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2013 CAMA E-Brief Partner: April 17, 2013            


Unsung Heroes at City Hall
Special Thanks to Duncan Campbell, City Manager for the City of Westmount, for his kind note to the Board and for sending the following article that he wrote twenty years ago for the Globe & Mail.  The message is definitely still relevant.


On April 1, 1993, it snowed.  Some April Fool`s Day joke – 30 centimetres of the white stuff with a strong wind.  Employees of the public works department laboured hard to keep winter`s last throes in check so the roads were passable and emergency vehicles and public transit could get through.  All in a day`s and evening`s work.  So what`s the fuss?
 
None, actually.  Until the next day, when the phone starts to ring in my office and the "sidewalk superintendents" call in to second-guess our response to the storm and offer advice on how to clean up the town.
 
One member of the public phoned to say we were wasting money – “Let the sun take care of it” he suggested.  Another complained that both sides of the street, including sidewalks, had not been cleared.  “Why weren`t you doing anything?” he asked.  Finally, another complained that the plows had cleared the street but blocked the driveway and now he had to actually shovel.  Invariably, conversations end one of two ways - "I pay your salary, you know," or "My taxes keep going up, but the service goes down!"
 
Such is life in the service of a municipality, I tell myself and anyone around the office who cares and has time to listen.  We look for reasons why our best attempts are always met with criticism.  We would love, just once, to tell the party on the other end of the phone that this is Canada and, yes, in April is can snow.  Somehow, we are responsible for both the storm and the resulting chaos that it might bring.  We solider on.
 
And then there are the jokes.  Like the one about the public works employee who phones his boss to let him know that his shovel has broken.  The boss replies, “So lean on the truck.”  A sense of humour and a thick skin are becoming requisite skills for this job.
 
We quietly go about our business hoping that the vast (and silent) majority of our citizens are pleased with what we do.  We prop ourselves up with small victories and eagerly compare notes with our counterparts in neighbouring towns to measure our success.  We drive through adjacent communities looking for potholes and snow banks to make us feel better.  We use statistics on everything – tax rates, percentage of debt, budget increases – to measure and justify our performance.  We eagerly attend conferences and conventions to hear war stories from other municipalities that we can relate to and laugh about.  We read Chatelaine magazine or L'àctualité to see if our community has made the Top Ten list.
 
I liken our performance to baseball – as long a we`re hitting .500 or better we are doing okay.  Unfortunately, we (and our "fans") expect us to hit 1.000, and home runs at that.  To push the baseball analogy one step further, I have often told our employees that in the big leagues, players are put in the Hall of Fame for hitting .250 over their entire career, so don`t despair.  And yet it is discouraging to work where the feedback is sporadic and usually negative.
 
We operate with public money, yet the public seems to know little of what we do.  Granted, there are times when the council chamber is empty on council nights, and that suits me just fine – no questions, no complaints, an early evening – but sometimes the public is a little too apathetic.
 
Last December, we adopted our 1993 budget of just over $45-million.  A lot of money for a community of 18,000-plus.  Not a soul other than the council members was in attendance.  We had spent two solid months to work to deliver a zero-growth budget and no one was there to recognize the accomplishment.
 
I felt sorry for the department heads and mangers who had worked hard to deliver this budget.  I felt sorry for the elected officials who had put in long and difficult hours and made tough decisions without the recognition of their fellow residents.

As a result of situations like this, a dedicated elected official can soon become disillusioned about the process and find easier and certainly more profitable ways to spend his or her free time.  This loss is the community’s.  Is it any wonder that there is a common complaint that public service, especially at the elected level, suffers from a lack of qualified participants?
 
Is the oft-maligned public sector really as bad as our “sidewalk supers” and the media would have us believe?  The answer is absolutely not.  Canadians can sleep well in the knowledge that our cities are well run and the whole process works.  The jokes and the criticisms aside, life in the public sector is rewarding in its perverse way.
 
Most of our towns, villages and cities are well run and are the envy of the world.  The social and financial problems of our sister cities around the globe have not reached epidemic proportions in Canada.  Yes, we are susceptible to catching such diseases, and that is but one challenge of the nineties for our communities.
 
Nevertheless, we can be assured that the vast majority of elected officials, professional managers and employees of our communities are dedicated to their success.

This message goes out to two groups:  to the public we never hear from (and who we are pretty sure are happy where they live) and to the many men and women who quietly go about ensuring that the streets are plowed, the water flows from the tap and senior citizens have a friend to turn to when in need.
 
Duncan E.Campbell is director-general of the Town of Mount Royal, Quebec (in 1993).

 





Conference Registration!
Register now for CAMA's 42nd Annual Conference being held in Victoria, British Columbia, from May 27-29, 2013 at the Fairmont Empress and the Victoria Conference Centre. The Conference theme is "Leadership Excellence”.     

         
Delegate Type Registration Fee after
April 1st, 2013. (5% GST)
*CAMA Member (Municipal) $625.00 + $31.25 GST = $656.25
*Non-Member (Municipal) $725.00 + $36.25 GST = $761.25
**Affiliate CAMA Member (Non-Municipal) $925.00 + $46.25 GST = $971.25
**Non-Member (Non-Municipal) $1025.00 + $51.25 GST = $1076.25
Retired Member/Municipal Intern Fee $175.00 + $8.75 GST = $183.75
   
 
Registration fees include all Conference sessions, a complimentary delegate gift, Tradeshow, Opening Reception, breakfasts, refreshment breaks, lunches, Casual Night Out at the Royal BC Museum and a “Taste of Victoria”, President’s Dinner and the Hospitality Suites. Additional tickets to the Casual Night Out ($115.00) and the President’s Dinner ($125.00) can be purchased for companions not participating in the full Companion Program. An additional fee of $25.00 (+ $3.00 HST) will be charged for the Study Tours.

The registration fee for Retired Members and Municipal Interns includes all Conference sessions, a complimentary delegate gift, Tradeshow, Opening Reception, breakfasts, refreshment breaks, Casual Night Out at the Royal BC Museum and a “Taste of Victoria”, and the Hospitality Suites. At an additional cost, tickets can be purchased to the lunches ($35.00), the Study Tours ($25.00), and the President’s Dinner ($125.00).

Links to Registration

Using the links below, members can register for the Conference, the Golf Tournament, the Companion's Program, and purchase additional event tickets. Have your credit card ready. For those wishing to pay by cheque, register online then forward payment to the CAMA National Office. Registering online is the only way to sign up for this year's Conference. CAMA members must register with their e-mail address.

To register as a Delegate: http://www.civicinfo.bc.ca/event/cama2013.asp
To register as a Companion: http://www.civicinfo.bc.ca/event/cama2013_partners.asp



CAMA Golf Tournament – The Bear Mountain Golf Resort
Discover some of the finest golf Victoria has to offer!  Co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and his son Steve, the Mountain Course at Bear Mountain is set in the foothills of Mount Finlayson and strikes the perfect balance between playability and a truly challenging year round golf experience for golfers of all skill levels. With panoramic mountain, city and ocean views set within rolling fairways and lush forest, rest assured -­ you will enjoy your game.  Start your day early by departing the Fairmont Empress at 6:30 a.m., enjoy a continental breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and drive away in your shared power cart at 8:00 a.m. with a shot-­‐gun start. End your day with a BBQ Lunch and lots of prizes! Golfers will arrive back at the hotel by 2:30 p.m. The cost per participant includes transportation to the course, green fees, the use of a shared power cart with GPS, a continental buffet breakfast and a burger buffet lunch.  Players will have use of the practice area with complimentary range balls and receive twenty percent off apparel in the golf shop. The rental of golf clubs will be available for $30.00 plus tax and can be reserved on the on-line registration form and paid for at the course the day of the tournament.

To register for the Golf Tournament: http://www.civicinfo.bc.ca/event/cama2013_golf.asp

CAMA Members (Municipal) $160.00 + Tax
Non--‐Members (Municipal) $160.00 + Tax
Affiliate CAMA  Members (Non-Municipal) $185.00 + Tax
Non--‐Members (Non‐Municipal) $200.00 + Tax



Welcome Tradeshow Exhibitors:
 

ParkSmart Inc.
ParkSmart Inc. is the largest independent processor of parking tickets in Canada, and is the national distributor of AutoCITE and AutoISSUE handhelds and software. ParkSmart delivers unique ticket processing and compliance solutions for Municipalities, Institutions and Private Parking Operators. ParkSmart processes over 500,000 parking tickets annually. Our Service Bureau is designed to provide all the functionality and convenience of an in-house system, without the capital expense of purchasing, installing, maintaining and operating software and hardware.  Information at: www.parksmart.ca

PublicStuff Inc.
PublicStuff is a leading SaaS based software company providing web-based solutions and mobile applications to address service needs of both residents and municipal governments.  Visit:  www.publicstuff.com

Canadian Water Network
Canadian Water Network’s decade of experience has led to its evolution as an organization that plays a critical intermediary role of improving the connection between research and those involved in managing water in the public and private sector. CWN brings together key decision-makers to determine shared water management needs across municipalities, industry and governments from local to national. We then find the right research partners to address those needs, ensuring that the right combinations of knowledge yield tangible results.  Details at: www.cwn-rce.ca

Riva Modeling Systems Inc.
Riva Modeling Systems is the leading software solution for performing PSAB 3150 Compliance Reporting and Strategic Long Range Asset Risk and Budget Management for municipalities and government agencies. Riva integrates to any third party system, including CMMS, GIS,ERP and specialized inspection tools and applies your best maintenance practices to build a prioritized, full lifecycle plan for maintaining and replacing any type of asset along with full PSAB/TCA compliance reporting.  For information: www.rivamodeling/.com


Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Canada
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Canada Inc. is a Canadian leader in drinking water treatment, waste water treatment and biosolids management, serving Canadian municipalities and industries since 1948. Over the last 60 years, the company has brought many leading technologies to the market including: ACTIFLO®, BIOSTYR ®, Anox Kaldnes MBBR, Hydrotech Discfilter, MBR and HYDREX chemicals.

Honeywell
Honeywell is a global leader in energy and utility services, helping customers upgrade their facilities and infrastructure while cutting operating expenses. We’ve worked with dozens of cities and municipal utilities to develop, fund and implement energy efficiency, demand response, advanced metering and smart grid projects. By trimming a community’s energy use and environmental footprint, Honeywell helps free up capital that often pays for critical improvements and maintenance without raising rates or taxes.  For more information, visit: www.honeywell.com


Scholarships Available for Women to Attend ICMA Annual Conference
As part of its ongoing commitment to attracting women into the field of local government management and helping develop those women who already work in the field, ICMA is offering scholarships to women to attend the ICMA 99th Annual Conference.  Applications are being accepted through Monday, May 20th.   Full information on ICMA’s conference assistance scholarship program may be found at www.icma.org.

Women who are interested in applying for a conference assistance scholarship should apply for the Workplace Diversity Scholarship. If the female applicant qualifies, she may apply for a scholarship in another category in addition to the workplace diversity scholarship. A separate application needs to be submitted for each scholarship category.

Scholarship recipients receive:
  • Complimentary registration to ICMA’s 99th annual conference in Boston, MA this September;
  • A travel stipend to help defray the costs of travel;
  • To be eligible for the ICMA Conference Assistance Scholarships, applicants must meet the following criteria;
  • Be a first-time ICMA Annual Conference attendee;
  • Be a full-time local government employee (no part-time interns, please);
  • Submit a completed application form;
  • Demonstrate through an essay an avid interest in a career in local government management;
  • Submit 2 recommendation forms signed by local government managers or administrators who are familiar with your work.
Application materials are due Monday, May 20th.  Questions regarding ICMA’s Annual Conference Scholarship Program should be directed to flittky@icma.org


The Mayor’s Housing Summit - May 13 & 14 (Regina, SK)
The Mayor’s Housing Summit taking place May 13 & 14 in Regina, Saskatchewan is less than one month away.   The Summit will focus on innovative ways of providing housing, focusing on partnerships as well as topics covering the housing continuum, from homelessness to affordable, rental, attainable housing. The Summit will feature an expert line up of speakers from across Canada.

All presentations will pertain to the Summit theme, ‘Housing in a Growing Economy’ will focus on three areas (1) Supply: rental and affordable housing; (2) Innovation in housing; and (3) Partnerships.

Marc Bovet, President of BONEStructure will speak to the innovation theme and how BONEStructure has revolutionalized all aspects of the residential construction industry, from the client experience to design and technology.

Janice Abbott, CEO of Atira Women's Resource Society will enlighten delegates with how she embarked on an epic journey to bring affordable housing constructed from recycled shipping containers to Vancouver, the first Canadian city to embrace the possibility, and about the process of bringing this vision to fruition and the women and programming who will benefit.

Tim Richter, President & CEO of Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness will present on how they were formed to create a national movement to end homelessness in Canada from the community up through the development of a 10 year plan to end homeless.

Other presentations include speakers from Homes by Deveraux, Intelligent Futures, SaskHousing, Regina and Region Home Builders’ Association (RRHBA), Association of Regina Realtors Inc., HeadStart on a Home, Canadian Housing & Renewal Association (CHRA), Homes by Dundee, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and MMM Group Limited.

For other speakers, the Summit agenda and to register today please visit:  Regina.ca/MayorsHousingSummit or email MayorsHousingSummit@regina.ca




Leading Cities is Hard. Can a Digital Workplace Help?
Local government is one of the most rewarding places to be a leader, yet municipalities present one of the most challenging environments for a leader. A digital platform, like a corporate intranet, can go a long way in helping glue a workplace together. To be successful in a municipal environment an intranet needs to connect and energize the workplace community, and make it easy for people to find the information and help they need to get their work done. Learn how the City of Medicine Hat and the City of Port Coquitlam are benefitting from organizational clarity, better culture, and decreased workplace silos. Visit http://www.jostle.me/news/leading-cities-is-hard-can-a-digital-workplace-help/ for more information.



QUEEN ELIZABETH II DIAMOND JUBILEE MEDAL RECIPIENTS






A new commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.  CAMA is pleased to recognize recipients from our member community. 

Over the next several months, we will be featuring our members that received this prestigious award.








Jack Ramsden, CAO, Town of Eckville
 
Tina Williamson-Ward, Jack Ramsden and Sherry Reid
 
Jack was born & raised in Whitehorse, Yukon.  After graduating from high school Jack moved to Red Deer, where he studied general arts & sciences for one year and social work for two years, graduating with a Diploma in Social Services.  Jack worked for the Alberta Highways Department as a surveyor and technician for three years.  On May 1, 1978, at the age of 24, Jack took a supervisory position with Flagstaff County.  This was the start of what would become a lifelong career in municipal government administration.  After four years of late night studies, Jack received his Certificate in Local Government Studies (with distinction) from the University of Alberta.  Jack accepted the Town Manager Position with the Town of Three Hills in the Fall of 1990, and has served in this capacity for 22 years and 4 months.  This past February Jack moved on to new challenges as the Chief Administrative Officer with the Town of Eckville.

Along the way Jack served as Mayor for the Village of Lougheed for nine years, the Hardisty Hospital Board for one year, the Flagstaff Family & Community Support Services Board for nine years, the Flagstaff Regional Waste Management Authority for three years, and the Three Hills Food Bank Board for three years.  Jack has also served as a Board Member on the Region 4 Child & Family Service Authority for the past four years.   Jack married his college sweetheart Elsie and they have been happily been married for 38 years.  Together they have raised six children.
 
Support Staff from the Town of Three Hills, Sherry Reid, Executive Assistant and Tina Williamson-Ward, Management Assistant, nominated Jack Ramsden, for the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in appreciation for his 22 years of service to the Town of Three Hills.    Jack’s unbiased professionalism and staunch dedication to his Town and his staff was unparallel and his support staff felt that it was paramount to ensure that he received the honour and recognition he deserved prior to leaving his position as CAO.   Congratulations Jack on receiving this prestigious award!


Lorraine Heinbuch, Chief Administrative Officer/Clerk, Township of Wellington-North, ON
 
 
Randy Pettapiece, MPP Perth-Wellington with Lorraine Heinbuch
 
On January 28th, 2013 Lorraine Heinbuch, who was nominated for the Diamond Jubilee medal by the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators, was presented with her Diamond Jubilee  medal.  Lori was recognized for her outstanding work as the Chief Administrative Officer of Wellington North, and for her service record within the community. This recognition is extremely well deserved - congratulations!.



Welcome New Members

Welcome to the following new members:

Deb Bowen, Regional Clerk/Director of Legislative Services, The Regional Municipality of Durham, ON
Robert Lapham, Chief Administrative Officer, Capital Regional District, BC
Ray Romanetz, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Drumheller, AB

 




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