e-Brief November 26, 2019
Are You Interested? ICMA 2020 Election - International Region - Canada Candidate Nomination Process

Dear Colleagues,
CAMA enjoys a close working relationship with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Through our affiliation agreement, CAMA members can join ICMA at a substantially reduced rate of $135 (US dollars) per person, an average savings of $800.  To participate in this discounted ICMA membership offer, visit the ICMA website, or go directly to the International Application form to download the application and mail it directly to ICMA.  Canada is also very pleased to be hosting the 2020 Conference in Toronto from September 27-30, 2020.   

Have you considered supporting the local government management profession by serving on ICMA’s Executive Board?  ICMA is currently accepting application materials from members interested in serving as regional vice president representing the International Region, for the term that will begin in September 2020 and end in October 2023. Any qualified member, regardless of job title, is eligible to compete to fill this vacancy to replace Tim Anderson, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.  Full corporate ICMA members in Canada are eligible this year.  Questions on the eligibility to serve may be directed to Amber Snowden, Special Assistant to the Executive Director at [email protected].

The deadline for applying is Monday, January 6, 2020. In order to be considered, please submit the following items to  [email protected]:                                                  
  1. A statement of your qualifications for Board service and your view of the issues facing ICMA. Please limit this to two pages.
  2. Resume
  3. A list of any contributions you have made to ICMA and state/affiliate organizations such as service on a committee, board, etc.
  4. Thoughtful letters of support from members that can aid the Regional Nominating Committee in understanding your qualities, achievements and potential contributions to the board (Optional but recommended).
Candidates for the Board are interviewed by a Regional Nominating Committee at the International Regional Conference in India in the Spring of 2020 (a web conference option will be available for those candidates not able to attend in person). The Regional Nominating Committee will select one nominee to appear as the region’s candidate on the election ballot in May 2020. All items received by the deadline will be shared with the Regional Nominating Committee.


Jeff Renaud
CAMA President
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 Council Orientations.

Council orientations are mandatory in some jurisdictions but not all.  No matter what your requirement is, a Council Orientation is one of the first training sessions that should be contemplated after a general municipal election. A best practice that has been adopted by some municipalities is the creation of a Candidate’s Information Handbook that contains valuable information for those running for office. Among many other things, this handbook should outline dates for a required Council Orientation session with all elected officials. This ensures those running for office are aware they will be expected to attend an orientation if they are elected. Depending upon the complexities of your municipality, the orientation should take no less than a half day and up to as many as five days to cover all the required information. The longer the orientation, the more likely it will need to be spread over different days/weeks.

In some jurisdictions, the legislation identifies what the Council orientation is required to address. For example, one province requires the following:
  • The role of municipalities
  • The municipal organization and its functions
  • Key municipal plans, policies and projects
  • Roles and responsibilities of Council and Councillors
  • The municipality’s code of conduct (see Council Ethics).
  • Roles and responsibilities of the CAO and staff
  • Budgeting and financial administration
  • Public participation
  • Any other topic prescribed by the regulations.
The mentorship presentation included as part of the Political Acumen Toolkit (Under the Mentorship and Political Acumen Section) provides multiple slides that can be useful when developing your Council orientation presentation. Sections that may be useful, include Council-CAO Roles, Strategic Planning, Ratepayer and Resident Associations, Tax Recovery, Public Hearings, Appeal Boards, Public Engagement, Intermunicipal Organizations, Talking to the Media, and Social Media. Sample presentations from various locations have also been included as downloadable resources to provide inspiration when developing your own council orientation.

While the agenda may vary across jurisdictions and municipalities, the overarching purpose and importance of an orientation session is to ensure elected officials understand their role in governance and municipal service delivery. By providing each new Council with the information they require to get off to a good start and govern successfully, a CAO can build trust from the get-go, establishing a strong Council-CAO working relationship and ensuring Council has confidence in the CAO’s abilities.

Typically, Council orientations are conducted by a neutral third party. However, this does not mean that Administration cannot complete all or part of the orientation. Many administrations prepare and circulate an Elected Officials Handbook after each election that contains the information Council members should have at their fingertips and provides links to other relevant documents. Providing each new Councillor with a copy of all relevant municipal legislation is also a good idea. The more effort you put into onboarding your municipality’s elected officials, the more likely they and you will get off to a good start.

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.  

A best practice in building mentor-mentee relationships that work for both parties:  Be clear about your goals: When approaching a potential mentor, be clear about what you are looking for, including the areas you need guidance in and the type of relationship you envision. Is this a short-term arrangement to get support as you navigate a challenging scenario? Is this an on-going relationship that will allow you to bounce ideas off of an experienced individual, garner insight into an issue, or stay accountable in your career development? Are you looking for someone to help you get to the “next level” or are you looking for advice in a particular subject matter area? How regularly do you want to talk or meet? Do you prefer to meet in person or are you okay with phone calls? Know exactly what it is you want and how much time you are asking the potential mentor to contribute.

Do you have questions? Want more information?  Contact Jennifer Goodine, Executive Director, CAMA National Office, 1-866-771-2262, [email protected].
Sustainable Communities Awards: Inspiring Environmental Initiatives from Across the Country
Do you want your community to be recognized as a sustainability leader? Nominate your municipality for FCM’s 2020 Sustainable Communities Awards! The awards celebrate the most innovative local sustainability projects from across the country in the following categories:
  • GMF 20th Anniversary Visionary Award
  • Asset management
  • Brownfields
  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Neighbourhoods
  • Transportation
  • Waste
  • Water
The winning projects leverage current and advanced technologies as well as best practices in the area of environmental and sustainability, and can be replicated and scaled up across Canada to achieve national quality-of-life, sustainability and climate goals.

Award winners receive local and national recognition and promotion for their initiatives, and the honour of presenting at FCM’s Sustainable Communities Conference on October 20-22, 2020 in St. John’s, NL. We encourage you to share with your networks and social media connections.    Communities do not need to be members of FCM or have received funding from FCM in order to be eligible. Learn more and apply by March 31, 2020.
2020 ICMA Annual Conference - Call for Presentations

With a record-breaking attendance in 2019, the ICMA Annual Conference continues to be the largest annual gathering of local government professionals. As we move on to planning for the 2020 ICMA Annual Conference, it is important to continue to design a robust and well-balanced education program that focuses on information and solutions that ICMA members value and can apply to their day-to-day job.    ICMA is now accepting session presentations/ideas along with suggested speakers at the time of submission.  LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS & SUBMIT

Individuals who believe they can contribute and present new ideas, solutions, and innovations for current issues and challenges that confront local government leaders are encouraged to submit a session proposal through the online platform by 11:59 p.m. (EST), Monday, December 2, 2019. Late submissions will not be accepted and incomplete submissions will not be considered.  

Questions?  Please email Felicia Littky, Conference and Meetings Project Manager, at [email protected].
BC Members: Applications Being Accepted for Age-Friendly Communities

The Age-friendly Communities program assists communities in BC to support aging populations by developing and implementing policies and plans, undertaking projects that enable seniors to age in place, and facilitating the creation of age-friendly communities.  Since 2005, the provincial government has provided over $7 million to support the program. To date, over 150 communities in BC have completed projects or been approved for funding, including local governments and First Nation Communities.   Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 program. The application deadline is January 17, 2020.

  • Dan Rodin, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Haines Junction, YT
  • Mitchell Bell, Clerk & Treasurer, Village of Bible Hill, NS
  • Jeff Schmidt, Chief Administrative Officer, Township of Springwater, ON
  • Brent Williams, Chief Administrative Officer, County of Minburn No. 27, Vegreville, AB
  • Jason Presement, Regional Sales Director - Canada, Calix, Richmond Hill, ON
  • Peri Eid, Director of Client Services - Permanent Placements, VK Staffing Solutions, Burlington, ON
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 December 9, 2019
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