Your comfort level Administrative staff know the personalities What works for those personalities will be different everywhere Some elected officials, or some councils, are secure – others, not so much Your approach needs to fit the situation and what works for you
What can we do? Huge range of options for small and large communities Big city or small village, we can all do something to give our councillors and directors a look at the job thats ahead of them Can start any time, before or after the election
Traditionally... We get started right away after the election ends Every administration has its own style of dealing with its political officials
What did we do last time? Not much – had turnover of only two councillors; one retired, one beaten for mayor One new councillor was a returnee The other made a study of council for three years prior to coming on board Offered orientation, no takers
What we did... We went out on a limb last time and put on a pre-election workshop for aspiring councillors Worked out OK, too No casualties!
How it worked Former mayor, retiring councillor addressed political aspects of the job Former CM discussed staff-council relations, administrative realities and other good stuff The clerk talked about processes, legalities, agendas (boooring) Good crowd
Olympian quits before he starts Jamie Komarnicki Calgary Herald Wednesday, October 24, 2007 Two-time Olympian, World Cup downhill champion and international motivational skier Cary Mullen is quitting Chestermere town council before taking office. The commitment was greater than he anticipated, said Christa Haberstock, vice- president of Mullens management company, who spoke on Mullens behalf. With 14 candidates running for councillor, Mullen clinched the sixth – and last – spot on Chestermere council in the October 15 municipal election. He learned after the election that he wouldnt be able to dial in to committee meetings while his extensive travels keep him away, said Haberstock. He is not one to do anything halfway, said Haberstock. He realized he wouldnt be doing the community any justice. They needed someone who was fully engaged. The town will hold a byelection to fill the seat. Its the first time chief administrative officer Terry Hurlbut has seen someone resign before their first council meeting. Well find someone who is more committed, Hurlbut said.
Realism before idealism Because were all friends here, we want to be totally fair to Mr. Mullen, who at least recognized that he wasnt going to be able to fulfil his commitment to the town. It would obviously have been better if hed known what was required prior to getting elected.
Using whats out there Lots of resources on line Staples McDannold Stewart has really useful guides that they post on their web site (www.sms.bc.ca)www.sms.bc.ca The UBCM (www.civicnet.bc.ca) has fact sheets that are used at the newly elected officials seminarswww.civicnet.bc.ca Go to publications, then fact sheets
Call around for ideas There are lots of people around who will help you out I got lots of calls and lots of ideas, more than I could use, and I wasnt even desperate Thats what were all here for
Proceed with courage Pick a course and go with it However you decide, chances are things will work out well – they usually do Otherwise this place would be a real mess!