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The following bullet points describe some of the key roles of a municipal Councillor – and of the Deputy Mayor and Mayor (although both the Deputy Mayor and Mayor have other specific roles, besides these below). These points are in accordance with the Municipal Act, 2001, Section 224, and they are worth a read. It is the role of council:
- to represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the entire municipality
- to develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality
- to determine which services the municipality provides
- to ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of Council
- to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality; including the activities of the senior management of the muncipality
- to maintain the financial integrity of the municipality
In agreement with the above, I believe responsible management of public funds and setting the municipality’s direction are priorities for Council. Collaboration with a variety of organizations and partners is necessary so that Council can set progressive, achievable, responsible goals.
Municipal government is made up of a team of hard-working decision makers with a variety of skill sets and professional backgrounds. The emphasis on team is important: Councillors, staff, committee members, volunteers, consultants, and other levels of government partners all contribute and work together.
Each member of Council has one vote and every member of Council consults with citizens of the municipality and municipal staff in the course of decision-making. No one councillor or Mayor or Deputy Mayor has the authority or ability to set new direction or change policy alone.