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Council Responsibilities

February, 2015
(Fact Sheet 6.0)

Accepting elected office is one of the highest orders of public service. It offers the opportunity to significantly influence the quality of life in your community.

The Municipalities Act provides the basic legislative framework for Saskatchewan’s southern municipalities. Council members must know and comply with federal and provincial legislation, laws and codes. Council’s responsibility is to make decisions about municipal services, establish policies and provide direction for the operation of the municipality in a manner which encourages participation in the governance process. Councils have numerous powers, duties and responsibilities.  

Council is legislatively responsible to ensure that:

  1. a municipal office is named in Saskatchewan:
    • for Citizens to attend to make payments, receive information and report concerns;
    • for Council meetings (which are required to be held in an open and transparent manner where the public may be present to observe)
  2. a qualified administrator is appointed for the municipality;
  3. the municipality’s assessment is confirmed by SAMA each year;
  4. all decisions are made by resolution or bylaw;
  5. at least one council person or other person is designated to sign cheques. The administrator is required to be the other signatory unless the administrator has been authorized to delegate this duty to another employee;
  6. a fidelity bond is obtained annually for the administrator and any other employee as required;
  7. Workers’ Compensation coverage is obtained for workers, employees and labour contractors;
  8. all meetings are held in public;
  9. a quorum is required at all meetings;
  10. a records retention schedule is established;
  11. public notice is provided when a regular meeting date is changed;
  12. public notice bylaw is adopted and public notice is provided prior to considering any of the following:
    • any report to close, lease or sell a municipal street or road;
    • any report to dispose of public land used for park purposes;
    • a petition for a public meeting with respect to a municipal restructuring, establishing an organized hamlet or incorporating a resort village or village;
    • any report to increase/decrease the number of councillors in a municipality;
    • the initial consideration to divide the municipality into wards;
    • the report completed by the wards commission with respect to the establishment of boundaries is completed and open for public inspection at the municipal office during normal business hours;
    • holding a public hearing and deciding a matter after a public hearing pursuant to this or any other Act;
    • borrowing money, lending money or guaranteeing the repayment of a loan;
    • establishing a purchasing policy;
    • selling or leasing land for less than fair market value and without a public offering;
    • selling or leasing mines and minerals owned by the municipality;
    • setting remuneration for members of council and for members of council committees and other bodies established by the council;
    • establishing a business improvement district;
    • prohibiting or limiting the operation of a business or class of business;
    • amending or repealing of referendum bylaws or resolutions;
    • holding a public meeting of the voters;
    • any report with respect to special taxes; and
    • using any excess revenue generated from special taxes.
  13. an operating and capital budget is adopted each year prior to authorize the tax levy;
  14. the municipality’s audited financial statement and the auditor’s report is submitted to the minister by July 1 of each year;
  15. an auditor is appointed for the municipality and its controlled corporations;
  16. a tax levy is authorized on all assessments of the municipality;
  17. a prorated amount of moneys received from trailer or mobile home permit fees is paid to the school division in which the trailers or mobile homes are located;
  18. streets and roads are kept in a reasonable state of repair;
  19. a water rate policy is adopted by bylaw or resolution;
  20. an emergency plan is adopted; and
  21. a board of revision is appointed.

Your administrator will provide guidance and valuable information in this area. You may also wish to review the Municipal Council Member's Handbook.

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