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  Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit December 31, 2014

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The calendar year is coming to a close, and AMCTO would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a very safe and happy holiday season.

As we reflect on the news and events that helped shape 2014, we would like to offer Municipal Minute subscribers a look at the most-read news stories from their publication. That means, over the next two weeks, we'll count down the Top 20 articles for the year!

Your regular news publication will resume on Wednesday January 7, 2015.





10. Mississauga moves to cut off residents making frivolous complaints
Inside Halton
From June 25, 2014: If you live in Mississauga and have "municipal squirrels" nibbling on your window panes or a nearby rooster waking you up at dawn, don't bother complaining to your councillor. Those were just two of the many "frivolous and vexatious" complaints from residents that city councillors say are eating away their time, exhausting staff and costing taxpayers.
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9. 5 ways for executives to cut stress at work
The Globe and Mail
From May 28, 2014: Are you concerned about the lacklustre response from your team lately? Are you seeing low productivity and quality of work slipping? Are your staff complaining about workload and time constraints? Are they off sick more often? You are not alone. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 47 per cent of Canadians are reporting feeling stressed anywhere from several days a week to all the time.
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8. Brampton councillors shocked by list of contracts that broke rules
Toronto Star
From July 9, 2014: The City of Brampton has broken its own rules for purchasing and procuring goods or services 302 times since 2007. In total, $4,627,027 worth of contracts violated the city's own bylaws going back seven years, according to city documents. In one case, an $854,000 job in 2013 to renovate offices inside city hall was handed to a company without any competitive bidding.
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7. Brampton's Susan Fennell asked her pay be cut ahead of salary report
Toronto Star
From March 26, 2014: Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell altered her pay at the end of last year without informing council and before a salary report was publicly released. Councillors are furious that Fennell would go behind their backs to ask staff to withhold pay just so the figure reported for 2013 would no longer make her the highest-paid mayor in Canada as angry voters head to the polls this year.
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6. Ranked ballot option coming to Ontario municipalities
Yahoo! News
From Oct. 15, 2014: It won't help decide the heated race in the upcoming Toronto election — but it could in 2018. The Ontario Liberals are making good on a campaign promise to give municipalities some new tools to supposedly enhance local democracy. A spokesperson for Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin confirms that the Kathleen Wynne government will amend current legislation to give city governments the option of ranked ballots in future elections.
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5. Why you need to hire slow and fire fast
The Globe and Mail
From Sept. 24, 2014: Every time I hire a new employee I pray. I pray that she really is the person my team and I interviewed; the one who engaged us more than the other candidates. I pray that he will add value to our organization — even if it is only 75 to 80 per cent of what he stated when selling himself to us. I interview, check her social footprint and check references (both the ones provided and those from my own acquaintances; there is always someone who knows her somehow.
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4. Distracted driving: What you can — and can't — do behind the wheel
The Globe and Mail
From March 26, 2014: If you're driving while changing your car's clock, digging around in the glove compartment for a parking pass or reaching around to the back seat to open your kid's yogurt, you're guilty of distracted driving. But, you're not breaking Ontario's distracted driving law.
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3. What is a meeting? Municipal Councils and the Ontario Ombudsman
University of Western Ontario
From Sept. 3, 2014: Recent decisions by the Ontario ombudsman suggest that informal meetings of small groups of municipal councillors in which municipal business is discussed are in violation of Ontario's Municipal Act. In this province the Municipal Act provides that, except in certain specified circumstances, municipal council and committee meetings must be open to the public.
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2. Sunshine List 2014: Ontario's list drives salaries up, not down
CBC News
From April 2, 2014: The annual spring Ontario Sunshine List of public sector workers earning $100,000 a year or more might provide good water-cooler fodder about the fat cats dining out on the taxpayer's dime, but it's unlikely to have any effect on reining in those wages — and, in fact, might do just the opposite.
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1. Is it illegal to warn other drivers about a speed trap?
The Globe and Mail
From March 12, 2014: Driving east, you flash your headlights to warn westbound motorists that police are toting radar guns in a speed trap. You may believe you're doing the right thing by alerting fellow drivers to speed traps, as a matter of unwritten road etiquette. But suddenly, a police officer is flagging down your car, and you are issued a ticket for flashing high beams.
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The Municipal Minute

Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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Joanne Lam, Content Editor, 289.695.5474   
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