Mayor and Council
Since 1879, when The Corporation of Delta was first incorporated, the responsibility for local government in Delta has been vested in the Mayor and Council. The Mayor and six Councillors make up Municipal Council.
The primary functions of Municipal Council are to establish administrative policy, to adopt bylaws governing matters delegated to local government through the Community Charter and other Provincial statutes for the protection of the public, and to levy taxes for these purposes. Municipal Council is also empowered to manage, acquire and dispose of City assets.
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Role of the Mayor
The Mayor is the head and chief executive officer of the municipality. In addition to the Mayor's powers and duties as a member of Council, the Mayor has powers as set out in the Community Charter. These powers and duties include:
- Seeing that the policies and bylaws for the improvement and good government of the municipality are carried out;
- Communicating information to Council and recommending bylaws, resolutions, and measures that, in the Mayor's opinion, may assist the peace, order and good government of the municipality in relation to the powers conferred on Council by any Act;
- Establishing standing committees of Councillors for matters the Mayor considers would be better regulated and managed by means of committee and appointing members of Council to these committees;
- Inspecting and directing the conduct of officers and employees, directing the management of municipal business and affairs;
- Returning for reconsideration a bylaw, resolution or proceeding of Council;
- Presiding at Council meetings;
- Preserving order at Council meetings and deciding the points of order that may arise;
- Serving as Chair of the Delta Police board.
When the Mayor is absent from a meeting or if the Office of the Mayor becomes vacant, Council must appoint one of its members to be Acting Mayor. This person has all the powers of Mayor with the exception that they do not chair the Police Board, although they do attend the Police Board meeting. Traditionally, at the start of each year the Mayor establishes a schedule outlining which Councillor is to serve as acting Mayor during any given month should it be necessary. Each Council member serves in the position on a rotational basis.
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Role of Council
Council is the governing body of The Corporation of Delta and the custodian of its powers, duties, and functions, both legislative and administrative. The Community Charter specifies that the purpose of local government (which is defined as being Council) includes:
- Providing good government for its community
- Providing works, services, facilities, and other things that the municipality considers necessary or desirable for all or part of its community
- Providing stewardship of the public assets of its community
- Fostering the current and future economic, social and environmental well being of its community.
In their role as Council, they collectively develop policies through the adoption of bylaws and passing of resolutions.
It is important to note that individual members of Council cannot make a decision on behalf of Council nor, individually, are they able to give direction to staff. To do either, they must give a collective direction as a group at a properly convened meeting.
Council may not grant special privileges or immunities to individuals or corporations unless the Community Charter specifically allows them to do so. Generally speaking, they cannot lend money to corporations, give away land, guarantee loans for business purposes, or give tax reductions.
The Community Charter requires that Council exercise its powers at regular or special meetings when a quorum is present. The Charter allows each municipality to establish the size of its Council by bylaw. The Charter also stipulates that if a bylaw is not adopted, municipalities having a population greater than 50,000 are to have a Mayor and eight Councillors. Delta has a bylaw that stipulates that Council consists of the Mayor and six Councillors. A quorum consists of four members.
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