In anticipation of the inaugural council ceremony, city councillors have been studying and learning everything there is to know about municipal politics.
The councillors have had orientation sessions that explore topics such as civics, finance, and municipal legislation.
Cathy Saunders, the city’s clerk, says she is content with the progress the councillors have made.
”They all are very prepared. You can tell they’ve been doing their readings, and they’re aware of what the city of London does,” she said.
These orientation sessions have provided the incoming council with lessons on municipal legislation which dictates what municipalities can and cannot do. They have also discussed what their role as a city councillor is, what the city staff does, as well as common council procedures so they understand how to put a motion on the floor.
Saunders notes that a presentation by former mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best was helpful for councillors to understand what a day in the life of a municipal politician looks like and the amount of work they have ahead of them. “None of them seem surprised though. They’re aware of what they have before of them,” she added.
When it comes to learning the logistics of how council operates, Saunders says it is the procedural matters that are always more challenging for new councillors to adjust to.
“We’re very formal as a council and not so much when it’s a committee…Switching from one to the other is sometimes confusing for [councillors] when they first start,” she said. “When to sit and when to stand can also be tricky…[and] understanding that at council there has to be a motion on the floor before they can start debating it. It’s technical things like that [which present more of a challenge], but they get used to that very quickly,” she added.
As for the upcoming inauguration ceremony, Saunders says watching all 15 council members sign their declaration of office is her favourite part. “It’s always a nice and moving ceremony for both the community and the councillors. They should be very proud of themselves,” she added.
The ceremony will be taking place at the London Convention Centre Monday, Dec. 3. Starting at 6 p.m.