That's Life - August 2, 2017

The next General Election will happen on Monday, October 16, 2017. Nomination Day will be Monday, September 18, 2017.

To become a candidate, you must be at least 18 years of age on Nomination Day, a Canadian citizen, and you must have been a resident of the local jurisdiction for the six consecutive months immediately preceding Nomination Day.

Make sure you check “A Guide for Candidates”, provided by Alberta Municipal Affairs, to see if you are not eligible, for some reason.

Remember, before throwing your hat in the ring, the demands on your time, while being an elected official, will be heavy. You will be elected to a four-year term of office and during that time, you will be required to attend:

(1) Regular and Special meetings of Council.

(2) Council Committee meetings.

(3) Meetings of other Boards and Agencies to which you are appointed as a Council representative.

(4) Conferences, Conventions, Seminars and Workshops for training and discussion and other events promoting your municipality.

Time must also be spent reading agenda material and talking with residents, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and other relevant stakeholders. This will also be part of the necessary preparation for meetings so that you can make informed decisions.

I would highly recommend that any individual thinking about running, based on personal agenda, think again.

As an individual member of Council, you will not have the power to commit your municipality to any expenditure or to direct the activities of the municipal employees. Any promise you make as part of your election campaign that involves municipal expenditures involves municipal expenditures on the activities of the employees can only be carried out if you can convince a majority of Council that your idea is worthy of approval, for the good of the community.

Most of you have heard the old saying, “he or she is in it for the money”. Well, I’ve got news for you. Yes, you will receive remuneration or other financial compensation for the time and energy you have devoted to your community. That remuneration varies in each municipality. Whatever you do, don’t quit your day job.

If elected, or acclaimed, to a position on Council, you will become an ambassador to your community. You will be sworn in at the first meeting (Organizational meeting) at which time you will accept the duties you have been elected to and promise, in a public ceremony, you will accept the oath of office. You will also be sworn to confidentiality on matters discussed in closed session and you will conduct yourself, with your fellow members of Council and Administration, with respect at all times.

Pick up your nomination forms at your municipal office and do some good for your municipality.

That’s Life.