A primer for new city councillors

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Build support with council colleagues and forget about setting the agenda

By Marvin Caplan

1. Don’t let it go to your head. Once you are in office the staff of the city will treat you as if you were a demigod. You will be referred to as councillor and your opinion will be sought on every matter to appear before council. It’s important to remember that being elected does not make you omniscient.

2. There is no job description for city councillor. You need to figure out what kind of councillor you want to be and what you want to do. The tension is between the board of director responsibility on the board of corporation with an almost $2 billion budget, and the ombudsman role responsible for some of the interface and problems between the city and the public.

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Article and image source: Hamilton Spectator

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