Governance Review - Phase 2 Engagement

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Governance Review Phase two Community Engagement project image

Background Information:
In April 2023, the Town of Cobourg initiated a review of its governance by-laws and policies. These by-laws dictate such things as the structure of Council Meetings, how decisions are made, steps taken to ensure meetings are transparent and open to the public and how citizens are able to communicate with Council on agenda items or issues in our community.

The goal of the governance review and any proposed amendments is to update the current Procedural by-law and other governance related policies and by-laws to streamline processes and improve the efficiency of the business of Town Council and its Committees and Boards.

What has been proposed:
In 2021, Council received an Organizational Review conducted by KPMG which was designed to provide a comprehensive review on the Town’s corporate structure, service delivery and staff resourcing. The final report had several recommendations that were approved by Council for implementation through a Staff report from the Chief Administrative Officer. One of those recommendations contained within the report was that the Town may want to re-evaluate the current use of the Council Coordinator role for governance in favor of a standing committee structure. KPMG noted that the use of a Council Coordinator structure does not appear to reflect best/common practice for Ontario municipalities.

Standing Committee Structure at a Glance:

Pages 5 - 9 of the attached staff report outline the significant changes that would be implemented should the Standing Committee Structure be approved by Council. These recommendations have been made to the increase accountability and transparency while also streamlining the decision-making process.

Accessible Documents: The following images have been uploaded as accessible documents attached to this project page. Please see the "Documents" section.

Previous Community Engagement:

  • As an initial step, Council sought community input regarding what is currently working well and where improvements could be made, particularly on transparency, accountability and how residents are able to participate in municipal decision making. A survey was launched on EngageCobourg.ca and ran from April 25 to May 29, 2023.
  • The Town’s Municipal Clerk also hosted an Open House on May 17 to speak with members of the public and address any questions or concerns residents had.
  • A Public Meeting was held on June 19, 2023 where Council reviewed comments submitted through the Community Engagement process, including those received at the Open House.

Comments and recommendations received through previous community engagement opportunities were used to inform and staff's final report to Council on Monday, October 16, 2023.

Thank You for your Feedback!:
Thank you to everyone who provided your questions and comments to the survey or participated in one of the Ask the Clerk's sessions. The phase two Governance Review survey is now closed.

In case you missed the Ask the Clerk session, we have uploaded the recording to the documents section of this page.

Next Steps:
Mayor Cleveland has called a Special Council Meeting on Monday, November 20, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. for Council to review and deliberate on the recommended changes to Council’s governance structure and proposed procedural by-law.

The Special Council Meeting will be held in Council Chambers. Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting in person or watch from home via the Town of Cobourg eScribe website. The meeting will also be recorded and can be watched at a later date.


Background Information:
In April 2023, the Town of Cobourg initiated a review of its governance by-laws and policies. These by-laws dictate such things as the structure of Council Meetings, how decisions are made, steps taken to ensure meetings are transparent and open to the public and how citizens are able to communicate with Council on agenda items or issues in our community.

The goal of the governance review and any proposed amendments is to update the current Procedural by-law and other governance related policies and by-laws to streamline processes and improve the efficiency of the business of Town Council and its Committees and Boards.

What has been proposed:
In 2021, Council received an Organizational Review conducted by KPMG which was designed to provide a comprehensive review on the Town’s corporate structure, service delivery and staff resourcing. The final report had several recommendations that were approved by Council for implementation through a Staff report from the Chief Administrative Officer. One of those recommendations contained within the report was that the Town may want to re-evaluate the current use of the Council Coordinator role for governance in favor of a standing committee structure. KPMG noted that the use of a Council Coordinator structure does not appear to reflect best/common practice for Ontario municipalities.

Standing Committee Structure at a Glance:

Pages 5 - 9 of the attached staff report outline the significant changes that would be implemented should the Standing Committee Structure be approved by Council. These recommendations have been made to the increase accountability and transparency while also streamlining the decision-making process.

Accessible Documents: The following images have been uploaded as accessible documents attached to this project page. Please see the "Documents" section.

Previous Community Engagement:

  • As an initial step, Council sought community input regarding what is currently working well and where improvements could be made, particularly on transparency, accountability and how residents are able to participate in municipal decision making. A survey was launched on EngageCobourg.ca and ran from April 25 to May 29, 2023.
  • The Town’s Municipal Clerk also hosted an Open House on May 17 to speak with members of the public and address any questions or concerns residents had.
  • A Public Meeting was held on June 19, 2023 where Council reviewed comments submitted through the Community Engagement process, including those received at the Open House.

Comments and recommendations received through previous community engagement opportunities were used to inform and staff's final report to Council on Monday, October 16, 2023.

Thank You for your Feedback!:
Thank you to everyone who provided your questions and comments to the survey or participated in one of the Ask the Clerk's sessions. The phase two Governance Review survey is now closed.

In case you missed the Ask the Clerk session, we have uploaded the recording to the documents section of this page.

Next Steps:
Mayor Cleveland has called a Special Council Meeting on Monday, November 20, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. for Council to review and deliberate on the recommended changes to Council’s governance structure and proposed procedural by-law.

The Special Council Meeting will be held in Council Chambers. Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting in person or watch from home via the Town of Cobourg eScribe website. The meeting will also be recorded and can be watched at a later date.


  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Ask the Clerks and Provide Comments on the Proposed Changes:

    The Town of Cobourg's Municipal Clerk and Deputy Clerk, will be hosting two information sessions on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 . During these sessions, the Clerks will answer questions about the governance review as well as receive resident comments on the proposed changes. Sessions will take place at 1pm and 6pm.

    Join one of the following Zoom meetings:

    Submit your questions or comments to the Survey:

    Residents are encouraged to ask any questions or submit comments about the Town of Cobourg Governance Review using the Survey tool below. Questions can also be submitted via the zoom chat during the meeting.

    Take Survey
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Page last updated: 07 Nov 2023, 03:39 PM