Here's some tips from cur­rent coun­cil­lors

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Kyle Smylie

Mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions in Al­berta won’t be held un­til Oc­to­ber 2017, but some res­i­dents may al­ready be feel­ing an urge to take a stand on an is­sue close to home or to step into a lead­er­ship role in their com­mu­nity. But it’s hard to know where to even be­gin run­ning a suc­cess­ful cam­paign.

The base re­quire­ments for se­cur­ing a seat in of­fice are ac­tu­ally rather min­i­mal. Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs re­quires can­di­dates to be at least 18 years of age on nom­i­na­tion day, a Cana­dian cit­i­zen, and they must have been a res­i­dent of the lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tion for six con­sec­u­tive months pre­ced­ing nom­i­na­tion day. Can­di­dates in towns are only re­quired to be nom­i­nated by five el­i­gi­ble vot­ers on their nom­i­na­tion form, which is pro­vided by the CAO or town clerk.

Mem­bers of coun­cil are given the power to sig­nif­i­cantly in­flu­ence the fu­ture of the com­mu­nity. This power de­pends on the in­di­vid­ual’s abil­ity to per­suade other mem­bers of coun­cil to adopt par­tic­u­lar views and to shape and es­tab­lish pol­icy for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, with all de­ci­sions made at pub­lic meet­ings.

But while coun­cil­lors usu­ally only meet once a week, there are heavy time de­mands pressed on of­fi­cials out­side the coun­cil cham­ber walls. While serv­ing a four-year term, coun­cilors are re­quired to serve on mu­nic­i­pal boards as coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives, ex­pected to at­tend con­fer­ences, con­ven­tions, and sem­i­nars for train­ing and dis­cus­sion, as well as at­tend so­cial events pro­mot­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Coun­cil­lors will also need to spend time read­ing ma­te­rial and talk­ing to res­i­dents, co­or­di­nat­ing with the Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive

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