Candidates who won the 2020 Municipal Elections

  • Chris Duke
  • Steven Schultz
  • Philip R Thompson
  • Michael Ziglo

Mayor Gary McLennan

Council Roles and Powers

A municipality is the “front-line” level of government. The elected council is the governing body of the municipality. Elected officials make decisions by passing resolutions or enacting bylaws. Bylaws are the laws of the municipality.

If elected as a member of council, you will have the opportunity to help shape the future of your municipality. If you are running with some kind of reform in mind, you will need to know what bylaws and policies are in place. Examples of local documents you may want to refer to are the meeting minutes, council procedure bylaw, code of ethics bylaw, employee code of conduct and the zoning bylaw. However, any ideas or proposed changes you have in mind cannot be achieved without the support of other council members.

Council’s Role

Municipal council derives its authority from The Municipalities ActThe Cities Act or The Northern Municipalities Act, 2010. Council’s main role is to make decisions about the services the municipality provides to its citizens. Council establishes policies about what essential core services to provide, how those services will be delivered and at what levels, such as:

  • Roads and transportation;
  • Water treatment and sewer facilities;
  • Snow and garbage removal;
  • Recreation facilities and programs;
  • Land use planning and economic development;
  • Building code regulations;
  • Crime prevention;
  • Fire prevention;
  • Animal control; and
  • Emergency planning.

The municipal administrator (or administration) is then charged with implementing those policies. Council relies on the support, advice and assistance of the administration throughout the decision-making process.

Council’s Power

Municipalities have “natural person” powers (with some limitations) and governmental powers (which are those specifically authorized by legislation).

Natural person powers mean that a municipality has the same privileges as an ordinary citizen and can take actions not explicitly set out in legislation. Examples of such powers may include entering into contracts, hiring staff and acquiring property. These examples may have limitations such as road maintenance agreements.

Governmental powers are required by legislation that only council has the authority to enact. Examples of such powers are taxation and bylaws.

For more information about the acts governing Saskatchewan’s municipal legislation, visit Publications Saskatchewan.

Time Commitment

Being elected to your local council means a big time commitment on your part. It’s important not to underestimate the amount of time and dedication required to be an effective member of council, especially if you have a full-time job as well.

If elected, you will serve a four-year term. During that time, you should plan to attend the following:

  • regular and special council meetings;
  • meetings of council committees;
  • meetings of other boards and agencies as a representative of council;
  • conferences, seminars, workshops, and conventions for training and discussion; and
  • events that promote or represent your municipality.

You may also need to spend a significant amount of time talking to the public, businesses, colleagues in other municipalities, municipal staff and your administrator. Continuing interaction with these groups is an essential part of making an informed decision as a council member.

Running for Municipal Office

It’s not crucial to have education or experience in a government setting to run as a candidate. You likely have skills, knowledge and abilities that are transferable to the elected official’s role.

You may want to undertake a self-assessment of your skills prior to running for elected office.

Think about your:

  • volunteer experience
  • community involvement
  • work experience
  • membership in different organizations
  • family life

Often your experiences have taught you how to:

  • work as part of a team
  • organize and prioritize
  • make decisions
  • debate
  • lead