Role of Municipal Staff
Municipal staff members implement the day-to-day operations of the municipality. These actions are overseen by a manager or chief administrative officer who implements the management aspect of the municipality. The hiring of competent, knowledgeable, and efficient staff is imperative. Often the staff presents the first impression or “face” of the municipality. Staff must be courteous and responsive when performing their duties.
As the staff members of the municipality will have the most contact with the public, it is advisable for municipalities to establish a Code of Conduct for its employees. This Code would be reviewed and signed by all employees and establishes, in part, how an employee will represent the municipality. The use of a Code will also be of assistance to ensure that any conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest are handled in a proper manner.
We can assist you with the preparation of employment contracts, employee policies, and employee codes of conduct.
Conflicts of Interest
Most provinces have legislation regarding conflicts of interest by local government members. The legislation exists to prevent corruption and the abuse of power by elected parties. Conflicts, whether real or perceived, can be damaging both to the municipality and to the councillor involved. If you have even the slightest hesitation about whether a conflict exists, you should seek legal advice on the matter. Many reputations have been negatively affected by a failure to declare a conflict, or possible perceived conflict, just because the elected official personally felt there was no conflict. In order to protect the public and encourage faith in democracy and elected officials, conflict legislation is becoming more and more widely applied and more cases are being put forward for the determination of the courts.