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Latest Blogs

8 Tips for Managing a Successful Advisory Committee

Council members are regularly appointed to advisory committees which council or the mayor has established to provide recommendations on a specific topic or area.  When council members are appointed to a committee, and this isn’t always the case, they are appointed either as voting or non-voting members.  In some cases the make-up of a committee is predetermined by legislation, but most times it’s the Clerk, City Manager or other staff who recommend the make-up of the committee and its terms of reference. When running smoothly, an advisory committee can be a shining example of democracy and public participation at its finest.  But when things go wrong they can be a public relations nightmare and undermine the public’s trust in a local government and it’s elected officials.  

Why Your Clerks Association Should Be Using Facebook

In the iCompass North American Municipal Clerks survey we asked respondents what social media site they use most frequently.  The answer by a wide margin was Facebook.  In fact, of the Clerks surveyed, it wasn’t even close.  55% of respondents say they use Facebook daily, while the drop off after that is significant.  31% use Google+, 6% use Pinterest and 3% use LinkedIn on a daily basis.

A Clerk's Guide to Getting Council and Staff Using a Paperless Agenda

I started my position as an assistant in Corporate Administration at the City of Revelstoke in the summer of 2009.  I was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of paper being used for the distribution of agendas.  At that time there were Committee of the Whole agendas, Council agendas as well as In-Camera agendas for both meetings.  I was required to assemble and photocopy 22 copies of each agenda for Council and the Management Team.  I also recognized that other departments such as Development Services, Finance and Parks, Recreation and Culture were creating separate Committee Agendas with additional paper copies.  The amount of paper was unreasonable and I was determined to find a more efficient process.

How Many Hats Do Clerks Wear?

In our recent North America Wide Survey of 15,000 Clerks we asked them to share information about their responsibilities outside of agenda and minutes management.  Respondents identified nearly 50 unique roles they are taking on in addition to the core duties of being a Clerk.   Most Clerks will tell you they ‘wear multiple hats’ in their organization.  But for the first time we have a complete picture into just how many Clerks are being asked to go above and beyond.


The Servant Leader in You

Robert Greenleaf who coined the Servant Leadership philosophy in the 1970s said that ‘“Good leaders must first become good servants.” How does a Municipal Clerk become a good servant first, and then a leader?  Is it by patiently listening to a frustrated voter, a bereft co-worker, or contributing to a local professional association? Serving others is exactly that, serving others for the sake of the greater good when you don’t expect anything in return, except for the satisfaction in knowing that you are making a difference for that individual, or cause.  The servant leader always proceeds for the greater good.