A mayor is a symbol and a public face of what a city bureaucracy provides for its citizens.
John Hickenlooper, former Mayor of Denver.
It’s tempting to think that American Mayors are very different from their counterparts across the pond. In some ways they are, they tend to have more political power.
But in some ways they are not. At least not according to former maverick Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper. John’s track record is impressive, he slashed Denver’s $70 million deficit without cutting services and managed to get re-elected with a staggering 88% of the vote. But more than that, he’s approached people with honesty and humility that is reminiscent of the best British civic leaders.
That’s why he can sum up what a good mayor should do. He understands that they’re the face of the council. Everything they do reflects on the council. If they are pompous, self-centred and out of date that is what people will think of the council.
But more than that, they are the council in human form. Let’s face it most councils could do with being a bit more human in the eyes of the general public. That’s why civic leaders are so important. They a carry the reputation of the council everywhere they go.
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