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Interacting with Council & Committees

Role of Council vs the Administration

City Council consists of a mayor and ten councillors, elected for a term of four years.

Saskatoon uses the ward system, where electors vote only for candidates in their own ward; hence there are 10 wards.

The Province of Saskatchewan, through legislation, sets out the powers of municipal governments. City Council’s main powers are set out in The Cities Act. City Council decides which programs will be delivered, the level of service, and the allocation of human and financial resources.

The City Manager’s (Administration) role is to carry out the policy and directions set by City Council and to supervise the day-to-day operations of the City.

What does City Council do?

City Council operates in accordance with several provincial statutes, the main ones being The Cities Act and The Planning and Development Act. City Council has only those powers which the provincial government has expressly given to it by statute.

City Council cannot make any decisions or take any action other than during an official meeting of City Council. All meetings are public, and all decisions are made publicly.

City Council has delegated some responsibilities to Council Committees, which includes the Governance and Priorities Committee and four Standing Policy Committees. These committees are composed solely of members of City Council. All committees meet publicly. These committees review matters under its specific policy areas.

How can I participate in City Council's decisions?

  • Sending written submissions to Council about reports or proposed bylaws (see below).
  • Making presentations at public hearings held to get public input into bylaws and other significant decisions such as rezonings and discretionary use applications.
  • Making presentations at Committee meetings in response to recommendations made by City departments for any project or initiative.
  • Writing to City Council on issues of concern.

How can I find out what is on the Council and Committee Agendas?

Agendas are normally published on the Wednesday evening of the week preceding the meeting. They are available for viewing on the City's website. A copy may also be viewed at the Frances Morrison Branch of the Saskatoon Public Library and the City Clerk's Office during office hours.

How can I address an item of concern before City Council or a Committee?

If you write a letter to City Council not related to a matter before City Council or one of its Committees, it will be referred by the City Clerk to the appropriate Council Committee or the administration.

If you know that a particular report or issue is before Council or Committee, you can submit comments or request to make a presentation.

If you are requesting to make a presentation, you must state that in your letter.

How do I submit a letter to City Council and are there any deadlines which I should be aware of?

Communications to Council or one of its committees can be submitted in the following ways:

  • By email, using this form
  • By post or in person to: Office of the City Clerk, 222 - 3rd Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5
  • By fax to 306-975-2784.

Communications to City Council or Committees must be received in the City Clerk's Office by noon on the Tuesday preceding the week of the meeting.

Your letter must clearly specify the issue which you wish to address, as well as a general outline of your concerns. Please note that, since all meetings of City Council and its Committees are public, your letter is considered a public document.

You are encouraged to contact the City Clerk's Office at 306-975-3240 to clarify the requirements for writing to City Council or any of its Committees.

Is there anything I need to know about making a presentation?

Items on an agenda are dealt with in the order they appear. Generally the Administration will make their presentation, followed by those individuals approved to speak on the item.

You will have five minutes to make your presentation. If you have more than one person wishing to speak you will only be allowed five minutes for the entire delegation. Following your presentation, you may be asked questions from members of Council or the committee.

Is there any audio-visual equipment available to use in making a presentation?

There is a variety of equipment available in the Council Chambers and committee meetings rooms. For details, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 306-975-3240. You must contact the City Clerk's Office at least two days before the meeting to request the use of the equipment you need, and you may be required to meet with a representative of the City Clerk's Office prior to the meeting in order to review the operation of the equipment.

Whether or not you use audio-visual assistance, your presentation may not exceed five minutes in length.

How will I know when a decision is made on the issue in which I am interested?

A motion will be made on all issues which require a decision or direction from City Council or a committee. You may seek clarification from the City Clerk's Office if you do not understand what has been decided.

Minutes for all meetings are available through the City Clerk's Office and on the City's website.

Where can I get more information about the operation of City Council and its committees?

The City Clerk's Office can help you with any questions you may have regarding City Council and its Committees. It is difficult to briefly outline all of the rules which apply to the many committees of Council, so you are strongly encouraged to contact the City Clerk's Office at 306-975-3240 for clarification.