Political leader of a municipal corporation. Mayors are either appointed or elected for a limited term. In Europe until the mid-19th century, most mayors were appointed by the central government; in France, they are still agents of the central government. In the U.S., they are either directly elected by the populace or chosen by an elected council. Some fulfill only ceremonial functions, executive power being held by a professional manager hired by the legislature. A mayor's powers may include the power to make appointments, veto legislation, administer budgets, and manage administrative functions. See alsocity government.