The Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) held their quarterly meeting in Vancouver, BC on March 13-15, 2019.
DETAILS OF THE BOARD MEETING
The Board discussed a number of important topics, and below are the highlights of those discussions:
The Board reviewed the next two years of the Strategic Plan including CAMA’s annual core services that are available to all members:
- Annual Conference
- Awards of Excellence Program
- Long Service Awards Program
- CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit
- Making Life Happen Campaign/Recruiting the Next Generation
- Website Advertising
- Jobscene Broadcasts
- E-Brief newsletters
- Relationships with Provincial/Territorial Associations/Affiliate Organizations/FCM
Over half of our membership is from communities with populations under 20,000. The Board will be continuing its outreach to new members focusing on small, large and francophone municipalities. A new campaign will be launched in September 2019.
What is CAMA’s Next Toolkit?
CAMA currently has a basic sample Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Employment Contract which includes a list of some of the most common provisions found in administrative employment contracts. This document is in the Member’s Section. In a world in which employment relationships are becoming more and more dynamic, municipal administrators should consider the importance of an employment contract. It was the decision of the Board that the current contract should be expanded to include additional tools that would benefit CAMA Members.
The goal is to prepare a CAO Employment Contract Toolkit that will support CAOs when negotiating their contract and also the elected officials during the recruitment process. This toolkit will also take into consideration the work that has already been completed on CAMA’s Performance Evaluation Toolkit, the CAO Members in Transition Toolkit, and the Political Acumen Toolkit.
We will be seeking CAMA members to sit on this Committee which will be struck in June 2019, which will be sent out in a CAMA ebrief.
CAO Performance Evaluation Committee Update
The Provincial/Territorial Elected Official Associations have been asked to promote the CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit to their membership thru presentations or providing brochures. Please send in completed evaluation forms and CAO job descriptions, and testimonials about using the toolkit (also from your Mayor/Council). The most recent survey to the membership was positive with members finding this to be a very useful template that they have shared with their elected officials. If you have new elected officials or Council, it is a great time to introduce this tool. Brochures will be included in the delegate bags at the FCM Conference in Québec City and CAMA will also have a booth at the tradeshow promoting this tool and our other services. It is our hope that this opportunity will bring more profile to our Association and the importance of their CAO being a member.
Municipal Job Posting Services
Here’s a sobering thought. Statistics say 51% of municipal employees will be eligible to retire by 2021. Worried? CAMA is pleased to have a partnership with muniSERV – Canada’s leading online platform to Connect Municipalities and the Businesses that Serve Them. Recently muniSERV introduced muniJOBS - Canada’s new interactive career and recruitment platform with a 100% municipal focus, Candidate/Employer matching capabilities and searchable job postings, to make it easy for municipal job seekers to find all available municipal jobs across Canada, in one convenient location. Registration is free. As a CAMA member you can post your first job for free too. Use coupon code "munijobsCAMA" at checkout. To learn more visit CAMA’s website.
We are also pleased to partner with Civicjobs.ca where your posting reaches our members in every Province/Territory and also the broad, public audience. CivicJobs.ca is Canada's largest online source for municipal postings. For more details visit the CAMA website.
Political Acumen Toolkit Project
The Board approved the final draft of the Political Acumen Toolkit prepared by the CAMA Committee and Transitional Solutions Inc. This resource will strengthen political acumen as a core competency for CAOs, their direct reports, and the next generation of municipal leaders. It provides information, downloadable resources, and links to additional materials that will support CAOs and senior managers in building a bridge between the administrative and the political realms. Specifically, the toolkit offers advice that clarifies roles and responsibilities with governance, supports relationship-building at all levels, encourages situational and self-awareness in municipal leaders, helps manage personal risk, and furthers effective communication and stakeholder engagement.
The toolkit also acts as a resource for CAOs to use with aspiring leaders to mentor them in the less tangible skills required to achieve success in the role. Political acumen is a skill that is best learned through coaching, observation, and experience. While every effort has been made to capture the knowledge of experienced CAOs in this toolkit, mentorships are needed to learn firsthand how to navigate the political nature of municipal management. CAMA’s Mentorship Forum was developed in tandem with the toolkit to encourage and facilitate these relationships between experienced and new leaders, as well as support succession planning in local government. Similar to other social networking sites, the Forum is a resource for connecting with other CAMA members, finding mentors, obtaining support from colleagues across the Country, and discussing municipal issues on a pan-Canadian level.
CAOs operate in a unique position, and because of this, they can often feel a lack of support in their roles as they face challenging or even overwhelming situations. Every municipal leader has been there at some point. CAMA hopes this toolkit will become a valuable resource to support senior administrators in their careers, and that the Mentorship Forum will provide a practical way for CAMA members to reach out to each other for support. Watch for the launch of this exciting toolkit at the 2019 Annual Conference in Quebec City.
CAO Members in Transition Toolkit
“Experiencing transition has
made me a better person
and a better CAO.”
The Board put their final stamp of approval on the CAO Members in Transition Toolkit also to be launched at the 2019 Conference.
When a CAO is experiencing the turmoil and flow of emotions that immediately follows transition, it is often difficult to even begin to think about the resources you need and/or where to locate them quickly when you need them. Everyone experiences transition in their own way and throughout the project we learned that often just hearing the experiences of others can be helpful. In addition, it became evident that having the right tools and resources readily available when needed, made transition easier for many. The goal of the Toolkit is to provide our Members in Transition with a support tool that when needed made transition easier for many.
Additional Member Service Coming to CAMA Members
As noted in our Statement of Purpose “CAMA provides its members with networking and professional development opportunities and resources to enhance their proficiency in municipal leadership and management. Sharing of innovative and best practices are integral components of CAMA’s mission.”
CAMA is pleased to be announcing a partnership with a BoxOfDocs at the Conference. BoxOfDocs is the one and only Canadian Municipal Administrative Document Library. Members get easily searchable access to municipal documents such as bylaws, policies and standards from municipalities across Canada, all in one place. Documents are automatically loaded to their platform from municipality websites, with little to no effort required by members. BoxOfDocs offers individual as well as municipal memberships. Members receive access to thousands of ever-changing Canadian municipal documents, all kept current on the BoxOfDocs platform by the BoxOfDocs team and their proprietary technology. CAMA members will be offered a discount on the monthly or annual fees based on your population.
The Board reviewed the preparations underway for the 2019 CAMA Conference being held in Québec City. You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity. It is anticipated that this year’s conference will once again have a very strong attendance. Visit the CAMA website to register.
The Board considered a report from Janice Baker, Past President and Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee. There were two positions on the Board available for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and an election is required for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Congratulations to Marc Melanson, City Manager for the City of Dieppe, who was acclaimed as the CAMA Board representative for New Brunswick.
More information on the voting instructions for the election being held April 29th to May 3rd, 2019 will be circulated to you in the future.
Proposed Amendments to CAMA By-law
One of the strategic priorities identified by the Board is to meet the needs of all member communities. It was felt that dedicating the two Member-At-Large positions to small municipalities and large municipalities would be a good way to ensure that the voice of all populations and their needs are identified. Watch for these changes in the Annual General Meeting package circulated at the end of April 2019.
2019 CAMA Awards of Excellence Program
Chairman Louis Coutinho provided an update on this year’s Awards of Excellence Program. The Selection Committee received 35 submissions from across the country this year and the winners will be announced at the Awards of Excellence Luncheon being held at the Québec City Convention Centre on May 29th, 2019.
Long Services Awards Program
This year there will be 75 members that will be receiving their recognition pins. Ten and fifteen year recipients will be receiving their pins in mid-April and those with twenty years of service and more will be presented with their pins at the Long Service Awards Luncheon in Québec City. Congratulations to everyone for your commitment to the municipal profession!
The Board considered a report from Tim Anderson, International Vice-President of ICMA. Mark your calendars for the 2019 ICMA Conference being held in Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee from October 20-23, 2019. As you are aware, the 2020 ICMA Conference will be held in September 2020 in Toronto.
A special thanks to Sadhu Johnston, Chief Administrative Officer and the City of Vancouver team for the tour of the Insite Supervised Injection Facility, the historic Woodward’s Building, and presentations on their Zero Waste Strategy and future plan for the Broadway Subway.
The next meeting of the CAMA Board will be held on Sunday, May 26th, 2019 just prior to the Conference.
We look forward to seeing you in Québec City for some great speaker presentations and networking opportunities. À bientôt.
City Manager, Moncton, New Brunswick