Newly-inaugurated Boston Mayor Michelle Wu promised voters a bold vision for Boston on the campaign trail: free public transit, reinstating rent control and rent stabilization, appointing a new Police Commissioner.

But experts and politicians have noted that some items on Wu's platform wish list go beyond the authority of the Mayor's office, which begs the question... what can and can't the Mayor actually do?

Boston's strong mayor-council form of government empowers the mayor with significant administrative authority and political independence. In many ways, they're like the Chief Executive Officer of the city; they lay out a strategy, come up with a budget and manage operations to implement their vision. This includes anything from appointing mayoral cabinet members like the Chief of Staff to making sure the potholes are filled and the roads are plowed.

But being Mayor doesn’t mean all your wildest dreams for the city can or will come true.

In Wu's case, her vision of free public transit requires buy-in from the State Legislature since they appropriate some of the money for the MBTA's budget, and would need to come up with the money to make up revenue from lost MBTA fares. And reinstating rent control requires a signature from the Governor since Massachusetts residents voted to ban rent control on a 1995 ballot question.

In short, as Boston Mayor, you've got a lot of municipal powers at your fingertips, like appointing a new Police Commissioner or implementing bus-only lanes, but when it comes to enacting change that impacts more than Boston proper, you have to get the green light from the people at the top.