On November 15, five new city councillors are going to formally take their seat around the horseshoe, and they’re five people bringing a variety of skills and experiences to the table. Joining them are eight experienced councillors, so how do all these ingredients gel to immediately form a cohesive unit that will tackle some of the biggest challenges our local government has faced.
Our guest for the next two weeks is Stephen O’Brien, the City Clerk for the City of Guelph. Among his numerous duties, O’Brien is also the administrator of our municipal elections, and it’s that specific work we’re going to talk about beginning with this important question: What happens after the election is over? This week, we’re going to talk about what a council transition period looks like at Guelph City Hall.
Now there’s no such thing, really, as a transition period for local government, at least not in the way we understand it from the American example. Having said that, there’s a lot for an incoming councillor to get caught up on from the ongoing work of professional staff to learning the general instruction manual for council from learning about the Procedural Bylaw to what a point of order is.
That’s a lot of stuff to cover, and this week O’Brien will cover some of that with us. He will talk about what essential reading and training new councillors have to receive, and what refreshers the incumbent councillors get before the new term begins. He will also talk about the limits of councillor power, and the rules that govern a councillor’s role. Also, O’Brien will discuss the leftover paperwork from the election, and his personal advice is to the incoming council class.
So let’s talk about the transition to a new term on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast!
The inaugural first meeting of city council is on Tuesday November 15 at 6:30 pm in the council chambers at 1 Carden Street. There’s also a mock meeting for the new council to get acquainted with procedure and technology at 9:30 am that same day. Come back here next week for part two of our discussion with O’Brien where we talk about planning for the 2026 municipal election.
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