GETTING IT PERFECT: THE DRAFT AGENDA
Updated: Aug 30
This blog post is part of my series, Civic Citizens Series on Governance. It aims to help Grey Highlands residents learn how local government works.
This blog series includes the following posts:
This blog post explores the DRAFT Agenda.
Below is a reminder of the Report to Resolution process this blog series is exploring.
The DRAFT Agenda
Basically, the DRAFT Agenda is an agenda that has only been delivered to Council and Senior Staff.
A Report comes forward to Council on the DRAFT Agenda for a variety of reasons.
A Report Motivated by Staff: For example, at the July 20, 2022 Council Meeting, staff brought forward a report called Request to Investigate Scattering Ground Options at Grey Highlands. This was not on Council's radar, but something staff would like to explore, and before work is done by staff they would like to know the appetite around the Council table. Why waste the time, right?
A Report Motivated by Council: For example, at the June X, 2022 Council Meeting, I (as a member of Council) asked staff to bring forward a report on removing parking minimums at part of The Zoning By-Law review.
DID YOU KNOW? No matter who initiates the report, it is written by staff or an expert, for example, a lawyer or accountant or engineer, and so on. They are RARELY written by a Council Member.
A staff report might include:
Audience: This is the "To" ans is usually Council
Report Number: For example, CLS.22.22. It begins with the municipal department, in this example, Council and Legislative Services (CLS) followed by the year (22), and then a sequential number assigned to report, which also happens to be 22, here!
Subject: This, in combination with the Report number, is how the report is referred to.
Recommendation: These are the possible outcomes associated with this report; these options are included in bold as the possible resolution that appears on the agenda. Often there are several possibilities.
Background and Analysis: The past history of the issue. Sometimes this is quite long.
Operations Considerations: States how the running of the municipality are affected or will be affected.
Financial Considerations: States any monetary costs associated with the issue.
Environmental Considerations: States any environmental costs associated with the issue.
Policies / Legislation: A list of any policies or other legislation that should be considered in decision.
HOT TIP: Do not always go to your favourite councillor, usually you want to communicate with all members.
It is at this stage, that Council Members do their research (for example, look into Provincial regulations or what other municipalities are doing) and ask questions of staff (or other experts), for example, What is a scattering garden?
In the vast majority of cases, once all of the research has been completed and questions have been asked, the Member determines how they will vote at the Council meeting.
In the next post, Going Public: The Public Council Agenda, I explore the Agenda after it is made public.
You might also want to see my post called Keeping Meetings Organized, The Agenda.
DISCLAIMER The staff at The Municipality of Grey Highlands are experts in their respective fields. If something here is different than staff's advice, always follow staff's direction. And, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with what I got wrong.