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“Timely as community leaders turned off by party politics and polarization turn to their county and town hall to try to make life better close to home. I agree with McCormack's recurring premise that 'The politics of local government doesn’t have to be zero sum,’ and his book describes many of the attributes and skills necessary for mayors to steer councils, municipal organizations and communities on the non-zero-sum path. More communities led in this thoughtful way would add up to stronger communities, a stronger country, and a timely antidote to the politics of division we see around us."

- Don Iveson (Former Mayor of the City of Edmonton

About the Author

Ian McCormack has a passion for good governance and lives in the professional space between elected officials and organizations’ senior management. His areas of interest include local government, libraries, housing, post-secondary education, health, non-profit organizations and community safety.


Ian believes that the expertise is often ‘in the room’, and only has to be teased out. He knows that culture is critical, so working on change must be done mindfully and it can take considerable time. Who’s Driving the Grader is an example of how the lessons are learned through a situationally-specific lens.


Ian is acutely aware of the relationship that municipalities must build with other orders of government so that citizens are best served. He is nationally accredited as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and is also certified as a change management practitioner.


As the President of Strategic Steps Inc. Ian and his associates focus on complex, independent projects, primarily within the Canadian local government realm. The company works on many projects that include strategy development and implementation, orientations, policy and bylaw updates, and reviews that help local governments get back on track. From time to time, Ian is asked to speak or host workshops at local government conferences on both sides of the border.


Books By Ian

Who's Driving the Grader_

At a time when in Canada, and indeed around the world, national and provincial governments are being elected on populist platforms that are remarkably unencumbered by any vision that extends beyond next Tuesday, local governments in Canada still provide those essential services that people need and want.

Mayors and the rest of council’s members want to make their communities, whether the largest cities or the smallest rural communities, better, says author and local government expert Ian McCormack. They are interested in the well-being of their citizens and the success of their businesses. They know that people choose to remain in their communities for a reason, or they choose to move there for a reason.

Identifying that reason, the ‘special sauce’ that makes them unique and attractive, is critical to the long-term survival of many a community, whether on the northern coast of Hudson Bay, or on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

This book explores what makes municipalities the best they can be and where some of them fall short. Other authors have explored the to-do of good governance and some have explored the not-to-do. This book does a little of both. By exploring the principles of good governance and how they can be implemented for the benefit of the people, it is hoped that elected officials, municipal administrators, and interested citizens might make their communities even better. 

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