While there are some differences in the role of mayor and council member in Watertown's council/manager form of government, its also very much true you don't have to be mayor to initiate and lead on issues.
Some cases of that this year include Councilman Joe Butler Jr's spearheading of a noise ordinance. He advanced the idea and pushed for it until he had built a consensus to get it passed. He showed similar leadership in his participation in the deliberations over a city clerk.
Meanwhile, City Councilwoman Roxanne Burns stepped up recently on the dog issue and earlier this year in proposing and pushing for an independent audit that led to a reorganization of the parks and recreation operation.
Whether you agree with their stance on these issues, they showed that individual councilmembers can do as much as a mayor in advancing and achieving an agenda.
The mayor is expected to perform additional ceremonial and other duties that are time consuming, but there is absolutely no reason the public should not expect to see a record of legislative accomplishment from their mayor and council members.
My point is the title doesn't bestow "leadership and vision." It's the person making things happen regardless of their title.
The small size of the body, its non-partisan form, and the equal authority of the five members doesn't necessarily relegate anyone to being a back bencher...unless they choose to be.