I`m Elected – now what?

Report
Thinking about becoming a
candidate for council in your
Rural Community?
March 10, 2014
Overview
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
What are the steps to considering and
establishing a RC?
Description of the new RC
What is local government about?
Why should I participate in local government?
Should I be a candidate in the local election?
I’m elected…now what?
How do I get ready – what’s the process?
Next steps
What are the steps to considering and
establishing a RC?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Letter of interest to the Minister (ELG only
works with interested communities)
Initial assessment
Petition to the Minister for a feasibility study
Feasibility study
Measurement of local support (plebiscite in
unincorporated areas and council resolution
in villages, towns - no forced amalgamations)
What are the steps to considering and
establishing a RC? (con’t)
6. If there is sufficient local support, the Minister
makes a recommendation to Cabinet to
establish a Rural Community
7. Approval from Cabinet – incorporation of Rural
Community
8. Election of first council
9. Training of newly elected Mayor and
Councillors
Description of the new RC of Cocagne
• Population of 2,545 property tax base of $170 M
• Two wards
• Council of five members, including two councillors elected from
each ward, and the mayor elected at large
• RC responsible for land use planning, emergency measures,
and administrative services
• GNB responsible for road maintenance, police protection, fire
protection, street lighting, recreational and community facilities,
dog control, and garbage collection and disposal
• Date of the first election: May 12, 2014
• Incorporation date: May 23, 2014
• Date for taking the oath of office and first meeting of council –
May 28, 2014
What is Local Government about?
Roles of Local Government: *
• The political or governing role: Making decisions
/ choices with limited resources
• The administrative / service delivery role:
Providing a variety of local services to citizens
through various methods
* Grassroots Democracy, Local Government in the Maritimes, Kell Antoft et Jack Novack, 1998,
pp. 75 et 76, Also taken from Local Government in Canada, C. Richard Tindal et Susan Nobes
Tindal, 2004, p. 67
What is Local Government about?
The local government also serves as:
• A mechanism to allow the population of a
community to express itself, to debate and to
resolve issues of local concern
• A means for citizens to choose representatives
who will make decisions that reflect their
perspectives and concerns.
Why should I participate in local government?
Reasons vary from one person to another:
• Opportunity to contribute to the community
• Opportunity to make a difference
• Influence and make changes that will benefit the
community
• Involvement in particular challenges / issues
• Providing leadership and taking action
• Work with people, programs and services
• Broadening your voluntary experience
Should I be a candidate in the local election?
To be a member of council, you need to:
• Engagement …time and energy
• Willingness to listen and provide your opinion
• Willingness to learn
• Willingness and ability to work as part of a team
• Willingness to make difficult decisions
• Stay in contact with the community
• Willingness to hear and accept other points of view
• Accept decisions made by the council
• Understand that you can’t please everyone
Should I be a candidate in the local election?
The potential benefits…
• Opportunities to bring about positive changes
• Sense of satisfaction in serving the community
• Opportunity to take on new challenges, to learn about
local government and what it can do for the community
• Opportunities to present suggestions, to discuss these
and to possibly see action taken on these suggestions
Should I be a candidate in the local election?
Role of Governance
• Development of policies – level of service, adoption of bylaws (procedural by-law and other by-laws)
• Public meetings
Provision of services
• Emergency measures
• Fire protection
• Policing
• Local road maintenance
• Garbage collection
• Water and wastewater
• Recreation
I’m elected – now what?
General role of councillor…
• Consider the well-being and the interests of the whole
community in making decisions
• Bring issues and ideas to the attention of council that may
contribute to the well-being and interests of the whole
community
• Participate in the development and evaluation of programs
and policies of the local government
• Participate in council meetings, council committees and to
other organizations to which the council has appointed a
councillor
• Take on other functions as specified in the legislation or
that are determined by the council
I’m Elected – now what?
General role of the mayor…
• Chair all meetings of council
• Provide a leadership role within council
• Serve as spokesperson for the local government
• Meetings of the Regional Service Commission Board
• Take on other functions conferred on the mayor by
the legislation and the council
I’m Elected – now what?
Mayor and Councillor (Council) …
• Both are members of council and all members
vote on decisions taken by council
• Council must focus on mandate and ensure that
decisions serve the local government’s best
interests
• Council should see itself as a TEAM and work for
the betterment of the community
I’m Elected – now what?
How much time will be required to fulfill my duties as
councillor or mayor?
• On average, four to six hours per week (and more for
the mayor) in small municipalities and rural communities
• Possibly more time in the larger communities
• May require more time at beginning of mandate
• Depends largely on issues being dealt with as well as
the willingness to participate and put in the time
I’m Elected – now what?
How much time will be required to fulfill my duties as
councillor or mayor?
Frequency of meetings:
• Willingness to participate in activities, files and
programs… how much time are you ready to provide?
• Number of nominations to committees or to the Regional
Service Commission (mayor only)
• Number of files being handled by the local government
and their complexity (may vary from day to day, week to
week)
• Engagement of citizens in local issues
I’m Elected – now what?
How many and what types of meetings are there in
local government?
• Regular meetings of council
• Special and emergency meetings of council as
required
• Committee meetings
• Meetings with citizens and business community
• Other committees and organizations
I’m Elected – now what?
As a member of council what are some of the typical
points that will be discussed and for which decisions
will be required?
• Financial questions (budget and tax rate, infrastructure
and borrowing, tendering and warding contracts,
overseeing finances)
• Service issues (police, fire, recreation, etc.)
• By-laws (new ones, adjustments, enforcement
• Planning (municipal / rural community plan, zoning)
• Overseeing administration
• May other issues
I’m elected – now what?
What does the typical week look like for a member of
council?
• Prepare and read the information prior to council
meetings
• Discuss issues with citizens and the business
community
• Attend public meetings to discuss local issues
• Attend various functions associated with the local
government
• Participate in committee work and associated
meetings
I’m elected – now what?
Do I get paid for being a member of council?
• Normally, mayors and councillors receive
honorariums and this amount is specified in the
local government’s by-law. The amounts vary from
one local government to another
• The expenditures incurred by members of council
in carrying out their duties are normally
reimbursed.
I’m elected – now what?
How will my life change if I am elected as a
councillor?
• You will be busier
• People will want to talk to you and provide their
opinions
• You will have to make decisions that are not always
easy
• You have to think about what is good for the whole
community
Support for new council
Environment and Local Government staff work
with newly elected council … you are not alone
• Training for new council and staff members
• Work with staff in preparation of adopting
necessary bylaws and policies, opening bank
account, etc
• Provide necessary support to council and staff as
required
Elections New Brunswick
How do I get ready –
what’s the process?
How do I get ready – what’s the process?
Eligibility criteria to be a candidate:
• 18 years old on election day (May 12, 2014);
• Canadian citizen; and
• Resident of a ward upon nomination; and
• Resident in the province and the municipality or rural
community at least six months before the election date.
Who cannot be a candidate?
• A judge;
• An employee of the local government;
• An employee involved with the election process; or
• A person who is not eligible by virtue of municipal, provincial
and federal elections statutes.
How do I get ready – what’s the process?
What are the steps to place your name as a candidate
on the ballot?
1. Obtain and complete the nomination papers.
2. Submit completed nomination papers before 2:00 PM
on Thursday, April 17, 2014 to the Returning Officer
in your region.
www.electionsnb.ca
How do I get ready – what’s the process?
Where can I obtain information if I have questions about
the election process?
• Elections New Brunswick 1-888-858-VOTE (8683) or
web site: www.electionsnb.ca
• Returning Officer for the Region: Raoul Leger
Where can I obtain and submit my nomination papers?
Raoul Leger, Returning Officer
Next Steps
• Determine what you can do for the community and the
reason(s) you want to run for office
• Engage with your community – identify the issues, the
challenges and the opportunities, speak with citizens
• Assess whether you have the time and energy to
devote to this voluntary role
• Obtain your nomination papers, carefully complete the
form and submit it before 2:00 PM on April 17, 2014
Questions?

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