The Mayor is the leader of Michel Delving, a town in the White Downs. The position is usually elected, but it could also be handed down by birthright. The mayor also presides over large events where leadership is wanted or necessary.
The Mayor of Michel Delving is elected for seven-year terms. He was the only official in the Shire to be elected, unlike the hereditary title of the Thain. He is chosen at the Free Fair at the Lithe, held every seven years at the White Downs. His primary duty is to preside over banquets during Shire-holidays.
The Mayor of Michel Delving's importance had increased during the late Third Age, as the office accumulated the roles of Postmaster and First Shirriff. Thus the Mayor manages the Messenger Service and the Watch. The office of Mayor had become the most important position in the Shire and its title-holder became the only real official in the Shire, so that the position was also known as Mayor of the Shire. The town of Michel Delving became the Shire's seat of government.
Will Whitfoot was the mayor at the time of the War of the Ring; however, he was imprisoned by Saruman in the Lockholes. Frodo Baggins acted as Deputy Mayor while Mayor Will Whitfoot recovered from his imprisonment in the Lockholes.
Beginning in FO 13 (SR 1434), King Elessar made the Mayor along with the offices of the Thain and Master of Buckland counsellors of the North-kingdom. Sam Gamgee was elected Mayor of the Shire seven times between FO 55 (SR 1427) and SR 1476 of the Shire Reckoning.