e-Brief January 9, 2020
A happy new year to all our members.  2020 promises to be another exciting year as CAMA strives to deliver practical tools tailored to Canadian municipal administrators.  I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with a brief note to let you know to watch for more details during the month of January on the following programs and services:
  • Membership Renewals. You should have already received your membership renewal for the April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 fiscal year by e-mail.  The deadline for payment is March 31, 2020 and you can do so by renewing it on line and paying by Visa or Mastercard, doing a direct deposit, or sending a cheque to the CAMA National Office.
  • Membership Campaign. You will start to see some of your colleagues’ testimonials featured in our marketing materials promoting the many services that CAMA has to offer.  Remember that CAMA also offers 50% off our already great value membership fees for the first year and are based on the population for the Primary Member and are currently just $142.50 for any additional members in your municipality. Think of which neighbouring local government leaders would benefit from access to CAMA`s resources or who in your organization is ready for leadership development.  They can click here for the on-line registration link!     
  • CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit. We will be providing you with some examples of a completed performance evaluation template to make it easier for you and the elected officials to understand and use.  We will also provide you with an example of a performance evaluation form and mandate letter that a CAO can use for their direct reports.
  • ICMA Membership and 2020 Conference. CAMA also enjoys a close working relationship with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and 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. Go directly to the International Application form to sign up now. The City of Toronto is also very excited to be hosting the 2020 ICMA Conference from September 21-26, 2020.  Mark your calendars and watch for further details on a special rate for Canadian ICMA members to attend this event.
  • 2020 CAMA Conference. The 2020 CAMA Conference is being held at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario from June 1-3, 2020!  First time municipal member delegates to the Conference also receive a discounted rate of $150.00 off the regular member rate.  Watch for the release of the hotel room block on January 15th, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. EST and the program and on-line registration at the end of February 2020!  Our CAO Employment Contract Toolkit will also be launched at this event!
  • 2020 CAMA Awards of Excellence. The call for nominations and on-line registration forms for CAMA’s Awards of Excellence will be made available the week of January 13th, 2020 with the deadline being February 21, 2020. Details can be found on the website.
  • Long Service Recognition Awards.  CAMA's Long Service Recognition Awards Program recognizes and celebrates CAMA members’ dedication to public service and municipal management.  These awards are based on the number of years of full-time, paid employment in municipal government in a management capacity (a Chief Administrative Officer or reporting directly to a Chief Administrative Officer).  They are granted at ten years and given in five year increments and presented each Spring.  The 10 and 15 year awards are mailed and the 20+ year awards are presented at the Annual Conference.   How do you know if you are to receive an award? Staff will be generating a list of members whose records indicate that they will be eligible for service awards this year.   You will be contacted in late January/early February if you are receiving an award.
  • CAMA Honourary for Life Membership.The Honorary Life Membership in CAMA is an honour presented to long serving CAMA members during the President’s Dinner at the Annual Conference to individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to the field of municipal administration and to the work of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA).  The nomination forms are available now on the website with a deadline of February 14th, 2020.
If you have any questions on any of the above-noted programs and services, please contact Ms. Jennifer Goodine, CAMA Executive Director at 1-866-771-2262 or [email protected]

On behalf of my fellow Board members and staff, I wish you and your family a Prosperous New Year 2020 and we look forward to seeing at the Deerhurst Resort for the Annual Conference in June.

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 January 31, 2020.

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 information on public hearings.

In many jurisdictions across Canada, the legislation governing municipalities requires formal hearings on issues of public importance. Public hearings offer residents and other stakeholders the opportunity to express their views on a given subject directly to Council. In many cases, these hearings are a requirement of the land use planning provisions in the legislation.

It is impossible for any Administration or Council to anticipate every impact of a new rule or law. Hearings allow Council to learn of any unintended consequences that were not previously contemplated and provides them with an opportunity to present the public with different options. Before Council renders a decision on the matter, it is the responsibility of Administration to assess the input provided by the public and offer recommendation to Council on how to move forward to achieve the best possible outcome. This presents an opportunity for the CAO to provide a solution to the issue at hand, and in doing so, make Council look good.

Often the key to a successful hearing is an appropriate level of public engagement in advance of the proceeding itself. For more information on public engagement, please see that section of the toolkit.

Addressing Differences of Opinion

Sometimes there are differences of opinion expressed at a hearing. In these situations, Administration needs to ensure that they have listened to resident concerns carefully and have taken the time to respond to the concerns raised. One of the most common rebuttals heard from individuals who do not support a given course of action is “you did not listen to what I had to say.” Always remember to indicate to people that while you certainly heard what they had to say (and repeat to them what you heard), you have determined a different course of action is more appropriate for specific reasons (and list what those reasons are).

If residents know they have been listened to and treated with respect, they are more likely to accept the decision and move on. Even those who continue to disagree with the outcome will be more likely to respect Council and Administration because they were heard. Remember that public hearings are for residents to express their point of view. Be sure to allow them the opportunity to do so, even if the amount of time it takes is longer than anticipated.
When responding to the public at a hearing, use the following approach: Demonstrate that you heard what they had to say (repeat to them what you heard) + Explain why you have chosen a different course of action (list the reasons).

Bringing in Support
Some public hearings are very complicated and can take days to complete. When this happens, you may wish to consider bringing in a third party to assist with the process. For example, having a professional recording clerk or legal advisor(s) present to address any procedural issues or unanticipated events can help alleviate strain on your municipal staff. While this will cost the ratepayers, you will be further ahead if the actions of your municipality are questioned or a judicial review is undertaken.
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.

How to Mentor
Mentors are usually more experienced and further along in their careers than mentees, and therefore it can be tempting to accidentally fall into an “I know best” mindset in working with less-experienced individuals. However, as mentorship, leadership, and coaching books all reveal, the key to working with other individuals in this capacity is not to tell them what to do, but rather help them to discover the answers to the questions themselves. As the bestselling Canadian book, A Tale of Two Employees by Dr. Chris Bart (2003) demonstrates, mentorship is about helping those you are working with to understand the what, why, and how of a situation by guiding them to find their own solutions.

Do you have questions? Want more information?  Contact Jennifer Goodine, Executive Director, CAMA National Office, 1-866-771-2262, [email protected].

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