We hope that you have had a chance to spend some quality time with your family and friends this summer.  Fall is always a busy time for municipalities and for CAMA as we prepare for many exciting initiatives and events over the next year.

Please watch for several CAMA e-mails in your inbox next week advising you of some upcoming dates and activities:  the launch of the hotel room block on September 7, 2022 for the 2023 CAMA Conference in Deerhurst, registration information for the Fall 2022 CAMA Connects and new Masterminds Networking Forum, and a survey for you and your Executive Assistant to complete for our Toolkit for the Effective Executive Assistant to the CAO.

We look forward to hearing from you!  


If leadership development is a priority for you, don't miss out on the last opportunity of the year to join the ICMA High Performance Leadership Academy.  To date, more than 6,000 City/County leaders have benefited from this exceptional program.  CAMA Member, Sheila Bassi-Kellett, City Manager for the City of Yellowknife, NWT, is currently engaged in the program and had this to say:

"I’m thoroughly enjoying the ICMA High Performance Leadership course which I enrolled in to re-energize my leadership approach, post COVID. The combination of videos, readings, group discussions and assignments provides the right balance that enables experiential application and learning that’s responsive to each individual participant.  The break out group discussions are invaluable and reaffirm that leadership at the municipal level is not defined by borders - as a Canadian in this US course, I’m finding it to be highly applicable.  The 3-4 hours per week I'm investing are definitely worth it."

More information can be found at this link.  If you have questions or want to enroll, contact Kevin Darrow, or (503) 765-5153.


by Tim Rahschulte, Ph.D./ Chief Executive Officer

The Professional Development Academy

Here, at the midpoint of 2022, let’s take a moment to reflect, forecast, and plan accordingly.

We have faced the challenges of a global pandemic for a couple of years now.  The fight is not over, but signs of improvement are evident thanks to our team’s (and community’s) ability to change, our leader’s ability to navigate change, and sheer determination, persistence, hope, and grit.  Thinking about the past and forecasting what’s next can be overwhelming; especially based on what we have endured these past couple of years. Simply saying this time and experience has been unprecedented is an awful understatement.

While the pandemic has created conditions like few others on record, it spotlighted the need for great leadership.  As you prepare to reach the next level of normalcy, how have you done as a leader here in 2022? How have the leaders in your agency and on your team done? Has the experience from coming through a pandemic, balancing a new normalcy, and bracing for what’s next brought you closer together? Are you now better prepared for the next challenge to come your way? As a leader that is what you are trying to achieve – overcome challenges on your way to reaching a goal while developing individuals, your team, and the culture of everyone involved so that even more can be endured and achieved next.  It is your leadership approach that can make average, good; good, great; and engender a sense of meaning and purpose in our work. Are you accomplishing such results? Is there room for improvement? No doubt, “Yes!” to both questions.

People want truly exceptional leaders, especially in times of great change. You can be that leader. This article can help you and your team lead in times of great change. It starts with mindset.

The power of mindset is more than viewing the glass half-full rather than half-empty. It is more than painting a rosy outlook on the reality of our challenges. Mindset is an attitude. It is the initiating force anyone leverages to build something new, reengineer something to be better, or to bring about a change in things. Our mindset initiates a sense of possibility from which our actions follow. Therefore, our mindset serves as the foundation of our results.

Successful leaders have an unwaveringly positive mindset when it comes to what can be accomplished. The late General Colin Powell explained it this way: Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. This brings up an important outcome from mindset: it has a multiplying effect on those around us. Whether negative or positive, your mindset has a multiplier effect as it influences others – as you influence others. To be sure, the opposite of a positive mindset also has a multiplier effect.

Think about the last few days, weeks, months of this year. Have you displayed perpetual optimism?

Make the choice to be positive. Have an it can be done attitude, which is another piece of leadership advice from General Powell. Your mindset is the root cause of your results; it is the foundation of your success. Regardless of the project, program, or any change you are engaged in right now, if you think you won’t succeed, you’re probably right.  However, if you think it can be done, you and your team have a much high likelihood of doing just that – Yes, it can be done!

What do you and your team have planned for the rest of this year, next year, and beyond? What is your mindset when you think about the goals you aim to accomplish and the challenges you will face? Whatever the goals and whatever the challenges, know this: It can be done!  You can make it so.



Council changeover happens any time there is an election or by-election. Municipal elections in Canada fall within the jurisdiction of the various Provinces and Territories.

While the agenda may vary across jurisdictions and municipalities, the overarching purpose and importance of an orientation session is to ensure elected officials understand their role in governance and municipal service delivery. By providing each new Council with the information they require to get off to a good start and govern successfully, a CAO can build trust from the get-go, establish a strong Council-CAO working relationship and ensure Council has confidence in the CAO’s abilities.

To access CAMA’s Council Orientation Toolkit click here.  

Following are just a few of the topics that are included in the toolkit:

-Swearing-In Ceremony

-Checklists for Staff for Incoming and Outgoing Elected Officials

-Ideas for Teambuilding

-Suggestions on How to Explain the Different Roles of Staff and Council (including the mechanics of governance of a municipality and committee systems)

-The Decision Making Process

-How to Chair A Meeting

-Administrative Reports

-The Life of a Capital Project

-Media Relations

-Tips on Setting Priorities of Your Community

-Staff Orientation on Working with Council

Recognizing the importance of building a team within any organization, CAMA developed a “Toolkit for Effective Chief Administrative Officers: The Right Questions to Ask” which is available to members by visiting the Member’s Section (Toolkit area) of the CAMA website. 

This Toolkit is meant to be a resource to support our members whether they are just starting their job as a CAO (or senior administrator) or have been in the role for some time in a new community or one they’ve been in for many years. It will assist all of our members with building a team with their staff and Council.  Being an effective CAO is not about knowing everything; it is about asking the right questions and challenging appropriately. 

The Toolkit will provide the following tools:

Sample Questions for Council. It is important to build and maintain a strong relationship with your Council and asking them questions will help to learn more about them as individuals and as a team.

Sample Questions for each Division and Department. A template has been provided of sample personal, operational and specific questions that a CAO can ask their various Department Heads, Commissioners, Chiefs, and Managers about their operations whether you are just starting your job or have been in it for some time. 

A Resource for your Executive Team. In addition to being invaluable for CAOs, this resource is also a very useful tool for the Executive Team in understanding the kind of questions their CAO are likely to ask to learn more about the operations. 



Willis Award for Innovation Nomination

Population Over 100,000

From Accountability to Results: York Region's Corporate Performance Management Framework

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nearly 5,000 staff delivering services to 1.2 million residents spanning nine local municipalities. The Region’s newly formalized and implemented Corporate Performance Management Framework unifies the organization in achieving Council’s vision of strong, caring, safe Communities.

The Framework and corresponding policy, which was approved in 2021, helps staff understand how their work contributes to the bigger picture by outlining how the Region is accountable at every level of the organization towards achieving this long-term vision. It links Vision into the Corporate Strategic Plan, which then flows into Departmental Plans and, ultimately, into each staff member’s Individual Performance Plan. The Framework is a practical shift in business planning and measurement, with the added benefit of an improved organizational culture.

The Corporate Performance Management Framework is rooted in the Results-Based Accountability method and formalizes the Region’s process of defining accountability towards achieving results. Implementation of the Framework streamlined processes, simplified plans, and enhanced staffs’ sense of shared purpose in their day-to-day work.

To view the entire awards submission visit the CAMA Member's Section/Awards of Excellence Best Practices (Search for "Corporate Performance Management Framework").

Willis Award for Innovation Nomination

Population Over 100,000

MyKitchener Portal and Website

In 2021, the City of Kitchener’s reputation as a municipal leader in digital innovation was cemented again with the launch of a brand new online experience that transforms online municipal service and information delivery. In March, Kitchener launched a comprehensive new online experience for residents, including a transformed website and cutting-edge online customer service portal – called MyKitchener. The seamless integration between the new website and self-service portal completely reimagines how Canadian cities offer services online.

The MyKitchener portal – with its personalized accounts, single sign-on capability, integrations to internal platforms, and proactive delivery of open data information – is the first of its kind for a Canadian municipality. Dreamed up in a Kitchener boardroom and built alongside residents, the portal is a made-in-Waterloo-Region solution that puts access to City programs and services right at residents’ fingertips.

The exceptional user experience of the MyKitchener portal, is mirrored in the simultaneous redevelopment of the City’s website, incorporating best-in-class web design practices and extensive user experience testing (during a pandemic) to make content easier to find and understand.

To view the entire awards submission visit the CAMA Member's Section/Awards of Excellence Best Practices (Search for "MyKitchener").


Greg Morietti, Chief Administrative Officer, Township of Georgian Bay, ON

Andrew Garnett, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Woodstock, NB

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Canadian Association Municipal Administrators

PO Box 128, Station A

Fredericton, NB E3B 4Y2 CANADA


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