So you want to be a politician

An information session geared to people considering running for city council, school board or the regional district takes place Oct. 1.

An information session geared to people considering running for city council, school board or the regional district takes place in Williams Lake on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Vancouver-based registered parliamentarian Eli Mina, who is leading the session, described his style as presenting and providing an opportunity for people to ask lots of questions.

“I always tell people there is no such thing as a dumb question,” Mina said, adding he is mindful it’s an evening session and hopes to keep people awake and keep it interesting.

Mina has been in Williams Lake before conducting workshops with newly elected councils soon after an election, however, he said it is unique for him to work with possible candidates before an election.

“When I was in Williams Lake last time working with council, one of the participants said wouldn’t it be great if people thinking of running for council knew more about how it works,” he explained.

Often people don’t understand the whole parameters involved with serving as a politician, so it’s important to give them some clear understanding before they ink their name on the nomination form to serve, Mina suggested.

Topics he’ll explore include common myths about serving as an elected official; roles of individual members versus roles of the council/board as a collective body; protocols for council/board meetings: debating, voting, motions; decision making goals, principles; the duty to constituents versus broader duties; interactions between the council/board and the administrative staff; interactions of the council/board and individual members with the community; transparency versus risk management (open meetings versus closed meetings); and conflicts of interests: issues and procedures.

The session is co-sponsored by the City of Williams Lake, School District 27 and the Cariboo Regional District.

It begins with registration and light refreshments at 5:30 p.m. followed by the  information session from 6 to 9 p.m. at city hall. 450 Mart Street.

To register for the session, contact Cindy Bouchard, City of Williams Lake at  (250) 392-1773 or email cbouchard@williamslake.ca.