Saskatchewan’s local leaders now have access to the new Municipal Peer Network to help them resolve conflict or complex issues.
The new network connects municipal administrators and elected officials with highlyexperienced peers, who can provide guidance, coaching, and advice to help resolve issues locally, use best governance practices, better understand their roles and responsibilities, along with other related matters.
“Through the Saskatchewan Municipal Peer Network, hometown leaders have the chance to receive one-on-one help from a municipal mentor who has proven successful in resolving intermunicipal disputes,” said Gordon Barnhart, president of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA). “Together, the mentor and peer can find solutions at the local level.”
The network currently has nine experienced volunteer mentors who are mayors, reeves, councillors, and administrators with an average of 24 years of municipal governance experience. They are trained in coaching, communication, facilitation, and dispute resolution. “This network is a collaborative tool for administrators and council members throughout the province,” said Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. “Municipal leaders are facing increasingly complex and controversial issues. Decision making and governance will benefit from the mentors’ years of experience and wisdom.”
All conversations between mentors and peers are confidential and free of charge. Municipal officials seeking a mentor or more information about the program are encouraged to visit: www.saskpeernetwork.org.
“The Municipal Peer Network is valuable for those with less experience in local government and need to reach out to a colleague who is familiar with the challenges municipalities can face,” said Saskatchewan’s Government Relations Minister, Warren Kaeding. “The guidance mentors will provide through this network will ultimately help enhance the service that citizens receive from their municipal officials.”
Saskatchewan’s Municipal Peer Network, modelled after Alberta’s Peer Network, is a partnership between SUMA, SARM, the Urban Municipal Administrators Association of Saskatchewan (UMAAS), the Rural Municipal Administrators’ Association of Saskatchewan (RMAA), and the Government of Saskatchewan.