Understanding the Different Roles in Local Government

Understanding the Different Roles in Local Government

It is a common myth that important elections only take place every two or four years. Local elections often take place every year, and because turnout is lower, your vote can actually make even more of a difference.

Understanding each of the local government roles and their impact is critical if you want to influence choices that affect you and others in your community. Here’s a brief description of each function, with their core responsibilities.

The Mayor

The Mayor is the elected Executive, responsible for the city’s daily operations. They appoint and dismiss key department heads, such as the Chief of Police. Mayors are also usually responsible for presenting a yearly budget to the Aldermen for approval, although the Alderman may amend it. Either the Mayor or the Alderman may introduce new laws, depending on each city’s charter. Together they address issues including land use and development, housing, job programs or incentives, transportation policies, investment in parks or libraries, and how much to cooperate with the Federal government on areas like immigration policy or drug issues.

Learn more about Tullahoma’s current mayor, Lane Curlee:

The Aldermen

The Aldermen have the final vote in creating laws and approving a city budget. They may develop their own initiatives, as well as responding to the mayor’s proposals, and they approve or reject key department heads. The mayor usually has more power than an individual alderman and an aldermen supermajority may be required to override a Mayor’s veto of Alderman approved legislation. Nevertheless, the aldermen have the ultimate say on which laws are passed.

Tullahoma has a total of six aldermen, who each serve a three-year term. Click any of the names below to see their biography.

The Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen meet on the second and fourth Mondays at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall located at 201 West Grundy, Tullahoma, TN 37388.

The School Board

The school board is the link between the classroom and the community. They decide how and what students are learning by setting policies, curriculums, and budgets for the school district. Voting for school board members affects funding for programs like arts, music, and sports, the school calendar, what time school begins and ends. Your vote for the school board directly affects the education of students in K-12 schools.

The Tullahoma Board of Education consists of seven elected members.

  • Pat Welsh
  • Kim Uselton
  • Teresa Lawson
  • Jessica Fogarty
  • Amy Johnson
  • Dr. Steve Lynn
  • GiGi Robinson

Learn more about the Tullahoma Board of Education by visiting https://www.tcsedu.net/board-of-education.

Taped board meetings can be found by going to https://www.tcsedu.net/board-of-education/taped-boe-meetings

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