News / Edmonton

Edmonton mayors get a chain of office, but not much power

When Don Iveson takes the oath of office Tuesday, he gets a chain of office and can officially call himself mayor, but he doesn’t get much in the way of powers.

Iveson gets the power to call for a council meeting and he chairs those meeting when they come up; those are the only difference between him and another member of council.

City Clerk Alayne Sinclair said on paper mayors don’t have much more authority than councillors.

She said the real difference separating a mayor from a councillor is their political weight.

“They get a bigger budget and they have a bigger office, so they have more clout,” she said.

She added because mayors are elected city-wide they also have a little more heft in debate.

“When you are elected by 130,000 people, you have more clout than someone who is elected by 7,000 or 8,000 people,” she said.

Iveson said he's fully aware his powers will be limited, but he believes he and his fellow councillors were elected with change in mind.

He said even without powers he can push his agenda forward.

“Without formal power you can still lead and the title comes with the opportunity to provide leadership,” he said.

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