At the 2015 Annual AMCTO Conference, there was a “soft launch” of our new Policy and Management Brief publication series. Now, AMCTO is pleased to more formally launch this series and make it available to members and the broader municipal sector as a whole.

AMCTO’s Policy and Management Briefs will foster dialogue and promote critical commentary on important issues facing local governments in Ontario. Published bi-monthly, these briefs are designed to provide a more rigorous perspective on a range of management and policy issues facing municipal managers and leaders. The briefs will utilize a range of experts to delve into a series of ideas, knowledge areas and innovations to expand thought leadership in our municipal sector.

The audience for these briefs will include but are not limited to, policy makers, municipal managers, public sector practitioners, students, researchers and academics.

Issue 05 / June 6 2016

Continuously Improving Municipalities to Achieve Strategic Success 

A strategic plan is not static, but should be a guiding document which sets out the vision and priorities of the municipality. In this way, it establishes a framework that the municipality’s operations can align with. This brief presents an alternative view of municipal strategic planning in an attempt to assist municipal decision makers understand why a strategic plan is important to daily service delivery. It will make the case that without a continuous improvement approach to decision making, it is unlikely that the goals of a municipality will be attained.


Issue 04 / May 17, 2016

Municipal Accountability and Transparency in the Wake of Bill 8  

Over the past decade the discourse around accountability and transparency has come to dominate many discussions about politics and public policy in Canada. For Ontario’s municipal sector this discourse crystallized in 2014 into a piece of legislation now commonly referred to as ‘Bill 8.’ Relying on data from a survey of municipal CAOs and City Managers, this brief offers a glimpse of the operational and policy decision municipal officials are making several months into the implementation of Bill 8’s new regime for accountability and transparency. It suggests that the municipal response to Bill 8 is both fragmented and evolving. While some municipalities have implemented new policies or procedures, a majority are still determining the best approach for their community.



Issue 03 / November 13, 2015:

Enterprise Risk Management: A Value-Added Proposition 

The municipal sector faces complex challenges as it strives to provide top quality services with ever shrinking budgets. This puts a significant strain on service delivery and existing business processes. Rationalization is needed but how can it be achieved in an environment that demands effectiveness and efficiency yet often times has to operate in bureaucratic, high risk averse manner? The purpose of this policy brief is explore how an integrated risk management approach or Enterprise Risk Management [ERM] can provide a balance in managing these sometimes conflicting expectations. A simple yet effective ERM approach can be a value added proposition for the municipal sector. This policy brief will discuss the nature of risk, the value proposition, ERM preparedness including success factors, and the risk events municipalities typically face.



Issue 02 / August 17, 2015:

Successful Staff/Council Relations: Old Lessons for New Challenges
Prepared by: Michael Fenn

Experience across Ontario has taught us that there are policies – basic principles and practices or ‘rules of the road’ – that will contribute significantly to municipal Councils getting the very best from the talent and energy of their municipal staff, at all levels. Some of those policies reflect basic common sense and human nature. Others reflect sound and balanced processes in public decision-making. This brief outlines a range of experience-based practices that can be adopted and implemented in municipalities – large and small, urban and rural, lower-tier and upper-tier/single-tier – to contribute to greater staff-council alignment and success.

Issue 01 / June 5, 2015:

What Do CAOs Really Do?
Prepared by: David Siegel

In this brief, current and aspiring CAOs can get a glimpse into the skills they will need to develop to navigate this important role. Mayors and councillors can also obtain an understanding of what they should expect from their primary employee. The lessons discussed in this brief will allow CAOs and senior managers a chance to reflect on other highly successful members of their profession.