Local Government in Action: A Simulation

By Bill Kennedy and Gary Wilson

© 2008

Local Government in Action is a simulation about a fictional, medium-sized municipality called Summerville. It provides an interactive teaching tool with a focus on governance and community development in small and medium-sized municipalities in Canada. It also examines the major issues faced by resource-based communities and communities on the peripheries of metropolitan areas.

Participants in the simulation play the roles of municipal politicians, administrators, and community members in order to respond to a series of issues and challenges that confront Summerville. The simulation provides participants with a sense of what real decision-making is like by requiring them to deal with competing interests, conflicting points of view, and the occasional clash between "common sense solutions" and the actions that are permissible under law. It also demonstrates the processes involved in council meetings, the roles played by municipal staff, and the nature of the relationship between elected officials, appointed officials, and the public. Additionally, this exercise offers participants the opportunity to practice the skills required to make effective presentations, to participate in public meetings, and to lobby. 

The text is accompanied by an instructor's manual on CD-Rom that mirrors the content of the workbook and provides goals and ideas for making the simulation more successful in terms of pedagogy.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 141 pages
  • Dimensions: 8.0in x 0.3in x 11.0in
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SKU# HE000153

  • PUBLISHED APR 2008

    From: $27.16

    Regular Price: $31.95

    ISBN 9781551119120

Quick Overview

"The authors have done a great job in constructing a realistic, fictional municipality and an engaging cast of characters and set of cases. Teaching and learning about Canadian local government has a valuable new resource." - Andrew Sancton, University of Western Ontario

Local Government in Action: A Simulation

By Bill Kennedy and Gary Wilson

© 2008

Local Government in Action is a simulation about a fictional, medium-sized municipality called Summerville. It provides an interactive teaching tool with a focus on governance and community development in small and medium-sized municipalities in Canada. It also examines the major issues faced by resource-based communities and communities on the peripheries of metropolitan areas.

Participants in the simulation play the roles of municipal politicians, administrators, and community members in order to respond to a series of issues and challenges that confront Summerville. The simulation provides participants with a sense of what real decision-making is like by requiring them to deal with competing interests, conflicting points of view, and the occasional clash between "common sense solutions" and the actions that are permissible under law. It also demonstrates the processes involved in council meetings, the roles played by municipal staff, and the nature of the relationship between elected officials, appointed officials, and the public. Additionally, this exercise offers participants the opportunity to practice the skills required to make effective presentations, to participate in public meetings, and to lobby. 

The text is accompanied by an instructor's manual on CD-Rom that mirrors the content of the workbook and provides goals and ideas for making the simulation more successful in terms of pedagogy.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 141 pages
  • Dimensions: 8.0in x 0.3in x 11.0in
  • Reviews

    In the past I have tried to adapt American simulations of local politics for use in the Canadian classroom. It was quite a struggle for everybody, including me. Now that we have Local Government in Action, running such simulations will be much easier. Kennedy and Wilson have done a great job in constructing a realistic, fictional municipality and an engaging cast of characters and set of cases. Teaching and learning about Canadian local government has a valuable new resource.


    Andrew Sancton, Director, Local Government Program, University of Wstern Ontario

    Simulations are one of the most effective teaching tools available, but Canadian political science instructors often have to rely on international material much to the frustration of both teachers and students; this is particularly the case with Canadian local government. This simulation of Canadian municipal decision-making covers every contingency with the well-written, easy-to-follow instructor's manual. The well-informed authors have included contemporary local issues including debates over big-box stores, suburban parking, and downtown renewal; they will engage students, foster a solid knowledge of civics, and build critical thinking and debating skills. The flexible format permits adaptation to different course requirements and time-frames, leaving room for the addition of companion texts and material.


    Mary Louise McAllister, University of Waterloo
  • Author Information

    William D. Kennedy served for over thirty years as a senior local government administrator and taught local politics at the University of Northern British Columbia.



    Gary N. Wilson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern British Columbia. His research and teaching interests include comparative federalism, northern studies, and local government and politics.

  • Table of contents

    1. Acknowledgements

    2. Introduction

    3. Workbook Organization

    4. Simulation Organization

    4.1 Council Meetings
    4.2 Roles
    4.3 Issues
    4.4 Newspaper
    4.5 Starting the Simulation
    4.6 Simulation Time

    5. Conducting a Council Meeting 

    5.1 Rules of Order
    5.3 How to Get a Motion Considered by Council
    5.4 How to Bring an Issue to a Vote
    5.5 How to Bring an Issue to Council
    5.6 How to Make Views Known at a Public Hearing

    6. The First Council Meeting

    7. Council Meeting #2

    8. Subsequent Council Meetings

    8.1 Council Meeting #3
    8.2 Council Meeting #4
    8.3 Council Meeting #5
    8.4 Council Meeting #6
    8.5 Council Meeting #7
    8.6 Subsequent Council Meetings

    9. Summerville: A History

    9.1 Geography
    9.2 Early History
    9.3 Industrial Development
    9.4 Maturity
    9.5 Demographies
    9.6 Land Uses

    10. Issues

    10.1 Election of an Acting Mayor
    10.2 Resolution of Congratulations
    10.3 Completing the Current Year Budget
    10.4 Water Treatment Plant
    10.5 10.6 Financial Support for Girls' Volleyball
    10.7 Beauty Salon Rezoning
    10.8 Centrum Hotel and Casino
    10.9 Summerville Sash and Door
    10.10 Regional Government Fire Protection
    10.11 The "Wild Flower House"
    10.12 Riverside Acres Building Permit
    10.13 Trade Mission to India
    10.14 Wedding Shop Issue
    10.15 The "Too Big" House
    10.16 Fees for Public Skating
    10.17 Massage Therapy Issue
    10.18 Are Five Cars Too Many?
    10.19 Skateboard Problems
    10.20 "Big Box" Retail
    10.21 Speeding Taxi Driver
    10.22 Non-Resident Use of City Recreation Facilities
    10.23 Renewal of Downtown Sidewalks
    10.24 Accessing Pornography at the Library
    10.25 Purchase or Lease?
    10.26 Imposing Development Cost Charges
    10.27 "It Was, And Is, A Good Deal"
    10.28 Economic Development Commission
    10.29 Surplus Federal Lands
    10.30 "It's Ours To Spend"
    10.31 Commuter Suburb
    10.32 Retirement Resort

    Characters

    11.1 Auto Wrecker
    11.2 Beautician
    11.3 "Big Box" Developer
    11.4 Building Contractor
    11.5 Building Inspector
    11.6 Casino Developer
    11.7 Chair, Chamber of Commerce
    11.8 Chair of the Recreation Commission
    11.9 City Administraor
    11.10 City Clerk
    11.11 City Planner
    11.12 City Treasurer
    11.13 Councillor #1
    11.14 Councillor #2
    11.15 Councillor #3
    11.16 Councillor #4
    11.17 Councillor #5
    11.18 Councillor #6
    11.19 Door Maker
    11.20 Elementary School Teacher
    11.21 Hardware Store Owner
    11.22 Librarian
    11.23 Massage Therapist
    11.24 Newspaper Reporter
    11.25 President of the Fire Fighters' Union
    11.26 Pub and Motel Owner
    11.27 Public Health Inspector
    11.28 Real Estate Developer
    11.29 Ridgeview Drive Resident
    11.30 Riverside Acres Owner
    11.31 Riverside Anglican Church Minister 
    11.32 Royal Heights Resident
    11.33 Solicitor
    11.34 Speedy Taxi Driver
    11.35 Sports Parent
    11.36 Wild Flower Lady

    The Election

    12.1 Election Legislation

    Appendices  

    Appendix 1 - Council Procedure By-law
    Appendix 2 - Legislative Extracts
    Appendix 3 - Role Preference Form
    Appendix 4 - Sample Ballot Paper
    Appendix 5 - City of Summerville Nomination Papers

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