About Municipal Government
Municipal, or local government, is responsible for handling the affairs of the local area, and makes laws and provides services for its own municipality.
Services can include:
- fire emergency services
- garbage collection
- local roads and sidewalks
- snow plowing
- operation of libraries
- maintenance of parks and recreation facilities
- planning of new neighbourhoods
- building regulations, and more
The leader of a municipal government may be called the Mayor, or Reeve, depending on the size of the municipality.
The governing body of the City of Markham is the municipal council. It is Council's job to make decisions about municipal services, and to use the money it collects from its taxpayers as wisely as possible.
The Council of the City of Markham is made up of:
- The Mayor,
- Four (4) Regional Councillors,
- and Eight (8) Councillors, representing Eight (8) Wards.
The Mayor and four representatives of Council are elected by the community to represent the City of Markham at the Regional level.
The members of council, called councillors or aldermen, are elected by the municipality's voters. Council members are paid by the municipality for their services, but in many municipalities, members of council usually serve part-time and work at other jobs as well.
Municipal elections are conducted every four years, and Members of Council are elected by the residents to a four-year term of office. The selection of members for the offices of Mayor and Regional Councillors are made city-wide, while Ward Councillors are elected by individual ward.
Additional information on the Mayor and Council
Because of the large number of services provided, many municipalities divide their council into committees. Each committee studies certain matters or services and makes recommendations to the entire council concerning them.
Some of the committees in Markham include:
- Development Services Committee
- Legal Services Committee
- Community Services Committee
- Finance and Corporate Services Committee
- Recreation and Culture Committee
- Library Board
- Markham Theatre Board
- Markham Mayor's Youth Council
- Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery
The Council of the City of Markham meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, beginning at 7 PM. All Council Meetings are held at the Markham Civic Centre, (Highway 7 and Warden Avenue), as are most standing and committee meetings.
All meetings are open to the public, and because the input and involvement of the community is important to the City, residents are encouraged to attend meetings to voice their ideas and concerns at any time.
Usually, matters come before council in three basic ways:
- members of council bring issues that concern them to council's attention;
- the City staff identify problems and ask council to consider them;
- individuals, businesses or institutions can ask council to consider a matter that affects them.