Role Maps and Responsibilities
The Council is the governing body of the municipal corporation and the custodian of its powers, both legislative and administrative. The Municipal Government Act (MGA) provides that Council can only exercise the powers of the municipal corporation in the proper form, either by bylaw or by resolution.
Each councillor is to work with other council members to set the overall direction of the Municipality through their role as policy makers. The policies that Council sets are the guidelines for administration to follow as it does the job of running a municipality.
Under the MGA, all councillors have the following duties:
- 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 interest of the Municipality;
- To participate generally in developing and evaluating the policies and programs of the Municipality;
- To participate in council meetings and council committee meetings and meetings of other bodies to which they are appointed by the 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 perform any other duty or function imposed on councillors by this or any other enactment or by the Council.
The Chief Elected Official (CEO) - Mayor
The Mayor, in addition to performing a councillor’s duty, must preside when attending a council meeting unless a bylaw provides otherwise. The Mayor must also preform any other duty imposed under the MGA or any other enactment. In practice, the mayor is also generally the main spokesperson for the Municipality unless that duty is delegated to another councillor.
The Mayor of the Municipality is elected by a vote of the Municipality’s electors.
The Mayor and Councillors attend a minimum of five meetings per month in the Municipality to conduct municipal business. Each member is also required to sit on various boards and committees in order to represent municipal interests. Most members are on three or more additional committees. Considerable time is spent learning about the issues and preparing for the meetings as well as reporting back to the rest of council.
The Mayor and Council are also asked to participate in various community activities and social events (such as ribbon cutting ceremonies, grand openings of new offices or establishments, parades, festivals, flag raising, banquets, fundraisers, etc.). They are frequently asked to give speeches at community events, be guests of honour at functions and provide educational talks at schools and travel throughout the province or across Canada.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), is responsible for the administration of The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is accountable to the Mayor and Council. He/she is required to attend all meetings of Council. The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) provides leadership in the development, implementation, and administration of all policies and programs established and approved by Council. He/she provides guidance and advice to Council regarding legislation and municipal operations, and provides background information in order for Council to make informed decisions.
All municipal department managers are accountable to The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the delivery of departmental business plans within budgets approved by Council.
Policy Making and Program Monitoring
Council is responsible for providing the services that the residents need and want. This responsibility involves providing input into the Municipality’s programs and services (policy making) and making sure that the administration provides the programs and services in the best possible way (program monitoring)
A policy provides a way of ensuring that consistent decisions are made on similar matters. Policies should establish general guidelines that council sets for the administration to follow. The administration then provides programs and services to the residents according to those policies.
Program monitoring means staying up to date on the programs and services that the Municipality offers and assessing the results against what Council planned to achieve.