Consultation is necessary to manage regional issues and leverage opportunities. Meaningful discussions are needed among leaders to develop a neighbourly understanding on important matters. Officials do not sit idle when another government’s action, proposed action, or inaction has the potential to impact their constituents. Interdependencies lead to important discourse as officials at various government levels work through public issues.
Executive Regionalism is the act of getting things done in a regional context using professional relationships and political capacity. It is the art of local collaboration. Executive Regionalism describes the collective actions of local officials and stakeholders who seek to advance public good in a regional setting. Regional services such as recreation and emergency management are prime examples of shared service responsibilities and mutual benefits.
Local governments are not mere underlings of the province. They are interdependent government partners serving society. The agility and responsiveness of local governments is strengthened by the close proximity to street-level networks on the home front. Stakeholders are consulted, and collaboration begins at the important information sharing stage leading to quality decision-making.
Government interdependencies are inherent and will persist amid formal boundaries and jurisdictions. Intermunicipal collaboration is now mandatory in Alberta following the October 2017 amendments to the Municipal Government Act. Local officials who are serving during this council term have the responsibility to formalize shared services and the opportunity to address challenges with innovative and creative solutions.
Shari-Anne Doolaege, MPA, Q.Arb, CLGM
President, Sage Analytics Inc.
*This Blog is based on excerpts from the Executive Regionalism article written by Shari-Anne Doolaege and published in the Municipal World magazine in October 2013. The full article is available here: Executive Regionalism Article MW Oct 2013
Shari-Anne is an Alberta-based municipal consultant. She is an advocate for good governance and strong decision-making practices.