DUTIES OF THE COUNTY MAYOR
As chief executive officer of the county, the county executive exercises a role of leadership in county government. The primary duties focus on county financial management. The county executive is the general agent of the county and thus may draw warrants upon the general fund. The county executive has custody of county property not placed with other officers, and may also examine the accounts of county officers.
The county executive is a nonvoting ex officio member of the county legislative body and of all committees of the body, and may be elected chairman of the county legislative body (a post that the county executive is not required to seek or accept). If the county executive is chairman of the county legislative body, the county executive may break a tie by casting a deciding vote; otherwise, the executive cannot vote on measures before the county legislative body.
The county executive who is not chairman may veto legislative resolutions of the county legislative body, but such a veto may be overridden by a majority vote of the members of the county legislative body. The county executive may call special meetings of the county legislative body.
Unless an optional general law, charter or private act provides otherwise, the county executive compiles a budget for all county departments, offices, and agencies, which is presented to the county legislative body. The amount of discretion in making budget proposals varies from county to county, and in almost all counties, the school board’s budget proposal is submitted to the county legislative body without modification. If the county operates under the 1981 Financial Management System, the county executive is a member of the financial management committee. If the county operates under the 1957 County Budgeting Law, the county executive is a member of the county budget committee.
The county executive may employ a county attorney if a county attorney is not provided by private act or charter, and has approval power over the delinquent tax attorney selected by the county trustee. By virtue of private acts, the county executive is often granted authority in addition to that given by the general law. For example, in many counties, the county executive serves as county purchasing agent. The county executive also serves on various boards and committees with multi-county jurisdiction, such as the development district board.
Subject to the approval of the county legislative body, the county executive appoints department heads and members of county boards and commissions when the general law or private acts do not provide for the election or appointment. This authority is limited, however, as the general law or private act creating the department or board usually specifies the method by which the various department heads or board members are selected.
Other Matters. As office management is an important function of the office, county executives should have knowledge of personnel procedures as affected by both state and federal laws. The county executive should have a basic understanding of potential liability, including both personal liability and county liability, and of the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act. All county officials should be familiar with the conflict of interest and disclosure laws applicable to their offices.