Governance is a term used to describe the political organization of
municipalities. It also concerns the on-going involvement of citizens and the
accountability of council
Each municipality in the province consists of a mayor and a varying
number of councillors. The number of councillors generally depends
on the population of the municipality and varies from four to ten.
However, council has the ability to change the number of its council members.
All members of council are elected
and serve a three-year term. Each member of council, including the mayor, is
entitled to one vote on matters that come before them for discussion.
Municipal councils are empowered to address the existing and future needs of
their community by making decisions that are recorded in bylaws or resolutions.
Council members embody the public welfare of their communities which often means
trying to balance their vision with the concerns expressed by the people and
organizations affected by their decisions.
Councils also have the ability to manage the finances of their municipality by
setting levels of expenditures and taxation. Ultimately, they are also responsible
for the management and delivery of services to their community. These
responsibilities are undertaken with very little intrusion by senior levels of
government. However, there are circumstances where certain decisions made by
council are not effective until they are approved by the province. For example,
if a municipal council wants to change the
boundary of their municipality, the province has the responsibility for
deciding the matter.
In some cases, the mayor or council may decide to establish a committee or
commission to undertake some work on behalf of council. Council can
(115 KB) some of its authority
the committee or commission although this power has some
restrictions. For example, it cannot delegate authority to make a
bylaw or any power or duty exercisable only by bylaw.