How City Decisions Are Made
Brantford City Council makes decisions following a legislative process set by the Ontario Municipal Act. Council considers such things as:
- Needs of the community
- Community Strategic Plan
- Council’s priorities
- Recommendations from Committees
- Advice and recommendations from Staff
- Research about other cities around the world
The community has a role throughout Council’s decision making process. As issues move from idea to decision, community input is critical. Members of the community can contact their City Councillor or the Mayor, speak with City staff, speak at a Committee, participate in local and neighbourhood groups working with the City and of course, vote in municipal elections.
How are Issues Identified?
Council makes decisions on issues that are identified by:
- Community members who use the services and programs
- Mayor or Council members
- City Staff as part of their evaluation and management of programs, policies or services
- Research on the practices of other cities and governments
- Changes in demand for programs and services or changes in legislation
Once an issue or idea has been identified, City staff will talk to community members, Councillors, and anyone else who is interested or affected by the issue. Based on this research, staff will prepare a report for Council that gives background information on the issue, identifies costs and suggests options for Council to Consider.
City Council generally makes decisions through its Committee system. Going through one of the Standing Committees means that there are opportunities for a complete review of the issue and for community input.
Each committee has a different list of issues that it deals with. The Committee meetings are public, and members of the community are encouraged to attend and share thoughts on reports/issues the Committee is considering. Items are brought forward to by members of the committee, staff, or community members. After discussion and input from the community, the committee decides if any additional research is required (and if so, it is sent back to staff for completion), to send the recommend onto Council for their information or consideration.
Council reviews all recommendations and decides to approve it, send the recommendations back to a committee or staff for further investigation, or vote against it. If approved, staff will begin work on implementing the recommendations identified in the report.