Mayor of Charlottesville
A mayor in the council-manager system is the symbolic head of the city - "a first among equals" on the city council. The mayor must use influence more than official power in order to drive the city’s policy agenda. In the city’s system of government, the city manager is in charge of all operations, while the mayor, who is elected every two years by the council, is primarily responsible for managing council meetings.
The Mayor's Role in Municipal Government
In the city's council-manager form of government, the mayor is the leader of the city council but has no greater official authority than any other council member. The city council under the mayor’s leadership is the legislative body for the city while the city manager is the executive. The city council hires the manager to implement the laws and policies it adopts. The manager directs the staff in carrying out the city’s day-to-day operations. The manager also serves as the council’s top policy advisor.
When the city manager needs to communicate critical information to the city council, the mayor is the first person the manager contacts. From there, the manager may contact the other council members, or the mayor may disseminate the information. It depends on the relationships between the mayor, manager, and council members. Examples of critical information may include an officer-involved shooting, a department head’s resignation, rumors of an imminent lawsuit against the city, or a workplace safety accident.
The mayor is the figurehead of the council and is elected by the council for a two-year term. The council has authority to impose a fine on the mayor or even vote to remove him/her from the office of mayor. Because city managers are hired, not elected, they can lose their position if a majority of the 5-member council decide it is time for a change.
Charlottesville held its first mayoral election in 1854 when the position was separate from City Council; this lasted until 1888 when the city was incorporated.  Charlottesville's first mayor was R. F. Harris.
With the 1922 election, the city abandon the method of electing their mayor at-large and their councilmembers by wards. From 1922 to 1928 the city adopted the commission-manager form of government by which the three member commission was elected at-large as the legislative body; from among the commission, the commission elected the mayor. The city operated under a county-like structure with a city council vested with both legislative and executive authority with each commissioner/councilman also heading an executive department. The commission appointed a business manager
- Prior to September 1, 1922, the City of Charlottesville utilized a strong mayor-council government. In this form of municipal government, the council (elected from 4 wards) served as the city's primary legislative body while the mayor (elected at-large) served as the city's chief executive.
From 1928 to present, the city has operated under the council-manager form of government, featuring five members elected at-large, a mayor, who officially represents the city on the state, national, and international levels. However, unlike in a strong mayor-council government, the mayor is a regular voting member of city council with little or no legal privileges that may distinguish them from other council members.
List of mayors - current form of government
Since 1922, under the commission and the council-manager forms of government, the mayoralty and city council hold the same offices. The president of the council serves as mayor and is first among equals on the city council, which acts as a legislative body while executive functions are performed by the appointed city manager. The mayor chairs the city council meetings, but lacks any special legislative powers. The mayor and city council serve part-time, with day-to-day administration in the hands of a professional city manager.
- Prior to 1922, under the mayor-council system, the mayoralty and city council were separate offices.
- See also: List of City Councilors
|Form||#||Council President (mayor)||Term start||Term end||Terms||Party|
|Commission||1||John R. Morris||September 1, 1922||August 31, 1924||1||Democratic|
|Commission||2||J. Y. Brown||September 1, 1924||August 31, 1930||3||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||3||Fred L. Watson||September 1, 1930||August 31, 1932||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||4||F. W. Twyman||September 1, 1932||August 31, 1934||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||5||W. Dan Haden||September 1, 1934||August 31, 1938||3||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||6||George T. Huff||September 1, 1938||August 31, 1940||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||(5)||W. Dan Haden||September 1, 1940||August 31, 1942||3||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||7||J. E. Gleason||September 1, 1942||August 31, 1944||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||8||Roscoe S. Adams||September 1, 1944||August 31, 1946||2||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||9||Gus K. Tebell||September 1, 1948||August 31, 1950||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||10||Strother F. Hamm||September 1, 1950||August 31, 1952||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||11||William R. Hill||September 1, 1952||August 31, 1954||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||12||Sol B. Weinberg||September 1, 1954||August 31, 1956||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||13||R. M. Davis||September 1, 1956||August 31, 1958||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||14||Thomas J. Michie||September 1, 1958||August 31, 1960||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||15||Louis L. Scribner||September 1, 1960||August 31, 1962||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||16||Bernard J. Haggerty||September 1, 1962||August 31, 1964||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||17||Lindsey B. Mount||September 1, 1964||August 31, 1966||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||18||Burkett A. Reynolds||September 1, 1966||August 31, 1968||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||19||"Dutch" Vogt||September 1, 1968||August 31, 1970||1||Republican|
|Council-Manager||20||Mitchell Van Yahres||September 1, 1970||August 31, 1972||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||21||Francis H. Fife||July 1, 1972||June 30, 1974||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||22||Charles Barbour||July 1, 1974||June 30, 1976||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||23||Nancy K. O'Brien||July 1, 1976||June 30, 1978||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||24||Laurence Brunton||July 1, 1978||June 30, 1980||1||Republican|
|Council-Manager||25||Frank Buck||July 1, 1980||August 31, 1988||4||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||26||"Bitsy" Waters||September 1, 1988||August 31, 1990||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||27||Alvin Edwards||September 1, 1990||August 31, 1992||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||28||Tom Vandever||September 1, 1992||August 31, 1994||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||29||David Toscano||September 1, 1994||August 31, 1996||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||30||Kay Slaughter||September 1, 1996||August 31, 1998||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||31||Virginia Daugherty||July 1, 1998||July 3, 2000||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||32||Blake Caravati||July 3, 2000||July 1, 2002||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||33||Maurice Cox||July 1, 2002||July 1, 2004||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||34||David Brown||July 1, 2004||January 7, 2008||2||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||35||Dave Norris||January 7, 2008||January 3, 2012||2||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||36||Satyendra Huja ||January 3, 2012||December 31, 2015||2||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||37||Mike Signer||January 1, 2016||December 31, 2017||1||Democratic|
|Council-Manager||38||Nikuyah Walker||January 1, 2018||2||Independent|
- Web. Charlottesville Urban Design and Affordable Housing, Kenneth A. Schwarz, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, retrieved November 29, 2012.
- Web. Yesteryears: For Charlottesville's first mayor, Christmas season 1886 ended with a bang, David Maurer, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, January 3, 2012.