Council is the governing body of the municipal corporation and the custodian of its legislative powers under the authority of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). Councillors exercise the powers of the municipality through decisions made at council meetings and define the policies and direction that municipal administration will put into action. Section 153 of the MGA prescribes the duties for all locally elected councillors:
- to consider the welfare and interests of the municipality as a whole and bring to council's attention anything that would promote the welfare or interests of the municipality
- to promote an integrated and strategic approach to intermunicipal land use planning and service delivery with neighbouring municipalities
- to participate generally in developing and evaluating the policies and programs of the municipality
- to participate in council meetings and council committee meetings and meetings of other bodies to which they are appointed by the council
- to obtain information about the operation or administration of the municipality from the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) or a person designated by the CAO
- to keep in confidence matters discussed in private at a council or council committee meeting until discussed at a meeting held in public
- to adhere to the code of conduct established by the council
- to perform any other duty or function imposed on councillors by this or any other enactment or by council.
Municipal councillor documents
Find information specific to the role of a municipal councillor:
- Closed meetings of council
- Hiring a chief administrative officer
- Pecuniary interest for Municipal Councillors
- Performance appraisal of a chief administrative officer
- Procedure bylaw and agenda
- What every councillor needs to know! A council member handbook
Information on municipal governance
Municipal Advisory Services
Alberta Municipal Affairs provide support to municipal councillors and administrators in the form of workshops, advisory visits, and the Municipal Accountability Program (MAP) as follows:
- Roles and Responsibilities for elected officials and administrators
- Procedures, bylaws, agendas and minutes
- Assessment, taxation and tax recovery
- New administrator's advisory visit
MAP Workshops are offered upon the request of municipalities and may be customized to accommodate specific needs of council or administration.
MAP promotes an environment supportive of accountable, well-managed local governments. Its purpose is to assist municipalities with their knowledge of mandatory MGA requirements, aid municipalities in achieving legislative compliance with the MGA and other legislation under the purview of Municipal Affairs and to provide a collaborative partnership between the ministry and municipalities. MAP is mandatory for municipalities with populations of 5,000 or less and may be offered to all municipalities upon council request.
Municipal advisory services are presented at no charge to municipalities.