e-Brief October 31, 2019
Alberta Members: Recycling Infrastructure Grants Available
Did you know there are grants for recycling infrastructure?  The Community Champions Program (CCP) is a grant program that is specially designed for non-profit organizations and municipalities in Alberta. The program provides funding for specialized recycling bins (indoor and outdoor) and ensuring more accessible and convenient out-of-home opportunities for recycling.  The funding is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until all the funds have been distributed or until November 30, 2019, whichever occurs first. You can submit more than one application during the year, but your combined applications can’t exceed a total value of $20,000, excluding GST. This program helps to keep beverage containers out of landfills and provides essential financial and social benefits for communities.  For more information, please see the CCP website.
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 email to you, our members) we will be featuring each topic that is offered in the toolkit.  Today’s featured category is about Council remuneration.

Council remuneration can be an uncomfortable and challenging topic to tackle for both the CAO and elected officials. Further complicating matters is public opinion, which can considerably influence the overall process. Here is one approach to handling the issue of Council remuneration that has been successful in some municipalities. Note that this public engagement strategy can also be applied to a variety of contentious topics coming before Council.

Public Perception & Public Participation
One of the best strategies for addressing public perception and opinion is public participation. Engagement specialists can offer multiple strategies for involving the public, but one approach that works well is establishing a citizen’s committee. A citizen’s committee, sometimes referred to as a citizen jury, is a group of randomly selected citizens brought together to review a complex issue and make recommendations. This group should be made up of a diversity of representatives from varying demographics. Citizen committees can be either paid or volunteer. While paid committees may receive more interest, volunteer committees are recommended whenever possible as they remove the politics from the situation for both the CAO and Council.

A citizen’s committee can make recommendations, but they still need to be implemented by Council through a resolution or bylaw. However, while the final decision-making authority still lies with Council, the public is often more supportive of the decision as they believe an independent group has determined how the issue should be addressed. The public will also see Council as being open and transparent on the subject matter, improving overall public perception.

This strategy also promotes a positive relationship between Administration and Council because it offers a solution that maintains Council’s decision-making power while still making them look good in the eyes of the public. This, in turn, demonstrates political acuity on the part of the CAO. For these reasons, this approach is becoming increasingly popular for resolving a variety of contentious issues, including Council remuneration.

For an example of how a citizen’s committee has been used, please see the St. Albert Council Remuneration Review Committee Final Report from 2016.

Downloadable Resources:
Also, don’t forget to share some of your political acumen with your colleagues and sign up for CAMA’s Mentorship Forum which is available to all members at mentorship.camacam.ca. Sign up as a mentor, a mentee or just to network.

While some mentor-mentee relationships evolve naturally, often they are formed at the request of someone who is looking for guidance in their career. For some, the idea of going out and finding someone to mentor you may seem daunting, but the rewards of this endeavour far outweigh the effort.   Visit the website to learn more about some best practices in building mentor-mentee relationships that work for both parties.   Do you have questions? Want more information?  Contact Jennifer Goodine, Executive Director, CAMA National Office, 1-866-771-2262, [email protected].
The Canadian Rural & Remote Broadband Conference - November 12-14, 2019
The Canadian Rural & Remote Broadband Conference (www.bridgingthedigitaldivide.ca) will take place this November 12th-14th in North Bay, ON and will provide a tremendous information sharing forum for community leaders, rural advocates, service providers and government. It is a unique opportunity for stakeholders to come together and share their knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned on the challenges and realities of creating a sustainable and ubiquitous digital economy for the rural and remote regions of our country. The agenda is focused on educating and informing community leaders about the challenges and options of implementing broadband solutions and the evolving technological landscape.

 Submissions for the 2019
CAMA Awards of Excellence Program

The Annual Awards Program has been designed to encourage excellence in the art of professional municipal administration.  The Program Excellence Awards recognize the achievements of local governments and their chief administrators in the development and implementation of successful programs, projects or services.  We are pleased to present the 2019 Submissions.  If you are interested in obtaining more information on the submission, CAO contact details can be found in the Member's Section.
Women Entrepreneur Digital Marketing Bootcamp:  The Town of Innisfil executed a local labour force study that identified that they have a high percentage of highly educated and under employed women in their community. They reached out to this community and identified that they are motivated to use entrepreneurship to create local opportunities for them to build a career and make a living.   The Town of Innisfil aspires to build a thriving female entrepreneur community.  They want to unite local female entrepreneurs and build programming to provide them with the tools, skills and resources they need to launch, grow and scale their business.  They partnered with Camp Tech, a Toronto based organization that offers a wide variety of digital skills workshops, to create a digital marketing bootcamp focused on providing entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills they need to develop and implement a digital marketing strategy to grow their business.

They combined six hands on digital marketing workshops to create the bootcamp. They also promoted the bootcamp to their community, received 100+ applications and hosted a cohort of 30 female entrepreneurs in November and December 2018.
CAO: Jason Reynar, Town of Innisfil, ON
The 2nd Concession Project:   2nd Concession is a major north-south arterial corridor under the jurisdiction of York Region. Located in the Town of East Gwillimbury, Ontario, the corridor crosses a popular conservation area and recreational trail. Situated in the East Holland River watershed, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority estimates the area receives 30,000 visitors/year. York Region and the Town are undergoing tremendous growth. The project improves mobility and enhances the environment with sustainable, context sensitive infrastructure. The project included road widening, trails, three bridges, retaining walls, active transportation infrastructure, stormwater management, gravity and large forcemain sanitary sewers and a water main, along with an elevated wooden boardwalk through wetlands and marshes connecting forests with growing residential communities. The project was completed in less than nine years and included planning, design and construction - a remarkable achievement for a $105 million project. The 2nd Concession has received Project of the Year Awards from the Ontario Public Works Association, Professional Engineers Ontario, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, and the Transportation Association of Canada.
CAO: Bruce MacGregor, The Regional Municipality of York, ON

City of Mississauga Lean Program:   In 2016, the City of Mississauga established its Lean Program with the goal of strengthening its culture of continuous improvement. Lean looks to maximize value and minimize waste, simplify processes, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction. Its principles align with its priority for cost containment, and provide ways to engage staff who perform the work and measure a process’ outcomes.  Recognizing Lean as a way of work instead of a set of tools to deliver quick fixes, the Lean Program has implemented several components that work together to provide a range of benefits. They include training programs, process reviews, workshops, daily small improvements, management systems to sustain the transformation, outreach, and improvement verification through the Money Belt Program.   The Lean Program has delivered tremendous benefits to Mississauga’s residents. 104 improvement projects and 2,210 just-do-it Small Improvements have been completed, achieving $8.2 million in cost avoidance and $2 million in savings. 157,000 hrs. of staff time has been freed up to dedicate to other value-added work. The program tracks other benefits including improved quality, 323 safety improvements, and 477 improvements with environmental benefit
CAO/City Manager: Janice Baker, City of Mississauga, ON

Citizen Service Standards:  Citizen Service Standards is a project under the Service Vaughan Program which aligns to the City’s pledge that speaks to our commitment to delivering high-quality services with efficiency, integrity and pride, and, to communicating effectively with our citizens, businesses and each other.  When communicating via telephone, in-person, website, and email, the focus is on a consistent service experience across the corporation. To that end, the Citizen Service Standards are formalized standards developed specifically for our 2,700+ staff to incorporate into their day-to-day operations.  With a population of more than 335,000 people and nearly 12,000 businesses, our growing and diverse municipality is better served with these new standards in place.  Purpose: Enhance a consistent, multi-channel end-to-end citizen service experience for City services; foster a culture of professional service delivery that wins the respect of our citizens, trust and confidence in public service and pride in City of Vaughan staff; clearly define the City’s expectations for all staff across the corporation; and align with the City’s core values of respect, accountability, and dedication.
Interim City Manager: Tim Simmonds, City of Vaughan, ON
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