Remember that one of the hall marks of a successful municipal politician is continuous learning. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and to grow. Progressive municipalities will set aside monies in the annual budget to support the training and development of their municipal councillors.
Remember that one of the hall marks of a successful municipal politician is continuous learning. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and to grow. Progressive municipalities will set aside monies in the annual budget to support the training and development of their municipal councillors. This budget allocation should not be seen as an expense but rather as an investment in the future of your community. It is extremely short sighted for councillors to trim the budget on the backs of their own training.
There are a number of very good publications which provide valuable information on local government. Two that provide a good overview of local government and represent a good starting point are:
“Grassroots Democracy Local Government in the Maritimes” by Kell Antoft and Jack Novack. This publication is available through the College of Continuing Education at Dalhousie University.
“Local Government in Canada” 7th edition by C. Richard Tindal and Susan Nobes Tindal. This is available through the Dalhousie University bookstore or can be ordered through your local bookstore.
Dalhousie University’s College of Continuing Education offers in service programs for municipal officials that lead to the National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration (NACLAA) . This program, which is offered online, includes courses in financial administration, policy planning, program evaluation, citizen engagement and municipal law to name a few. While primarily directed to municipal administrators, elected municipal officials are welcome to take courses as well.
There are many learning opportunities available to municipal councillors from municipal associations. These include the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) at the provincial level and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities at the national level. These organizations offer conferences, workshops and have many publications that will be of interest to elected municipal officials.
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (SNSMR) has developed a Municipal Resource Handbook. This handbook provides guidance and assistance to municipal officials on topics relating to municipal finance, administration, planning and development, human resources and strategic management.