- by Cathy Moore Coburn, Councillor, Township of Georgian Bluffs

As we head into a municipal election this October, and as I reflect on my own first term on council, I would like to encourage interested individuals to run for election. The democratic process works best when voters have ample choices to represent them. Councils work most effectively when comprised of those with a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

An elected official has a number of vital roles. A councillor is a steward, a policy- maker, and a representative. Councils facilitate an open and transparent forum where residents can express their views in a collaborative environment. Councillors act as stewards of the municipality and ensure its financial integrity. Councils set policies that address the public’s interests and needs towards safe, healthy, and successful communities. Based on my experience, the voices at the council table should include a wide cross-section of the population it serves.

Being a municipal councillor does not require any special education or qualifications, other than meeting basic eligibility criteria. New councillors will be provided training and orientation to their new role and can be up to speed in a short time. Fresh faces on council are a good thing!

Those thinking of running should be aware of the time commitment and the effort required. Consider it a part-time job. And it should go without saying that those elected have integrity - honesty, objectivity, and adherence to ethical standards.

Need resources to help you decide to run or learn how to go about it? Contact your municipal clerk’s office or visit your municipality’s website. Check out online resources including the AMO Municipal Elections webpage (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) and the Ontario Municipal Councillor’s Guide. Attend a council meeting in person or virtually. View a pre-recorded meeting online. Contact current council members and ask about their role, what they find rewarding, and what they perceive as challenging.

If you have an authentic desire to share ideas, provide leadership, and help plan for a better future, then being a municipal councillor may be the job for you. Serving the public interest can be exceedingly rewarding!




CopyRight ©2015, ©2016, ©2017 of Hub Content
is held by content creators