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Council Governance Workshop PowerPoint Presentation
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Council Governance Workshop

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Council Governance Workshop

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  1. Council Governance Workshop June 24th, 2010 Prepared by: Caryl Arundel, Senior Associate Lionel Feldman, Senior Associate Jim Mackay, Managing Partner Dr. Andrew Sancton, Senior Advisor

  2. Agenda • Setting the Stage • Project purpose, scope and activities • Framework for upper tier governments in Ontario • Findings • SWOT & Interviews • Survey Results • Comparative Upper Tier Municipalities • Highlights & Comparative Implications • Implications for Change in Simcoe County Governance – Discussion • Wrap-up & Next Steps

  3. 1. Setting the StageProject Purpose & Scope • A summary of stakeholder views about the strengths / weaknesses and the opportunities / threats facing the current governance model • A summary of insights from comparable upper tier municipalities including: • Governance structure and optional models • Good practices relevant to developing effective decision-making, communications and relations across municipalities • A strategic assessment of the implications of the feedback and findings about the current governance model and advice to Council concerning potential optional models and transitions

  4. 1. Setting the StageWorkshop’s Purpose • Present findings from interview program and survey • Provide a context for looking at Simcoe’s governance structure and comparisons to other upper tiers • Present some preliminary views of Simcoe’s situation as a basis for engaging a conversation among Council members • To receive feedback from Council as a basis for completing the fact-finding

  5. 1. Setting the StageWork Plan Timing & Progress Work Plan Timing Workshop Ongoing &Kick Of SWOT –County Consultation Comparable Municipalities FinalReport May 11 May 24 to June 18 May 24 to June 18 June 24 August 24 • Interviews with 25 of 32 County Councillors • Interview with Mayor of Orillia • Survey results from 22 of 32 Councillors • Focus group with 12 past Wardens • Focus group with senior staff team (6 attending) • Comparative analysis of upper tiers and detailed assessment of 6 prime comparables – partially completed especially re good practice / experience • Documentation review

  6. 1. Setting the Stage Governance Form Follows Context & Needs Upper Tier Type • County / Restructured County / Region Context & Needs • Governance Form Weak Strong • Why Stronger Form? • Deal with broader area-wide issues and services • Address growth and investment planning • Create needed vision and direction • Create opportunity for more cohesive political leadership to address strategic issues

  7. 1. Setting the StageUpper Tier Governance Framework Upper Tier Type • County Restructured County Region Context & Needs Largely Rural, Limited Growth Population growth Narrow Scope Infrastructure $$ Few Issues needing area-wide oversight or planning Broad functions Rationalization Opps • Governance Form Weak Strong Large councilCouncil Smallcouncil, more meetings Indirect, 1 year Head of Council Directly elected, solely upper, 4 yr, Vice-head Double Direct Councillors Directly, solely upper, cross local wards Small $ & time Compensation & Support Higher $ and supports

  8. 2. Findings • Summary of Survey on governance • Summary SWOT (strengths / weaknesses, opportunities / threats) from 26 interviews • Other interview highlights and focus groups

  9. 2. FindingsSurvey Overview • Large number of non-responses (31% did not respond) • Disinterest? Apathy? Frustration with governance discussion? • Does this lead to bias in the findings? • Distinct groups of responses, however the results are not always strong or convincing • Comparison with 2008 survey shows growing support for some changes and declining support for status quo

  10. 2. FindingsSurvey Findings and Comparison with 2008

  11. 2. FindingsSurvey Findings • County Council • 55% of respondents supported 16 member Council • If 16 members, they should be Mayors only (75%) • Deputy Head of Council – 72% in favour • Same term as Head of Council (81%) • Act in absence of Warden and represent County (71%) • Meetings • Daytime (73%) • Once a month is enough (59%)

  12. 2. Findings Survey Findings…cont’d • Decision Making • Majority say the system does not work (59%) • Standing Committees • Are effective parts of County decision making (87%) • Review focus (58%) • Review purpose and focus of current sub-Committees and Advisory Committees (73%) • Governance Committee should report directly to Council (68%) • Limited support (23%) for Committee of Whole • Limited support for increasing the number of Standing Committees (33%) • Committee Chairs – 43% supported 2 year renewable terms

  13. 2. FindingsSimcoe County Governance SWOT

  14. 2. FindingsLearning from County Decision Making • Worst Decision Making – Site 41 ‘a short term decision on a long term issue’ • Reactive • Highly controversial and contentious • Sense of limited and incomplete information • Communication and media relations failure • Series of incremental decisions • Best Decision Making – Homes for the Aged expansion, Organics Program, Official Plan, Best Start Program • Information was available • Pilot tested the initiative (organics) • Opportunity for clear decision and impact • Not contentious • Proactive, feel good issues

  15. 2. FindingsExpectations & Orientation – Implications for Governance • Orientation for County Councillors is limited, poor, inadequate and needs to be improved • Expectations are not clear to candidates running for Mayor or Deputy Mayor – described as trial by fire • Time demands • County role and responsibilities • Time Demands • Varies between 12 – 25 hours per month • Increases for Committee Chairs and other leadership positions • Some reported 40 to 80 hours a month on County related work

  16. 2. FindingsInterest in Stronger Role in County Decision Making • Strategic planning, budget, financial reporting processes were recognized as good but…. • Want more input and involvement in setting strategic and financial directions for the County • Need clearer vision and priorities • Communications recognized as much improved but…. • Want less gloss • More proactive messages and communication about role and responsibilities of County, not just services it delivers • Use of new technology • Support from staff was recognized as good but… • Want greater information sharing and options discussion

  17. 2. FindingsCurrent and Future Issues will Challenge County Governance Issues facing County include: • Waste management • Infrastructure • Growth • Aging population and increasing Human Service needs • Efficient service delivery

  18. 2. FindingsSimcoe in the Governance Framework Upper Tier Type • County Restructured County Region Context & Needs View #1 View #2 • Governance Form Weak Strong Simcoe Simcoe

  19. 3. Review of ComparatorsOverview • Place Simcoe across Upper Tier municipalities by size with and without separated cities where relevant • Focus on Prime comparators • Compare strength of governance form / features and identify ‘interesting practices’ • Summarize highlights and implications • Note – still completing some of research

  20. 3. Review of Comparators Upper Tier Comparators

  21. 3. Review of Comparators Prime Comparators

  22. 3. Review of Comparators Comparing Governance Form/Features

  23. 3. Review of Comparators Comparing Governance Form/Features…cont’d

  24. 3. Review of Comparators Interesting Practices • Compensation approach in Essex • Salaries in Essex for Warden, Deputy Warden, and county elected councillors are indexed to lower-tier salaries • Councillors’ salaries vary slightly depending on which municipality they represent • Some moving to Committee of the Whole approach • Standing committees abolished in Essex in 2007 • Some have different approach – City/County Councillors (Lambton)

  25. 3. Review of Comparators Positioning Upper Tier Type • County Restructured County Region Context & Needs • Governance Form Weak Strong Essex Oxford Lambton Simcoe Halton Niagara Waterloo

  26. 4. Implications for ChangePreliminary Implications for Governance • Surprised at lack of consensus that governance needs have changed and some strengthening of County governance model therefore needed • Size of budget – accountability and oversight • Emerging area-wide issues • Need to coordinate with separated cities & regions re growth issues • Issue of how far is a Council judgement • Appears to be a constraint to any movement to strengthen the County governance model • Debate about the features or governance format but issue is need to respond to new emerging growth demands

  27. 4. Implications for Change Simcoe Governance Situation Upper Tier Type • County / Restructured County / Region Context & Needs In Practice • Simcoe Situation • Needs suggest some movement to stronger governance form • Constraint might be fear of a slippery slope to go too far • No logical reason that stronger County means shift to region in practice • Provincial domain • Triple majority • What is holding back change? • Governance Form Weak Strong

  28. 4. Implications for Change Council Discussion • What are the main messages you are hearing? What is your reaction to these messages? • Do you agree with the consultants’ view that there needs to be some “strengthening” of the County governance? • What needs further clarification and advice from us?