Home / How Does Municipal Government Work?

How Does Municipal Government Work?

There are currently 444 municipalities in the Province of Ontario that have a broad range of governing powers and responsibilities under legislation.

The purpose of this post is to provide information and education to residents about municipal government in Ontario.

With the upcoming 2022 Municipal Election, which takes place on Monday, October 24th, we want to ensure voters have all the resources they need to make an informed decision about who will represent them as their Council for the next term (2022-2026).

Blandford Blenheim Municipal Council

The Township of Blandford Blenheim is made up of one Mayor (elected Township-wide) and four Councillors elected at large.

The role of Council is decided by legislation - the Municipal Act - which states that it is Council's responsibility to:

  • Represent the public, and to consider the well-being/interests of the municipality;
  • Develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;
  • Determine which services the municipality provides;
  • Ensure that administrative and controllership policies, practices, and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of Council;
  • Ensure the transparency and accountability of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of senior management;
  • Maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; and
  • Carry out the duties of Council under the Municipal Act and any other Act.

You can refer to the Municipal Act, 2001 to see the full list of Council responsibilities.

Council and Staff Roles

CAO and Staff

  • The CAO and staff implement Council's decisions and establish administrative practices/procedures. The CAO is the only employee of Council.
  • Some members of staff have statutory obligations - duties they must carry out as decided by law - including the Clerk, Treasurer, Chief Building Official, and Fire Chief.

Councillors

  • A Councillor plays several roles including acting as representative, policymaker, and steward for the municipality.

Head of Council

  • The Mayor, as Head of Council, acts as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the municipality and provides leadership.

Council

  • Council represents the public and considers both the current and future well-being and interests of the municipality when making decisions.

School Board Trustees

School Board Trustees are members of the School Board. They are locally-elected representatives of the public and are advocates for public education. The role of a School Board Trustee is to establish policy direction, and participate in making decisions that benefit the entire school board while representing the interests of constituents.

Trustees are accountable to constituents, the Ministry of Education, and families.

There are 4 School Board Trustees eligible to be elected in the 2022 Municipal Election:

  • Thames Valley District School Board (2);
  • London District Catholic School Board (1); and
  • Conseil scolaire catholique Providence (1) for the Counties of Oxford, Perth, and Grey.

 

Time Commitment as a Council Member

The Township of Blandford-Blenheim Council meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month. In the months of July and August, Council only meets on the first Wednesday. This equates to 22 Council meetings every year, which last an average of 1-3 hours per meeting.

Special Council Meetings may be called if there is an issue that cannot wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting. Every member of Council is required to attend all meetings.

Preparation for each Council meeting requires a considerable amount of time to review the reports, emails, and correspondence that make up the agenda package. Members need to read and understand the material, and ask questions or get clarification on the issues, so they can speak to the matters during the Council meeting.

The Township uses a paperless records management system, and provides members of Council with a device to allow them to receive agenda packages for review digitally. Agendas are sent out electronically and are published on the website.

Approved Council agendas and minutes are posted on the Township website for public access and transparency.

Council Remuneration

The Township establishes rates to be paid to the members of Council, through a By-Law, for remuneration as well as to compensate them for any expenses incurred. Rates established for 2022 are as follows:

Mayor - $23,350 per annum;

Councillors - $15,647 each per annum;

Mileage - $0.61/km (based on the Canada Revenue agency); and

$60/day for meals while attending conferences or training.

Council Representation on Local Boards and Committees

Township of Blandford-Blenheim Council members are also appointed as local representatives on various Committees. These Committees include:

  • Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation Board;
  • Police Services Board; and,
  • Plattsville Splash Pad Committee

Council members are required to attend the Committee meetings for which they are appointed, and participate in the planning and execution of Committee initiatives and events. Each member of Council is typically appointed to at least 3 committees.

The commitment to these committees will vary depending on the nature of the committee. Some committees meet on a regular schedule, and the meetings range between 1-2 hours long. Other committees are created and held on an ad-hoc basis. Committee members are required to review agenda packages in advance of the meeting. Committee of Council appointments are reviewed at the beginning of each new term of Council, or when a new committee is created. 

Township Services at a Glance

Public Works Department

Maintains the Township road network year round;

Performs maintenance activities including clearing snow from roadways and sidewalks, road surface repairs and maintenance, asphalt and concrete repairs, rural road resurfacing, and grading of gravel roads and shoulders.

Building Department

An administrative division of the Township that enforces the Ontario Building Code Act and regulations.

Responsible for reviewing and issuing building permits which grant legal permission for property owners to begin construction of a new structure, addition/renovation, or demolition.

Oversees maintenance of Township facilities.

Fire and Emergency Services

Operates a volunteer Fire Department which consists of 4 Stations: Bright, Drumbo, Plattsville and Princeton. 

Responsible for firefighting and all forms of rescue including handling hazardous materials; public education/outreach; and safety inspections.

Finance Department

The primary responsibility is to manage the Township's financial resources in an accountable and fiscally-trustworthy manner.

Maintains Township financial records.

Responsible for leading annual budget development and tax collection.

Clerk's Department

Responsible to Council for the efficient and effective administration of the Township.

Provides legislative assistance to Council, as well as a variety of other duties as provided by provincial legislation.

Are You Interested in Running as a Candidate?

You are eligible to run as a Candidate for Mayor, Councillor, or School Board Trustee if you meet the following requirements:

  • Lives in the Township of Blandford Blenheim, is an owner or tenant of land in the Township, or is a spouse of an owner or tenant;
  • Is a Canadian citizen;
  • Is at least 18 years old as of Voting Day; and
  • Is not legally prohibited from voting or by any other legislation.

The Nomination Period opened on Monday, May 2nd and the deadline to file is Nomination Day, Friday, August 19th at 2:00 p.m. Please note that Candidates running for Mayor or Councillor must submit the signatures of 25 eligible electors to endorse their nomination.

 

Nomination Papers are available at the Township Office. 

 

Please contact the Clerk's Department at 519-463-5347 or via email to schedule an appointment to file your nomination.

List of Candidates