Is a Former Mayor Addressed as Mayor (Name)?
I am addressing an invitation to a former mayor. How do I correctly do that??
—–– Karen Szczpanski How to Address the Mayor of a US City
Address a former mayor on the envelope or address block of a letter with this form:
—–—–The Honorable (Full name)
On the salutation, in conversation, or if your invitation has an inside envelope use this:
Sometimes you will see or hear former mayors addressed as Mayor (name) but it is not correct, Address a former mayor as Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. – whatever honorific they had before becoming (Mayor) (Name).
The reason? In a city there is only one mayor at a time. It’s not respectful to the current office holder, and is potentially confusing to be addressing more than one person as Mayor (Name).
Being addressed as Mayor (Name) is a courtesy of the office and is reserved for the current office holder. I know, I know, I know, you hear former mayors addressed in the media or referred to as Mayor (Name), but addressing a former mayor as Mayor (Name) is simply a reporter flattering the former official’s ego, or the former official seeking to continue to enjoy the courtesies due his or her former lofty post.
[This contrasts with officials of which there is more than one office holder at a time — e.g, there are many judges, ambassadors, generals, admirals, professors, senators etc. at a time — and these former office holders DO use their (Special Honorific)+(Name) in every situation for the rest of their lives.]
— Robert Hickey How to Address the Mayor of a US City