Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Posted on Sept. 18, 2020

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Position Details:

Employer: Village of Forestburg

Location: Forestburg, AB

Industry: Municipal Government

Position Outline:

The Village of Forestburg has a population of approximately 875 residents and is located approximately 80 km southeast of Camrose, at the junction of Highway 53 and SR 856.  The scenic Battle River Valley is only 20 km south and offers both a unique natural setting and varied recreational opportunities.  Agriculture, coal mining, power generation, and the oil and gas industry are the building blocks of Forestburg’s “Growing Community”.  It is the great community spirit and the warm friendly people that make Forestburg a very special place to live or visit.  A community planning survey found that area residents liked the fact that the community was filled with “friendly people”.  Forestburg has a strong core of volunteers who help to operate many recreational and cultural facilities and keep our Village vibrant.  The residents have a progressive attitude and abounding pride in their community, as is evident in the many beautiful yards and well-maintained homes and buildings.  An active Communities in Bloom group has been honoured with multiple awards including the 2010 National Winner of Communities in Bloom in the 1 - 1000 category.  Forestburg is a community oriented, safe and healthy place to raise your family or retire.  We are proud of our quality of life and the recreational and cultural facilities we have to offer.  We have the perfect balance of educational opportunities, seniors’ facilities, recreational facilities, cultural amenities and a growing vibrant business community.

For additional information, please visit our website at




Reports to:                    Mayor, Deputy Mayor & three Councillors (5 total on Council)

Direct Reports:             Assistant Administrator

                                         Public Works Foreman

Total Staff:                     7 total staff, not including seasonal

Budget:                          Operating - $3.3M

                                        Capital - $1.53M


The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) directs the overall planning, coordinating, and management of all municipal operations in accordance with the objectives, policies, and plans as approved by Council, and implemented by administration.  The CAO is the administrative head of the municipality and advises and informs the Council on the operation of the Village, ensuring appropriate staffing and resources are in place, and performing other duties as assigned by the Council.  Vital to this role is the ongoing open communication and effective relationships between Council, administration, neighbouring municipalities, the Province, local businesses, potential investors, and the general public.

Additional Responsibilities:

  1. Serve as the liaison between Council and Administration.
    1. Support Council in determining policies by providing relevant data regarding issues that may affect the municipality.
    2. Provide well-researched options for Council to consider to ensure that decisions are being made using effective and realistic strategies.
    3. Keep Council apprised of issues of an operational, legislative, or political nature that relate to the interests of the municipality.
    4. Regularly report to Council regarding the progress of its policies and programs, and bring forward recommendations for changes or new initiatives to be considered by Council.
    5. Work with Council to develop and maintain a Strategic Plan for the municipality and provide regular updates as to the status of said plan.
  2. Provide ongoing leadership to the staff.
    1. Develop and uphold an effective organizational structure for the staff that reflects operational needs, and that is directed towards accomplishing the objectives as set by Council.
    2. Provide ongoing leadership and support to the staff.  In doing so, stimulate, motivate, guide, and encourage all employees to contribute fully to the realization of the strategic and operational objectives of the municipality.
    3. Regularly review the performance of the staff and encourage professional development.  
    4. Ensure that municipal staff are committed and equipped to providing top-notch customer service to the public.
  3. Coordinate and manage municipal resources.
    1. Ensure that appropriate levels of resources (human and otherwise) are available and fall within the budgets as approved by Council.
    2. Establish and enforce human resource policies and procedures for all employees.
    3. Appoint an acting CAO to stand in during absences of the CAO who has all of the powers, duties, and functions of a designated officer as required under the Municipal Government Act (MGA).
  4. Provide open and transparent communication and positive public relations.
    1. Ensure that municipal staff are committed to providing the highest level of service, both internally and externally – ensure it remains an ongoing priority.
    2. Promote effective and transparent communication among Council, employees and the general public.
    3. Establish positive working relationships with the provincial and federal government, adjacent municipalities, regional boards and committees, as well as relevant municipal associations.
    4. Work collaboratively with volunteer groups who manage and operate the Village’s recreational facilities.
    5. Maintain a professional and positive public image in the community and get involved.
    6. Provide background information to the media and refer political comment to the Mayor or appropriate Councillor.
    7. Attend all Village meetings and community events as required, which may include evenings and/or weekends.
  5. Function as the Chief Financial Officer of the municipality.
    1. Prepare annual operating and capital budgets as per Council directive and as required by the MGA.
    2. Ensure that all approved expenditures are within the scope of the approved budgets.
    3. Provide Council with a monthly reconciliation of all bank accounts and a quarterly budget variance report.
    4. Ensure that all payroll, GST, and other required provincial and federal remittances are submitted within the time limits imposed for such remittances.
    5. Prepare draft financial statement for review by the municipal auditors.
  6. Legislative responsibilities.
    1. Responsible for compliance with the legislation as set out in the Statutes of Alberta.
    2. Verify that all minutes of Council meetings are recorded without note or comment.
    3. Ensure the by-laws and minutes of Council meetings and all other records and documents are kept safe including the corporate seal of the Village.
  7. Act as the Economic Development Authority for the municipality.
    1. Work closely with the Mayor and Council, as well as regional partners to implement an economic development strategy in order to promote local businesses and attract new businesses to the Village of Forestburg.  
    2. Promote an “open for business” mindset and always strive for new and innovative ways of doing things.
  8. Keep current and undertake ongoing academic and professional training.
    1. Keep apprised of governmental and community affairs (local and regional) and advise Council and staff of significant trends and upcoming issues.
    2. Attend all relevant conferences, conventions, and training sessions as approved by Council.
  9. Additional appointments
    1. The CAO is responsible for the duties and functions of the following, unless a delegate has been appointed (Director of Emergency Services, Development Authority, and Freedom of Information and Privacy Coordinator).
  10. Perform Other Duties as Required.
    1. Ensure that workplace health and safety remain a point of focus and is updated on a regular basis to ensure that health and safety remains a top priority for the municipality. 
    2. The CAO will maintain a relationship with Council based on trust, commitment and the ongoing willingness to communicate.


The CAO is expected to demonstrate the following competencies and behaviours in order to successfully meet the requirements of the position:

  • Provide solid leadership and direction through personal example while demonstrating professionalism and a sound work ethic at all times.
  • Possess a solid understanding of municipal finance and the budgeting process.
  • Demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication, interpersonal, and public relations skills.  This includes with Council, staff, ratepayers, volunteers, Boards and Committees, the business community, industry, neighbouring municipalities, and other levels of government.
  • The ability to lead and contribute to a cooperative and participative workplace environment with a cohesive team that promotes and sustains a productive workplace and excellent customer service.
  • Exhibit a welcoming and calming demeanor, coupled with conflict management skills. 
  • Show a commitment to on-going strong regional working relationships and the willingness to always promote and support the Village and the region positively.
  • Constantly keep eye on the vision of Council and is achievement orientated.
  • Show personal and professional stability and is invested in promoting the same for the organization through professional development opportunities, coaching and mentoring staff, with the goal of succession planning.
  • Demonstrate self-confidence and effective assertiveness with decision making.


The CAO must possess, or have demonstrated the following, or an acceptable combination focused on senior level administrative leadership:

  • A post-secondary degree with a thorough understanding of local government, or an equivalent combination of experience and academic/technical qualifications.
  • Working knowledge of the MGA and other relevant municipal legislation, as well a CLGM designation would be an asset.
  • Solid management and strategic business planning skills which include excellent and proven communication and interpersonal skills.
  • The ability to interpret bylaws, legislation, and policies as required.  Previous experience applying for, and managing grants.
  • Able to prioritize tasks, work in high pressure and challenging situations, meet tight deadlines, and work both as part of a team as well as independently.
  • Strong time management and organization skills with a keen sense for accuracy and attention to detail.
  • A high degree of personal initiative with an understanding of planning and development processes as it relates to municipal development. 
  • Capable of maintaining confidentiality and dealing with highly sensitive information.


A competitive compensation package will be provided to the successful candidate.  This includes an attractive base salary, a comprehensive benefits package, a matching RSP program, and enrollment in LAPP (Local Authorities Pension Plan).  Details will be discussed in further conversations.


James Davies 

Managing Director

DCG Executive Search Services Ltd.

(780) 758-9796

[email protected]

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