The City Clerk is responsible to ensure that the Council and Administration are informed of and are acting within the governance provided by Provincial Legislation, Municipal Bylaws and Policies.
The position of City Clerk is legislated by the Province and certain duty requirements are stated within ‘The Cities Act’.
A City will generally establish a Bylaw specifying other duties of the City Clerk and develop a Job Description that specifically sets out all duties and responsibilities.
The Saskatchewan Association of City Clerks consists of a membership of all City Clerks and establishes the professional expectations of this position.
A – Provincial Legislation
Provincial Legislation comes in the form of Acts and Regulations that are approved through the legislative process. Various Acts and Regulations are developed specifically for and apply directly to a municipality and provides the powers for a municipality to operate. There are certain actions that shall be carried out by municipalities and there are certain actions that are permissive and may be done. The City Clerk is responsible for ensuring compliance.
The Cities Act – is the legislative authority for all Cities:
- It is the Act that recognizes that Cities are a local government and as such are a responsible and accountable level of government within their jurisdiction, being created and empowered by the Province of Saskatchewan; and are subject to provincial laws and to certain limits and restrictions in the provincial interest as set out in this and other Acts.
- The purposes of this Act are:
- to provide the legal structure and framework within which cities must govern themselves and make the decisions that they consider appropriate and in the best interests of their residents;
- to provide cities with the powers, duties and functions necessary to fulfill their purposes;
- to provide cities with the flexibility to respond to the existing and future needs of their residents in creative and innovative ways;
- to ensure that, in achieving these objectives, cities are accountable to the people who elect them and are responsible for encouraging and enabling public participation in the governance process.
The Cities Act requires that every council shall appoint a person as City Clerk. This Act also states in Section 85 (2) and (3), certain requirements of the City Clerk:
85(2) The clerk shall ensure that:
- all minutes of council meetings are recorded, without note or comment;
- the names of the members of council present at council meetings are recorded;
- the minutes of each council meeting are given to council for adoption at a subsequent council meeting;
- the bylaws and minutes of council meetings and all other records and documents of the city are kept safe;
- the corporate seal of the city is kept in the custody of the clerk;
- the council is advised in writing of its legislative responsibilities pursuant to this or any other Act;
- the minister is sent any statements, reports or other information with respect to the city that the minister may require pursuant to this or any other Act;
- agendas are prepared and distributed as directed by council;
- public notice is given when required by this or any other Act; and
- the official correspondence of the council is carried out in accordance with council’s directions.
(3) Clauses (a), (b), (c), (d), (f), (h) and (j) apply to the clerk with respect to council committees that are carrying out powers, duties or functions delegated to them by the council.
Many other Provincial Legislation Acts are referenced frequently by a municipality, some of which include:
- The Local Government Elections Act
- The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- The Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act
- The Planning and Development Act
All Acts and Regulations can be downloaded for free through the Office of the Queen’s Printer at http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca. Acts and Regulations are occasionally amended and it is recommended that if reference is being made to a hard printed copy, that the on-line copy be reviewed to ensure that there have been no amendments made to that particular section.
The Saskatchewan Gazette, which is published weekly, provides information on Acts and Regulations that are under review by the legislative body for amendments and it is important as the City Clerk to stay informed on the proposed amendments and where applicable to also inform the City Council and other staff.
B – Municipal Governance
A city is required to act through its council. A council shall exercise a power through passing bylaws or resolutions.
A Bylaw is approved by council and it becomes a general law of that City. A City has a general power to pass bylaws for city purposes that it considers expedient in relation to the following matters respecting the city:
- the peace, order and good government of the city;
- the safety, health and welfare of people and the protection of people and property;
- people, activities and things in, on or near a public place or place that is open to the public;
- nuisances, including property, activities or things that affect the amenity of a neighbourhood;
- transport and transportation systems, including carriers of persons or goods;
- subject to The Traffic Safety Act , the use of vehicles and the regulation of pedestrians;
- streets, including temporary and permanent openings and closings;
- businesses, business activities and persons engaged in business;
- services provided by or on behalf of the city, including establishing fees for providing those services;
- public utilities;
- wild and domestic animals and activities in relation to them;
- the abandonment, discontinuance, dismantling, removal or decommissioning of any use, building, or other structure, including former railway lines, and the reclamation of the land on which the use, building or other structure is located.
The City Clerk has the responsibility of maintaining a Bylaw Index of all Bylaws approved by council. Most Cities Bylaws are published on their websites and they are also available for the cost of copying at the office of the City Clerk.
Each City may have an Administrative Bylaw, which sets out Duties of the City Clerk, as well as other Administrative Staff.
In the Fall of 2015 amendments are being made to The Cities Act, that will make it mandatory for each municipality to have council approve a Procedures Bylaw. The Procedures Bylaw shall establish procedures and conduct of council and council committees and bodies and the rules for the conduct of members of. The Cities Act and Regulations, will set out specific inclusion requirements and a council may include other processes applicable to their specific needs.
Are a formal determination made by Council on the basis of a motion, duly placed before a regularly constituted meeting of Council for debate and decision and is duly passed.
The City Clerk has the responsibility of recording and keeping minutes of Council meetings. Most Cities Minutes are published on their websites and they are also available for the cost of copying at the office of the City Clerk.
Are a corporate guide for the internal rules and procedures of the City. Legislation does specify that a City shall approve certain policies as regulations prescribe, through a resolution; however a City may also permit a Council or a designated City Official to approve and implement other policies for the general operations of the City or specific City departments.
C – Saskatchewan Association of City Clerks
All City Clerks are required to be a member of the Saskatchewan Association of City Clerks (SACC) by nature of their position. Assistant City Clerks are encouraged to become members as well. Please refer to the ‘Member’s’ section of this website for governance of the association.