e-Brief October 3, 2019
CAMA Board of Directors and Representatives from Yukon Government
The Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) held their quarterly meeting in Whitehorse on Thursday, September 19th, 2019. A special thanks to members of the City of Whitehorse team and the Community Services/ Community Affairs Department with the Yukon Government for their hospitality.

The Board discussed a number of topics, but what follows are the highlights of those discussions:

Strategic Plan
Each September the Board conducts a review of the Annual Strategic Plan which is now in its fourth year (2016-2021). In the Post-Conference survey you told us that you felt that our organization is on the right track, particularly the work that has been completed on the new toolkits.  Professional development and networking remain the most valued aspects of membership, which is very much in line with our current Strategic Plan.

In the final year of the plan, the Board will continue to focus on core services and build on the work that has already been done. We look forward to starting the process for a new five-year Strategic Plan in September 2020.

CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit
CAMA continues to promote the CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit across the country to administrators and elected officials. The Toolkit marketing materials were of particular success at the CAMA Booth at the FCM Conference held in Québec City in June 2019.  Don’t forget about our 20 minute webinar that is designed to show you just how easy it is to use and how it can be customized and scaled to your municipality.  We are collecting sample completed evaluations (with personal information redacted) so if you would like to share yours please let us know ([email protected]).

Political Acumen Toolkit Project & Mentorship Forum
The Political Acumen Toolkit which was successfully launched at the 2019 Conference in June now also has a PDF version of the entire toolkit including the case studies, appendices and powerpoint presentations.   The Board will be entering into phase two of this project and will be providing more marketing and presentations across the country to promote this valuable resource.

Also, the Mentorship Forum that will connect you with other CAMA members, help you find a mentor, or just to simply network and get support from your colleagues across the country!

CAO Members in Transition Toolkit
Don’t forget about our CAO Members in Transition Toolkit which is located in the CAMA Member’s Section. This toolkit can help you as a working CAO to identify the needs at the various stages of transition which will help you navigate your way if you ever find yourself in this most unfortunate position.

CAO Employment Contract Toolkit
CAMA’s project for this year is to launch a CAO Employment Contract Toolkit at the 2020 Conference. The Committee for this toolkit consists of the following Board and CAMA members:
  • Jake Rudolph, Chair, CAMA First Vice-President/Board Representative for British Columbia, CAO – City of Nanaimo, BC
  • Jeff Renaud, CAMA President/Member-At-Large, CAO – Town of St. Stephen, NB
  • Dawn Chaplin, CAMA Board Representative for Newfoundland & Labrador, CAO – Town of Torbay, NL
  • Rod Sage, CAMA Board Representative for Manitoba and Saskatchewan, CAO/City Manager – City of Brandon, MB
  • Marc Landry, CAMA Past President, City Manager – City of Moncton, NB
  • Andy Brown, CAMA Member - CAO, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, ON
  • Phyllis Carlyle, CAMA Member - CAO, Regional District of Nanaimo, BC
  • David Stewart, CAMA Member - Treasurer/Deputy CAO, Municipality of Hastings Highlands, ON
We are pleased to have Transitional Solutions Inc. lead us thru this initiative. Please take the time to complete the survey that was sent to all members with a deadline of October 11th.

Communications/Member Campaign
We will be launching a new member campaign in the near future which will focus on membership in CAMA with the newest benefits being our three toolkits. You will start to see some of your colleagues across the country on social media and in our newsletters!  Please continue to promote our Association to your colleagues and senior managers in your own organization!  New members can join for 50% off the first year and if they join between now (October 2019) and March 2020 they will not be invoiced again until March 2021 so essentially will get six months free.
Don’t forget about the “Making Life Happen” toolkit to attract the next generation of leaders to local government. The “Making Life Happen” program was created in partnership, with a mandate of raising awareness of local government with a specific focus encouraging younger Canadians to consider a municipal career.  Visit the CAMA website for all of the tools to tailor a presentation from your own municipality. Following is the website outlining all of the things that local government has to offer:  http://www.makinglifehappen.ca

2019 Conference and Beyond
Jennifer Goodine, CAMA Executive Director presented a report on the very successful 2019 Québec City Conference which saw a surplus of $48,000.

The next Conference will be held at the Deerhurst Resort in the Muskoka Region from June 1-3, 2020.   The Conference Program Sub-Committee and the Board are working on a dynamic speaker program along with some great social activities.  This year’s theme will be based on “Teambuilding” and you will hear more in the coming months.  The hotel room blocks at the Deerhurst Resort will be released in January 2020. 

Looking ahead, our 2021 Conference will be held at the Fairmont Mont Tremblant and CAMA will be planning some special activities for our 50th Annual Conference. The City of Regina will be hosting our 2022 Conference and our CAMA staff just completed a familiarization to see all of the great things that they have to offer.

Conference Scholarships
Through the Scholarship Program, CAMA provides up to six scholarships for the registration fee (in the amount of $750.00) for the 2020 Annual Conference (two for young professionals pursuing a career in local government; two for members working in municipalities located north of the 60th parallel; and two for members from smaller municipalities).  For the application form and more information visit the CAMA website. The deadline for applications is November 29, 2019.

2020 Awards of Excellence Program
The guidelines and on-line application forms for the 2020 CAMA Awards of Excellence will be available in January 2020.

Treasurers Report
Cory Bellmore, Treasurer updated the Board on Association’s finances. CAMA continues to be in a healthy financial position, which provides CAMA the opportunity to undertake priority projects and initiatives for members.

Tim Anderson, International Vice-President of ICMA provided the Board with a report on their activities. We are looking forward to hosting the Canadian Dinner on Monday, October 21st, 2019 in Nashville at the ICMA Annual Conference.

CAMA Members have a special rate of only $135.00 US to join ICMA. Even if you are not able to attend the ICMA Annual Conference, the information and resources available on their website is very valuable. If you would like to join ICMA or need additional details please visit the website. The 2020 ICMA Conference will also be held in Toronto from September 27-30, 2020.

The next meeting of the CAMA Board will be held in Ottawa from November 27-29, 2019. Meetings with the Federal representatives will be coordinated. If you have any thoughts or comments, don’t hesitate to contact the CAMA National Office ([email protected]) or any CAMA Board Member at any time.

Jeff Renaud
CAMA President
In recognition of the importance of promoting professional development opportunities for members, the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators established the CAMA Scholarship Program.

Through the Scholarship Program, CAMA will provide six scholarships for the registration fee (in the amount of $750.00) for the 2020 Annual Conference (two for young professionals pursuing a career in local government; two for members working in municipalities located north of the 60th parallel; and two for members from smaller municipalities).  Individuals are only eligible to receive a scholarship once to provide an opportunity to others to access this scholarship. The scholarship is not transferable and must be used in the same year that it was awarded.

Scholarship applicants must be a CAMA member (or working with a CAMA member under the Young Professionals category). Two scholarships are awarded for each of the following categories:  Young Professionals, Smaller Municipalities, and North of the 60th Parallel

All interested persons are invited to apply for the CAMA Scholarship by forwarding the completed application form to Ms. Jennifer Goodine, CAMA Executive Director, via e-mail at [email protected] no later than November 29, 2019.

For all details on this program please visit the CAMA website.
Recognizing the importance of political understanding in the role of senior municipal administrators, also referred to as political acumen, the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) launched a Political Acumen Toolkit.   This resource can be found at politicalacumen.camacam.ca 

 Over the next few editions of e-Brief (and by direct e-mail to you – our members) we will be featuring each topic that is offered in the toolkit. Today’s featured category is the Top 10 Tips for Achieving Political Acumen

Political acumen requires situational knowledge across a diversity of municipal landscapes. However, there are some truths that apply throughout. Here are the top 10 ways to demonstrate political acuity:
  1. Integrity: Maintaining your integrity is crucial to achieving success as a CAO. This rings true in all of your actions as well as supporting ethical behaviour on the part of your elected officials.
  2. Roles: Council, the CAO and other Senior Administrators must all have a clear grasp of their role in municipal governance. Council orientations, training, and mentorship are key to understanding the boundaries and mitigating the risk that comes with blurred lines between roles.
  3. Priorities: As a CAO your actions should be aligned with those of Council. Take the time to learn what Council’s priorities are, and do not be afraid to clarify if needed.
  4. Trust: Establishing trust is a cornerstone of leadership and lays the foundation of political acumen. Trust is not a given and must be earned through your actions.
  5. Respect: Even if you do not agree with your political leaders or the decisions they make, you must always respect them and demonstrate this respect to your staff and the public.
  6. Transparency: Maintain a culture of no surprises and no secrets between you and your Council. Being transparent and honest is vital to building relationships that will support your career now and into the future.
  7. Relationship-Building: Work at building rapport at all levels. Whether it is your staff, your Council, your municipal neighbours, the media, or interactions at the provincial or federal levels, relationship-building goes a long way toward achieving the goals of your municipality.
  8. Neutrality: Leave the politics to the politicians. The role of CAO is to remain neutral on issues while offering the best advice possible to the elected officials making the decision and providing leadership to other municipal staff.
  9. Communication: Communication is not only what you say but what you hear. Take the time to listen to Council, residents and other stakeholders to truly understand where they are coming from and be honest in the information you provide. Be open and respectful in your discussions with Council and never take anything personally.
  10. Feedback: Do not be afraid to ask for feedback. Meeting with your Council formally and informally can help ensure you are aligned with the strategic plan they have set for the municipality. Finding a mentor can also be a valuable resource for working thgh challenging situations and having someone to go to for support.
CAMA’s Mentorship Forum is available to all members at mentorship.camacam.ca. Sign up as a mentor, a mentee or just to network.  It is through mentorship that we learn the subtle art of workplace politics and skills that cannot e acquired through books. Political bacumen is one skill that falls in this category. Working in municipal management and leadership requires learning how to read between the lines and be ahead of the curve. Bouncing ideas off of mentors and learning from their experience is one way of adding this skill set to your resume.  Do you have questions? Want more information?  Contact Jennifer Goodine, Executive Director, CAMA National Office, 1-866-771-2262, [email protected].

It is with the greatest of sadness that we have learned that Tom MacDonald lost his courageous battle with cancer on September 12, 2019. The LGMA has lost a friend, a champion for the profession, and an inspirational leader and mentor.   

The LGMA was privileged to have Tom as its Executive Director from May 2003 to January 2013, growing the Association as a professional body and a financially successful organization while also creating a legacy of strong educational programming. An entrepreneur at heart, Tom was a humble, visionary leader who devoted his efforts to the LGMA's members, recognizing that at its core, the strength of the Association is its people. He encouraged so many in the profession, supported all who needed it, and motivated hundreds to get involved and engaged in the LGMA.
Tom understood the importance of creating a knowledge-sharing culture (or, in his words, “collective volunteerism”) – so much so that his reach went beyond British Columbia. He build relationships and shared knowledge and ideas with local government associations across Canada and the US, and spearheaded LGMA’s partnership with the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania though the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Tom’s philosophy was one of bringing people together, and his gift was empowering others to believe in themselves.

Tom never wanted to be in the spotlight, always shining light on those around him, whether it was the staff team, the Board, or the many volunteers who signed up to help with the work of the LGMA. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the staff, and the thousands of local government professionals whose lives he touched, the LGMA is sending condolences to the MacDonald family. For those who would like to make a donation in Tom’s memory, please consider the LGMA Distinguished Members Legacy Fund or the BC Cancer Foundation Deeley Research Center. Tom would also have strongly encouraged donating blood through the Canadian Blood Services.

Ron Bowles
LGMA President
FCM officially released its full election platform—a call to action to all federal parties to build better lives by empowering local leaders. Our plan is a roadmap to the results Canadians care about. It reflects the central role local governments play in so many facets of everyday life.  We’re urging every federal party to:
  • Renew core infrastructure through a permanent doubling of the Gas Tax Fund transfer.
  • Build tomorrow’s public transit by launching a permanent, direct federal funding mechanism.
  • Tackle housing affordability by engaging with municipalities to address the gap between rents, house prices and income levels.
  • Protect Canadians from natural disasters and climate change by investing in local adaptation projects.
  • Champion rural and northern communities by modernizing programs and funding tools to recognize local realities and expertise.
We’ve also launched BuildingBetterLives.ca—where, during the campaign, you’ll find our party commitment tracker and simple ways for you to take action.
SHARE IT NOW: Direct-tweet FCM’s platform to your local candidates.

  • Scott Hildebrand, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Merritt, BC
  • Patrick Pulak, General Manager of Development Services, City of Brandon, MB
  • Al Meneses, Acting CAO and Commissioner of Community Services, City of Brampton, ON
  • Lianne Sauter, Director of Corporate Services/Clerk, Town of Bancroft, ON
  • Sean McGill, City Manager, City of Delta, BC
  • Monica Merkosky, Chief Administrative Officer, Rural Municipality of Lumsden #189 and Town of Lumsden, SK
  • Gerry Murphy, Senior Manager, Community Services, Town of Cochrane, AB
Do you have a story for our next issue?
Let us know by contacting [email protected]
CAMA e-Brief is published every two weeks. Watch for the next issue on: The week of October 14, 2019
To view the last CAMA e-Brief, visit: http://www.camacam.ca/archive
Job Scene is distributed every week. The Next issue will appear on: October 7, 2019
To view the latest Jobs go to: http://www.camacam.ca/jobs
To have an item included in e-Brief, please contact [email protected]
To unsubscribe from this list simply reply to this email, or send an email to [email protected], Subject: UNSUBSCRIBE.
CAMA is a non-profit association open to all senior managers dedicated to improving municipalities in Canada.
Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators
PO Box 128, Station A
Fredericton, NB E3B 4Y2