Q: Was the mayor elected or appointed?
Elections were organized regularly, but for all practical purposes, there were no elected offices under communism, including the members of parliament, only appointments by the Communist Party.
The single list of candidates was drawn up by the Communist Party (CP) with only one candidate for each office, almost all CP members. The Communists also selected and nominated (effectively appointed) a minuscule number of non-CP members.
The ballot box was placed at the center of the room in front of the 4-5 member committee who checked off people's names and gave each a ballot with preprinted names of the candidates, one name for each office. To adjust the ballots in private, the voter would have to remember to bring a pen or pencil and walk, observed by the committee, to the far corner of the room where the Communists placed a small screen with a table and a pen or pencil, sometimes broken according to informal internal instructions so that the voter would need to go back to the committee and ask for a new one. Before the election day, people were enjoined to "vote manifestly," that is to pick up the ballot from the committee, turn around, and drop it off in the ballot box right away.
The campaign was only for the uncontested Communist Party-appointed ticket that the voters received in the voting rooms. No one was allowed to campaign as an alternative, independent candidate.
Even if anyone wanted to, people generally did not know how to vote against a person on the list. The law said the voter had to cross off the candidate's name, and possibly write in someone else. That, however, was not addressed in the media, civics classes, or books on communism. The dozen or two dissidents who searched the statutes and, rarely, copied and tried to distribute the Communists' own official election rules in a few places were routinely detained.
Although it may not have been true in most instances in Czechoslovakia under communism, people assumed that the election committee would write down the names of those who dared to walk behind the screen and pass them on to the secret police for retribution. Almost everyone just picked up the list of candidates (effectively appointees) and dropped it off in the ballot box a few steps away.
Most people must have thought that their individual dissenting vote would not have meant anything, and that the result would be misrepresented anyway if the Communists did not like it. People felt communism was there to be "for ever," no matter what.