Administrative Excellence - L'art de diriger    




May 29-31, 2023 CAMA Conference - Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville, ON.  Mark your calendar for this event. You won't want to miss it!  Please note that CAMA's Conference will be held following the FCM Conference being held in Toronto.  Due to the rescheduling of both events from 2020 the typical schedule of CAMA preceding FCM did not work due to the availability of facilities and the Victoria Day long weekend.

With the budget season upon us, don't forget to include the Conference Registration fee ($725.00 for the early bird rate and $775.00 for the regular rate) and your travel and accommodations as a line item. The hotel room block will be released in the Fall 2022 with the rate being $175.00/night for regular guestrooms at the Deerhurst Resort.


Recognizing the importance of political understanding in the role of senior municipal administrators, also referred to as political acumen, the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) launched a Political Acumen Toolkit.  This resource can be found at 

Politics are performed in the public domain and as a result, are loved by the media. Media, whether it be formal news institutions, online reporters/bloggers, or the commentary of online social networks, act as a check and balance for elected officials by “keeping them honest.” This can either be a good or bad thing depending on a CAO’s political acumen and ability to work with media representatives.

Today’s featured category is tips on managing media relationships.

An administration’s relationship with local media is one of the most important relationships that can be cultivated by a CAO. Positive relationships with reporters and news outlets assist municipalities in three ways:

-It ensures that when there is negative news coverage, the municipality’s input is given positive consideration in the report.

-It also allows Administration to use the media to the community’s advantage when there is a need to get information out to residents.

-It supports the foundational planning for emergency preparedness where media will be used as a conduit to stakeholders in a crisis situation.

For these reasons, the communications strategy for your municipality should include media coverage as a key tactic. In addition to required public notices, media outlets should be used to provide exposure to important initiatives or changes in the community, especially if they will have a significant impact on the public. Building rapport with these organizations will allow you to get editorial content to speak to key issues facing your municipality at no cost. If this relationship is not there, your municipality may be forced to rely on advertising content, which is less likely to receive attention.

Media should always be treated with respect. Doing so increases the probability that they will reciprocate and treat Administration and Council with deference. Get on the bad side of a reporter, and it is more likely for your municipality to be reflected negatively in any news coverage. As a sign of good faith, it can also be a good strategy to reach out to reporters before they contact you occasionally. This shows that you are genuine and willing to share information, when appropriate.

Case Studies:

Falsified Expense Account



CAMA's Human Resource Toolkit is designed to provide information regarding several different human resource topics with support through samples and links.

Visit the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) chapter to learn more about this important topic. The simplest way to understand or increase knowledge of EDI is to know that inclusion and equity result in diversity. Diversity and inclusion aren’t just about hiring more and more diverse candidates and enlarging the pool of employees.  Focusing on hiring won’t result in an equitable or inclusive workplace. Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is a continuous journey of unlearning the entrenched views that guide how organizations operate.

The toolkit can be found in the CAMA Member's Section (Click the Toolkit Button ).


In 2022, the challenge of keeping good people continues and it is not limited to municipalities.  While compensation is certainly a consideration in luring people away from their current employer, there is another variable that plays a significant role in employee retention. If the adage of “people leave managers not companies” is to be believed, it is prudent for an organization to consider current leadership health when addressing the talent retention issue.   To learn more about the connection between leader behaviours and employee retention you can read the article here.



Willis Award for Innovation Nomination

Population Between 20,001 & 100,000

Okotoks On-Demand Transit Project

Okotoks Transit was launched in December 2019, as a Council strategic objective, in line with the Municipal Development Plan, Social Wellness Framework, and Environmental Master Plan. Okotoks was the first municipality in Canada to launch a curb-to-curb On-Demand transit service. By end of 2021 72,000 passenger trips at a service rating of 96% were completed.  It has received wide admiration from Canadian municipalities, and in return has provided insights to municipalities at different stages of the transit journey. On-Demand transit is an innovative solution for all municipalities. Smaller towns are faced with unique challenges in providing public transit.  Large towns/cities are faced with low-usage on some fixed routes, and new communities with growing demand. Covid-19 continues to negatively impact transit globally.  On this backdrop, Okotoks Transit will transport 50,000 passengers in 2022.  While cost recovery in On-Demand transit can be lower than fixed route transit, the high degree of information accessibility provides opportunities for greater responsiveness to demand fluctuations.  Lower capital costs to establish On-Demand transit makes it a viable solution for smaller municipalities and low-demand areas in bigger cities. 

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

Willis Award for Innovation Nomination

Population Between 20,001 & 100,000

Cascade Reporting Solution

White Rock CAO, Guillermo Ferrero, sought to improve communication by providing an innovative reporting tool to Council and the public.  By centralizing and streamlining internal reporting with a technology solution, the labour-intensive work typically involved in status reporting on priority initiatives was eliminated. Guillermo leaned on his expertise as an administrator as well as his background in information technology to find a solution that would serve as a centralized information repository for strategic priorities and operations that could be implemented across the organization.  The application provides real-time information about the status of City initiatives, that can be accessed by Council at any time, from any device.  The reports are also regularly shared publicly though the City’s website.

The reporting solution was built in a platform called “Cascade” and customized by Guillermo to produce reports that capture the current state of all city initiatives.  Now a year since implementation, the result has been improved efficiency, transparency, and communication throughout all levels of the organization, as well as with citizens.

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


Raymond Osmond, Acting Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Orangeville, ON

Eric Gagnon, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Grand Falls, NB

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Canadian Association Municipal Administrators

PO Box 128, Station A

Fredericton, NB E3B 4Y2 CANADA


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