The Town of Sedgewick is committed to our mission of “Progressive, active leadership and engaging the community while providing exceptional service.”
Our residents are engaged in building and maintaining a community they are proud to live and work in. Collaboration among council, Town staff, and citizens will work to ensure Sedgewick is an engaging, dynamic community.
Municipal councils can pass and enact municipal resolutions, policies and bylaws which in turn influences our community’s long-term health and well-being. It is important to understand the differences between municipal resolutions, policies and bylaws, as all three can be utilized to create healthy public policy.
The council is the governing body of the municipal corporation and the custodian of its powers, both legislative and administrative. The Municipal Government Act provides that councils can only exercise the powers of the municipal corporation in the proper form, either by bylaw or resolution.
A councillor’s job is to work with other council members to set the overall direction of the municipality through their role as a policy maker. The policies that council sets are the guidelines for administration to follow as it does the job of running a municipality. A councillor will spend a lot of time while on council creating new policies and programs or reviewing the current ones to make sure they are working as they should.
A resolution is a record of decisions or wishes of council, and includes routine administrative and management matters such as appointing an auditor.
Resolutions often express the municipality’s position on various issues or concerns about existing government policy, regulations or funding.1 For example, a municipal council could resolve to authorize additional funding to support recreation services provided during the summer for vulnerable populations.
The formalities for adopting a resolution are not as strict as those for passing a bylaw; resolutions are normally submitted as a motion and then adopted by a majority council vote.
Municipal policies provide guidance to municipal staff related to how to implement the policy (such as a Community Garden Policy) and/or govern the actions of the public within municipally-owned facilities (such as a Municipal Alcohol Policy).
A Policy is formally adopted by Council resolution. Enacting policies provides a framework for decision making ensuring consistency throughout the municipality. The supporting legislation for such policy development is the Municipal Act which specifically provides Council the authority to develop and evaluate the policies and programs of a municipality.
A bylaw is a form of legislation established by local government to resolve issues and address the needs of citizens; legal action can be taken as a consequence of non-compliance. In addition, bylaws govern the actions of all people in the municipality. Municipal by-laws cannot interfere with legislation or regulations mandated by provincial or federal governments; however, they can be developed to complement or supersede provincial legislation.
Municipal councils pass bylaws to address matters that will affect the public, such as access to transit services. Passing a by-law is legislated action. Bylaws follow a specific political process for their development. They must go through an approval process (e.g., adopted by a majority council vote) and must be signed by the Mayor under the seal of the corporation.
Every council must establish, by bylaw, a position of CAO. The council may give the position an appropriate title, such as Town Manager or Administrator. The CAO is the administrative head of the municipality. The CAO’s responsibilities include ensuring that the municipality’s policies and programs are implemented, advising and informing the council on the operation of the municipality, performing other duties assigned by the council, and ensuring appropriate staffing is in place.