Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Drinking from the Firehose: Langley City Council Orientation Workshop

One of the significant differences between BC local government councils, the federal parliament and the provincial legislature is that councils are continuing bodies. In parliament and the legislature, all committee work, bills, and motions are reset when an election is a call. After an election, they must restart from the beginning for any motions or bills they want to move forward.

For Council, we continue as if an election didn't occur. For example, if a rezoning application was at third reading, the new Council would consider fourth and final reading.

All the means that newly elected Councils need to get up to speed lightening fast.

Langley City Council has been going through a Council Orientation Workshop for the past two days and continuing today. This workshop is a much-needed refresher for those who served in the last term and is a crash course for newly elected councillors. Regardless of who, it is drinking from a firehose.

Council Orientation Binder

We started the workshop with the presentation "Congratulations! You are a Council Member - Now What?" We've reviewed the roles and responsibilities of Council, good governance, and the legal framework in which local governments operate.

We've received overview presentations about the City's various departments, including the RCMP; Fire-Rescue Service; Administration; Corporate Services; Development Services; Engineering, Park & Environment; and, Recreation, Culture & Community Services.

Some topics we dived deeper into included reviewing land-use planning, ethics, conflicts of interest, and financial management. We spent a good amount of time discussing the City's budget and financial planning process.

Today, we will focus on strategic planning and setting policy as a Council. This process is how we implement our ideas into projects and policies for City staff.

While the amount of information delivered during the workshop can be a bit overwhelming at times, both staff and those who served on Council previously will support all Council members as we get up to speed together.

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