Committee and Board Governance Review

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The governance structure applicable to the Boards and Committees established by the Town of Collingwood is being reviewed and we need your input!


Survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone that provided feedback.


WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A COMMITTEE?


Boards and Committees form the backbone to Council, providing them with advise and recommendations on specific matters of interest to the municipality, or required under legislation. The members that make up the various boards and committees not only contribute to the decisions made by Council, but to the overall community and programs provided to enrich the wellbeing of Collingwood residents and visitors.


TYPES OF BOARDS AND COMMITTEES


Collingwood’s committees and boards fall into the following notional categories:

Standing Committees are set out in the procedural bylaw for specific governance purposes, including the vetting of potential Council decisions and to welcome public engagement, and are comprised of council members. There are currently 3 standing committees in place: Strategic Initiatives, Corporate and Community Services, and Development and Operations Services.

Local Boards are created via legislation or regulations that require and/or enable them, and are independent of Council with respect to decision making:

  • Committee of Adjustment / Property Standards
  • Downtown Collingwood BIA Board
  • Collingwood Public Library Board
  • Collingwood Police Services Board

Advisory Committees are created via legislation or an initiative of Council providing advise and recommendations to Council specific to their mandate:

  • Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Collingwood Heritage Committee
  • Museum Advisory Committee
  • Trails and Active Transportation Advisory Committee

Task Forces are created by the Town specific need for advice and leadership within a pre-determine timeframe such as the recently established Affordable Housing Task Force.

External Organization Representation are those created by entities other than the Town, and upon which a member of Council is a part of on behalf of the municipality.


WHAT IS THE FRAMEWORK FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE?


To assist the various boards and committees to be more efficient in how business is conducted, ensure a fair and transparency processes, and legislative requirements are being met, the following recommendations are being made to the governance of these boards and committees in general:

Quorum at Sub-committees

When an advisory committee establishes a sub-committee to assist in a specific task, there is a continued issue with establishing quorum of the Advisory Committee which triggers a formal meeting. To assist the Advisory Committee’s in being able to form a sub-committee when needed, staff are recommending that the sub-committees not be subject to the quorum requirements of the Advisory Body, as long as the sub-committee is not making decisions that are required to be decisions of the Advisory Committee. Recommendations should come forward to the Advisory Committee for a decision.

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA)

Further to recommendations from the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry, it is recommended that committees and boards incorporate enhanced transparency disclosing an interest in a matter prior to deliberations and consideration of a decision, including an interest that may not be pecuniary in nature. The interest shall be disclosed as either a disqualifying interest or a non-disqualifying interest.

Better Defined Roles and Responsibilities of Members and Staff

The recommendations provided in the staff report are intended to increase communications between staff and members, be better prepared for meetings and have a better understanding of the roles of the committee, obligations regarding identifying a conflict, as well as other accountability measures that have recently put into place (lobbyist registry, procurement, code of conduct, etc.).

Outside Agency/ Organization Representatives

Having outside agencies or organizations participate as a voting member to a committee or board can pose both opportunities and challenges. Staff are recommending that outside agency/organization representatives be permitted to participate on the various committees as a non-voting member for a one-year pilot. The agency or organization participating in a committee would have an expressed interest in the committee, providing expert opinions, insights and experience to the committee.

Committee, Board or Task Force Size

There is no ‘one size fits all’ for committees and boards. When considering the appropriate size the following needs to be considered:

  • Odd number to avoid tie votes
  • Recruitment and ensuring qualified applicants
  • Mandate and workload
  • Meeting efficiency and effectiveness
  • Ensuring the public/applicants have appropriate time to commit to the committee/board
  • Obtaining and maintaining quorum

During the governance review in 2014, there were a number of committees/boards that were comprised of 9 members. Meetings were becoming inefficient and recruitment was challenging. Council agreed to reduce the size of the majority of committees/boards to 5 or 7 members. Staff immediately noted the focused discussion, increased efficiency and effectiveness and it was easier to recruit qualified applicants. At the same time, Council implemented a better system to facilitate public participation, and opportunities for committees/boards to establish their own sub-committees or task forces. Recommendation is being made to maintain the current membership composition for committees and boards, with the exception of the Collingwood Heritage Committee, to be reduced from 7 to 5 members, with outside agencies appointed to the committee as non-voting members (BIA and ACO).

The governance structure applicable to the Boards and Committees established by the Town of Collingwood is being reviewed and we need your input!


Survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone that provided feedback.


WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A COMMITTEE?


Boards and Committees form the backbone to Council, providing them with advise and recommendations on specific matters of interest to the municipality, or required under legislation. The members that make up the various boards and committees not only contribute to the decisions made by Council, but to the overall community and programs provided to enrich the wellbeing of Collingwood residents and visitors.


TYPES OF BOARDS AND COMMITTEES


Collingwood’s committees and boards fall into the following notional categories:

Standing Committees are set out in the procedural bylaw for specific governance purposes, including the vetting of potential Council decisions and to welcome public engagement, and are comprised of council members. There are currently 3 standing committees in place: Strategic Initiatives, Corporate and Community Services, and Development and Operations Services.

Local Boards are created via legislation or regulations that require and/or enable them, and are independent of Council with respect to decision making:

  • Committee of Adjustment / Property Standards
  • Downtown Collingwood BIA Board
  • Collingwood Public Library Board
  • Collingwood Police Services Board

Advisory Committees are created via legislation or an initiative of Council providing advise and recommendations to Council specific to their mandate:

  • Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Collingwood Heritage Committee
  • Museum Advisory Committee
  • Trails and Active Transportation Advisory Committee

Task Forces are created by the Town specific need for advice and leadership within a pre-determine timeframe such as the recently established Affordable Housing Task Force.

External Organization Representation are those created by entities other than the Town, and upon which a member of Council is a part of on behalf of the municipality.


WHAT IS THE FRAMEWORK FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE?


To assist the various boards and committees to be more efficient in how business is conducted, ensure a fair and transparency processes, and legislative requirements are being met, the following recommendations are being made to the governance of these boards and committees in general:

Quorum at Sub-committees

When an advisory committee establishes a sub-committee to assist in a specific task, there is a continued issue with establishing quorum of the Advisory Committee which triggers a formal meeting. To assist the Advisory Committee’s in being able to form a sub-committee when needed, staff are recommending that the sub-committees not be subject to the quorum requirements of the Advisory Body, as long as the sub-committee is not making decisions that are required to be decisions of the Advisory Committee. Recommendations should come forward to the Advisory Committee for a decision.

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA)

Further to recommendations from the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry, it is recommended that committees and boards incorporate enhanced transparency disclosing an interest in a matter prior to deliberations and consideration of a decision, including an interest that may not be pecuniary in nature. The interest shall be disclosed as either a disqualifying interest or a non-disqualifying interest.

Better Defined Roles and Responsibilities of Members and Staff

The recommendations provided in the staff report are intended to increase communications between staff and members, be better prepared for meetings and have a better understanding of the roles of the committee, obligations regarding identifying a conflict, as well as other accountability measures that have recently put into place (lobbyist registry, procurement, code of conduct, etc.).

Outside Agency/ Organization Representatives

Having outside agencies or organizations participate as a voting member to a committee or board can pose both opportunities and challenges. Staff are recommending that outside agency/organization representatives be permitted to participate on the various committees as a non-voting member for a one-year pilot. The agency or organization participating in a committee would have an expressed interest in the committee, providing expert opinions, insights and experience to the committee.

Committee, Board or Task Force Size

There is no ‘one size fits all’ for committees and boards. When considering the appropriate size the following needs to be considered:

  • Odd number to avoid tie votes
  • Recruitment and ensuring qualified applicants
  • Mandate and workload
  • Meeting efficiency and effectiveness
  • Ensuring the public/applicants have appropriate time to commit to the committee/board
  • Obtaining and maintaining quorum

During the governance review in 2014, there were a number of committees/boards that were comprised of 9 members. Meetings were becoming inefficient and recruitment was challenging. Council agreed to reduce the size of the majority of committees/boards to 5 or 7 members. Staff immediately noted the focused discussion, increased efficiency and effectiveness and it was easier to recruit qualified applicants. At the same time, Council implemented a better system to facilitate public participation, and opportunities for committees/boards to establish their own sub-committees or task forces. Recommendation is being made to maintain the current membership composition for committees and boards, with the exception of the Collingwood Heritage Committee, to be reduced from 7 to 5 members, with outside agencies appointed to the committee as non-voting members (BIA and ACO).