Municipal Code NRW).
  • He gives orders to the Rechnungsprüfungsamt (Auditing Office) (article 104 para. 1 Municipal Code NRW).

The responsibility of the full-time Lord Mayor for the activities of the municipality is also illustrated by the fact that urgent decisions can only be made with his participation, and can never be pushed through against his opposition.

Ultimately, the importance of his office is demonstrated by the fact that whenever the municipality is able to send two or more representatives to shareholder meetings, supervisory commissions or comparable committees, either he goes himself or he sends a deputy from the administration on his behalf (articles 63 para. 2 and 113 para. 2 Municipal Code NRW).

Right of objection

If he is of the view that a resolution of the Council is not in the interests of the municipality, he is entitled to object to the resolution. This objection postpones the decision until the Council has confirmed it in a new resolution. The resolution is then binding for the full-time Lord Mayor - as the head of the administration. (article 54 para. 1 Municipal Code NRW)

Rejecting resolutions of the Council

If resolutions of the Council breach the applicable law, the Lord Mayor is obliged to reject them. This rejection has the effect of postponing them. Even if the Council repeats its resolution, the Lord Mayor is not bound by it. Rather, he is obliged to call in the municipal supervisory commission immediately after the decision. (article 54 para. 2 Municipal Code NRW)

Authorising officer for the State

Within the framework of the duties assigned to the communities, to be fulfilled after receiving instructions, he is authorised to execute instructions received from the State. The Council is entitled to monitor the execution of these instructions, but not to impede such execution (article 62 para. 2 clause 2 Municipal Code NRW).


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