Role of a Councillor
If a candidate wins a seat in the election, he or she will become a member of City Council for a four year term once he or she is sworn into office on October 23rd, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
The General Duties of Councillors include: (MGA s.153)
- To consider the welfare and interests of the municipality as a whole and to bring to Council’s attention anything that would promote the welfare or interests of the municipality;
- To participate in developing and evaluating the policies and programs of the municipality;
- To participate in Council Meetings, Council Committee Meetings and meetings of other bodies to which they are appointed by Council;
- To obtain information about the operation or administration of the municipality from the Chief Administrative Officer or a person designated by the Chief Administrative Officer;
- To keep in confidence matters discussed in private at a Council or Council Committee Meeting until discussed at a meeting held in public;
- To set the vision for the community and participate in budget deliberations and approval.
Other duties include:
- Making himself/herself available to interact with the public. This can include emails, phone calls, voicemail and face to face interaction both in public and at home;
- Reading all materials related to a Council Meeting before the meeting;
- Bringing the views of residents forward during Council Meetings;
- Voting on bylaws, City policies, requests for decisions, the City budget and other motions made at Council Meetings (unless she or he is exempt due to pecuniary interest, which must be stated at the time for the record);
- Stays informed on relevant local issues and local legislation;
- Attends and participates in community events and functions.
A Council Member shall NOT:
- Have a veto on any motion, bylaw or decision;
- Speak for the entire Council or the City (unless directed to do so by a decision of Council or the Mayor);
- Direct staff or give tasks. Council has one employee only: the Chief Administrative Officer. He or she is tasked with carrying out the decisions of Council;
- Be absent from Council or Committee Meetings without informing the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor;
- A Council member cannot be absent from more than three meetings in a row without permission from Council; a member cannot use Skype unless authorized by the rest of Council.
- Come to Council Meetings unprepared;
- Spend unbudgeted or unapproved money;
- Allocate funds or make promises regarding funds;
- Dictate which specific businesses can or cannot operate within the City of Chestermere;
- Reveal confidential information
If you are successfully elected, you will receive further information on your role and responsibilities as part of the new Council orientation program that will be offered in October.
Mayor vs. Councillor
Once the election is over, the Mayor (Chief Elected Official (CEO)) is expected to abide by the same expectations as any other member of Council (See pages 5-11 of this guide) AND:
- Chair Council Meetings (Please note that being the chair does not give the Mayor special voting privileges or a veto.) (MGA s. 154(1));
- Represent the City at more events and meetings than other Council members (e.g. AUMA Mayor's Caucus, Conferences, Calgary Regional Partnership, etc.);
- Is expected to be available to sign cheques;
- Is automatically appointed to all City Committees;
- Act as the direct contact with the Provincial government should a disaster occur in Chestermere;
- Perform any other duty required by the MGA or other bylaws (MGA s. 154(1)).
Please note that while the Mayor will receive office space, a computer and a City cell phone, the Mayor will not be provided with an administrative assistant or a designated parking space.
A Deputy Mayor will be appointed for up to a four year term at the Organizational Meeting following an election and is expected to stand in if the Mayor is unavailable for Council Meetings, events or any other function the Mayor may be required to attend.
An Acting CEO will also be appointed at the Organizational Meeting following the Election for up to a four year term. This individual is expected to have full signing authority in the absence of the both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
If you have questions on the Mayor’s position, call City Hall at (403) 207-7050.
Currently in the City of Chestermere, Council Meetings take place on the first Monday of the every month at 1:00 p.m. and the third Monday at 3:00 p.m. Public Hearings are typically scheduled for 6:00 p.m. during Council Meetings with mandatory attendance.
Regular Council Meetings can last anywhere from one hour to eight hours and can continue over multiple days.
Council Meetings include discussion and decisions on a variety of topics, including appointments, business arising out of previous minutes, requests for decisions, correspondence, bylaws and policies and reports.
Council agendas are typically 50-500 pages and must be read prior to Council Meetings. Questions regarding items on the agenda are discussed in open Council before the public.
For more information on Council meetings, see pages 8-9 of the
Committees are an important part of decision making in the City of Chestermere. Both citizens and Councillors sit on committees that oversee a variety of groups and activities. On average, Council members sit on seven committees.
For more information on committees, see page 10 of the 2017 Chestermere Guide for Prospective Candidates.
Council Remuneration for a new council term is reviewed by a committee of residents and set by policy prior to an election (by the outgoing Council). Below is the salary information:
|Councillor||Current Salary||Salary as of November 1**|
Click here to access previous year audited financial statements which includes salaries, benefits and allowances for Councillors.
*Note: The Mayor, as vice-chair of the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) Board typically receives up to approximately $10,000 per year in honorariums. The City receives this payment directly, at the request and donation of the current Mayor, to offset training costs for Council members.
**The salaries starting November 1 were approved by Council Policy 835 being the Elected Officials Remuneration, Benefits & Expenses Policy. Please also note that Elected Officials are eligible for benefits per the Policy (with the City Employees’ Benefit Plan, they are subject to the same terms and benefits such as a three month waiting period. They are not eligible for LAPP but RRSP contributions).
For more information on the roles and responsibilities of Council members, review the following resources:
- 2017 Chestermere's Guide for Prospective Candidates
- Running for Municipal Office in Alberta (provided by Municipal Affairs)
- Pecuniary Interest for Municipal Councillors (provided by Municipal Affairs)
- Roles and Responsibilities of Council vs. Administration: Courtesy Dr. Gordon McIntosh, Local Government Leadership Institute