What does a Councillor do?
What is a Municipal Council’s main function?
- The Council of every municipality is essentially responsible for making policy and high level governance decisions about the municipality. They adopt strategy, pass bylaws and policy and adopt budgets. The administration of all these instruments is then left to the staff to carry out in accordance with the wishes of Council.
What should I expect as a Municipal Councillor?
- As a Council member, you are expected to be in-tune with your community’s needs and seen as a representative who makes decisions in the best interest of all of East Hants. You will be an important point of contact by members of your community who will have issues and opinions to share on how the community should be run/changed. You will bring ideas to Council to consider. In many cases your role will be to share information about Provincial programs and regulations or to provide contact information for other agencies.
What is the compensation for East Hants Municipal Councillors?
- Councillors are paid a base salary and a travel allowance every two weeks dependent on the distance they are located from the Municipal Office. Unless otherwise determined this amount shall be adjusted upward each April 1 by the CPI for Nova Scotia. Council remuneration is paid on a bi-weekly basis including any taxable benefits for internet and/or cell phone benefits.
- Effective April 1, 2020 annual remuneration is:
- Warden – $55,503
- Deputy Warden – $35,579 (one year term)
- Councillor – $28,463
How much power will I have as a Councillor?
- Individual Councillors have little power of their own. Their power is in one of 11 votes cast by Council members, who by majority vote, decide what the community will look like and what projects will be undertaken. The responsibility and authority of Municipalities is set out in the Municipal Government Act and several other less significant pieces of legislation. For example, the water rates are set by the Utility and Review Board by application approved by the Municipality.
What kind of topics will I be voting on?
- As a Councillor you can expect to be involved in votes that set annual budgets – both operating and capital and adopt strategy on a wide range of things including planning and land zoning, economic development, recreation assets and programming as well as solid waste. Council is also responsible to decide what Municipal laws will be set (Bylaws) and gives the CAO direction on how to administer the affairs of the Municipality through policy adoption and direction through motions of various sorts.
As a Councillor how often do I attend meetings?
- All of Council sits on the Executive Committee that meets for a full day each month and attends a one evening Council meeting per month. There are a few other external and internal committees that you may be asked to sit on which meet as often as monthly but many more sporadically.
The conduct of an individual Councillor is governed by a Code of Conduct that is adopted by Council itself and certain legislated provisions such as in the Conflict of Interest Act and the Municipal Government Act.