Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
Abraham H. Maslow
Solutions: Best Practices
Best practices are simply the stories told by one community so that others can
learn from their experience. Best practices evolve with knowledge and experience. Such
stories can be shared verbally, or documented to facilitate sharing.
As a community, it is frequently debated as to whether expertise should be built up
within community members (municipal staff), or if consultants should be retained for their
expertise. It's a question without a single correct answer. In our opinion, when a
matter comes up repeatedly within a community (e.g., by-laws writing, amending, enforcement),
this expertise should reside within the community. However, when a community encounters an
issue that is new and not expected to be of continuous application, then it may be wise to
look outside for expertise on a short-term basis (e.g., how to build a community centre for
a small community).
For many communities, the very exercise of finding and hiring an appropriate source of
expertise may be a new or infrequent endeavour. Clearly, we have a vested interest in being
chosen for work in our areas of expertise. Therefore, we prefer to share
a relevant Best Practices document from a credible and unbiased third party -
the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). FCM hosts a
repository of Best Practices documents for Canadian municipalities. We hope you
find them to be useful.