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The mayor is a representative of a non-independent place vis-à-vis the responsible municipality. The function of the mayor exists in several federal states of Germany and Austria . The legal position of the mayor is different. In Liechtenstein , the mayor corresponds to the German mayor .



In Baden-Württemberg , the mayor is the chairman of the local council . He represents the mayor or lord mayor in the implementation of the resolutions of the local council and in the management of the local administration. He can take part in meetings of the municipal council in an advisory capacity. The honorary mayor is, at the suggestion of the local council, elected by the local council from among the citizens eligible for election to the local council and appointed as an honorary official on a temporary basis. By local statutes, especially after incorporation, it can be determined that a municipal civil servant is to be elected mayor. He is then a full-time mayor without voting rights in the local council, unless he is a local council member due to the election.

The remuneration of a community official appointed to the position of mayor is in grade A 11 to A 12, depending on the number of inhabitants in the community. Volunteer mayors receive an allowance set by the community.


In Bavaria there is the honorary office of the local spokesman , the term local councilor is not used.


In Brandenburg the mayor represents the district towards the organs of the community .


Local districts can be formed in Hesse by resolution of the municipal council . In these, the local council is elected by the citizens at the same time as the community representatives for the election period of the community council. The local advisory board consists of a minimum of three and a maximum of nine members, and in districts with more than 8,000 inhabitants a maximum of nineteen members. The exact number is specified in the main statute of the municipality. The members of the local advisory board work on a voluntary basis. The chairman bears the title of local director and is elected by the local council from among the members. The local advisory board can be heard on all important matters affecting the local district, but in these cases only has the right to make suggestions. The municipal council can revocably transfer certain matters to the final decision.

Lower Saxony

In Lower Saxony , localities with and without local councils are possible. The main statute of the municipality regulates whether a local council is elected or a local chief is appointed.

  • In localities without a local council, the mayor is also the representative of a non-independent locality towards the responsible municipality. He also has to fulfill auxiliary functions for the municipal administration and is available to the citizens as a contact person. He is determined by the council of the municipality. In doing so, this usually follows the proposal of the parliamentary group in the local council that has received the most votes in the relevant district in the election of councilors.
  • In localities with a local council, the elected local council elects a local mayor from among its members , who performs auxiliary tasks in the local government. The assumption of these auxiliary functions can, however, be refused and assigned to a local representative .

North Rhine-Westphalia

In North Rhine-Westphalia , the affairs of the mayor are regulated in Section 39 of the municipal code. Thereafter, the municipality can be divided into districts (localities) in municipalities belonging to a district. For such districts, the municipal council either has to form district committees or to elect local councilors. District- free cities have appropriately named district heads in their district representatives .

To the extent that local councilors are elected, the municipal council must take account of the voting relationships between the parties in the respective district in these elections. This means that the party that received the most votes in the election of the city or municipal council in the respective locality names the candidate who is then to be elected. The mayor must live in the district for which he is elected. Furthermore, he must belong to the municipal council or be able to belong to it.

The mayor should represent the interests of his locality to the council. If he is not a member of the council, he may not participate decisively or in an advisory capacity at the meetings of the council and the committees; he can be heard in the parish council. The mayor can be entrusted with the handling of certain day-to-day administration matters for the area of ​​his locality . In this case, he can be made an honorary officer .

Local officials can receive an appropriate allowance for their expenses.


In Rhineland-Palatinate , municipalities can divide their area as a whole or parts of it into local districts . The main statute determines whether local districts are formed and how they are delimited. These local districts have an elected local advisory board and a local chief who represents the interests of the local district vis-à-vis the organs of the municipality. In addition, he has the authority to issue certificates, which he can create based on his knowledge of the place and person. The local districts are often formerly independent municipalities that were merged or incorporated in the course of a regional reform .


In Saarland the mayor is the representative of a town or municipality belonging to a town. He is elected from the ranks of the local council and is also its chairman. As an honorary officer, the mayor represents the interests of the place vis-à-vis the municipality or the city. In his legal position, he is an honorary councilor. The mayor is expressly entitled to take part in all meetings of the municipality or city council and their committees, even if they are not public. These committees are obliged to give the mayor the right to speak on matters affecting his municipality and to give him more detailed information. The mayor is authorized to accept applications and to issue official certifications and certificates of life. The municipality can assign further tasks to the mayor by statute. In addition, the mayor can perform other administrative or representative tasks on behalf of the mayor. In his capacity as a superior , the mayor is authorized to give instructions to the mayor (cf. § 59 Paragraph 5 Saar. KSVG).


A local constitution can be introduced for districts in Saxony . In the localities, local councils are elected by the citizens, which in turn elect the mayor. The mayor represents the mayor, and in communities with councilors, this also represents them. The mayor and the alderman, insofar as he represents them, are authorized to issue instructions to the mayor.


In Thuringia, the head of a district of a municipality is referred to as the district mayor . He is the chairman of the local council , i.e. the elected body for the locality. Until the amendment to the Thuringian municipal code in 2008, the corresponding designations were local mayor or local council . From a legal point of view, the district mayor is an honorary officer of the municipality for the duration of his term of office.


In Austria , depending on the federal state, parts of the municipality (districts, local administration parts, localities) that are not independent under local law may have their own local councilors, who are appointed by the local council and are intended to represent an extended arm of the mayor of the municipality in the respective district. Terms of office and appointments are handled differently depending on the municipal ordinances issued by the federal states. As a representative of the mayor, this position is not necessarily associated with membership of a political party.


In Liechtenstein , the local councilors - also known as community leaders - and the other community organs are freely elected by the community assembly. The mayors are elected according to the majority vote and largely determine the community policy. According to a royal decree from the 19th century, the mayor is only allowed to use the title mayor in the main town of Vaduz .

Web links

Wiktionary: Ortsvorsteher  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. § 71 Municipal Code for Baden-Württemberg
  2. Mayor in Baden-Württemberg - Small request to the state government (PDF; 13 kB)
  3. Part Five, Section Four, First Title of the Hessian Municipal Code (§§ 81-83)
  4. § 39 Municipal Code of North Rhine-Westphalia
  5. Section 74, Paragraph 2 of the Municipal Code (GemO) RP
  6. Sections 65-69 of the municipal code for the Free State of Saxony (fourth section - local constitution)