Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Posted on June 29, 2021

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Position Details:

Employer: Town of Hardisty

Location: Hardisty, AB

Industry: Municipal Government

Position Outline:


The Town of Hardisty is a diverse community of over 550 residents located approximately 2 hours southeast of Edmonton and 2 hours northeast of Red Deer, at the junction of Highway 13 and Highway 881.  Situated at the eastern edge of Flagstaff County in the heart of the beautiful rolling hills of the Battle River Valley, Hardisty is perfectly situated for a quick weekend getaway, or that much needed summer camping trip. 

With multiple full-service campsites, a 9-hole golf course, the winding Battle River, and two lakes (one located within the Town limits, and the other just a short drive to the west), the Town has superb recreational facilities, health care facilities, and is a great community in which to live and flourish.  Hardisty provides a nature-lover’s paradise, with walking trails, parks, and beautiful countryside, along with the annual outdoor July rodeo….which is considered to be the biggest and best of its kind within the region.  To learn more, please visit our website at     


Reporting to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and three (3) Councillors, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is responsible for the overall administration of municipal operations and the day-to-day tasks of the Town.  The CAO is responsible for directing, controlling, and coordinating the activities of the Town departments which includes three (3) permanent FT staff (Financial/Legislative Assistant, Utilities & Development Assistant, and the Public Works Foreman), several seasonal employees, as well as a combined budget of just over $2M.

The CAO is the senior policy advisor to Council.  She/he is accountable for ensuring that Council is aware of their legislative responsibilities and authorities, as well as all other relevant information necessary to make informed decisions on all municipal matters. 


In addition to the duties and responsibilities detailed in the Municipal Government Act (MGA), other legislation, Town bylaws, and any other duties as assigned by Council, the CAO is also accountable for the following:

  1. Working Closely with Council:
  • Develop and promote a strong working relationship with the Mayor and Council, understanding and respecting the specific role distinction of Council and administration as outlined in the MGA.
  • Provide leadership, support, and resources to the Mayor and Council in developing, implementing, and executing policies and strategies to satisfy the goals and vision of Council.
  1. Leadership & Human Resource Management:
  • Responsible for leading all municipal employees, including establishing policies and procedures for the appointment, training, evaluation, promotion, or dismissal of employees.
  • Demonstrate authentic leadership by providing guidance, support, mentorship, and positive role modelling to all Town employees
  • Establish and oversee the structure of the administration of the municipality.  
  1. Financial Administration:
  • In conjunction with the Financial/Legislative Assistant, prepare and present options for the annual financial plan for Council’s consideration, including the general operating budget, the capital budget, and the capital plan.
  • Monitor and control municipal spending within the budgets established by Council.
  • Provide Council with a variance analysis of municipal revenues and expenditures versus operating and capital budgets.
  • Administer the municipal taxation process including the collection of taxes and management of overdue accounts.
  1. Economic Development:
  • Work closely with Council to implement an economic development focus to promote local businesses and attract new businesses and residents to the Town of Hardisty.
  • Engage and interact with land developers to encourage growth and ensure that the development process is clearly laid out in a manner that promotes an “open for business” focus.    
  1. Communication:
  • Promote effective and open communication among Council, employees and the general public.
  • Utilize the use of social media as a way of disseminating information to the public.
  • The CAO will attend community events as required, which may include evenings and/or weekends.
  1. Public/Community Relations:
  • Deliver top-notch customer service to both internal and external stakeholders and ensure it is a priority.
  • Encourage and cultivate on-going professional partnerships with other neighbouring municipalities for the betterment of the region.
  • Participate as a representative of the Town in authorized municipal government associations, conventions, meetings and seminars.
  1. Project Management:
  • Provide advice to Council in developing policies, procedures, goals and objectives relating to capital works and infrastructure projects and programs.  Control project spending within the budget allocation and approve invoices for payment.
  • Plan and direct a comprehensive maintenance and life-cycle program of all Town owned assets.
  1. General Administration:
  • Ensure Council receives all information required to make effective decisions and employees are informed of Council decisions; provide opportunities for the public to be informed of, and aware of, Town affairs.
  • In a timely manner, prepare and organize agenda packages for Council, draft resolutions and bylaws, and ensure that meeting minutes are prepared and circulated.
  • Ensure all required bylaws, resolutions, and records of the municipality are up to date and available for public review.
  • Complete all documents, agreements, or contracts approved by Council; prepare correspondence resulting from decisions of Council, and delegate tasks as appropriate.


The CAO will possess the following to be successful:

  • Strong leadership and management skills with the demonstrated ability to offer guidance and support, while mentoring staff for succession planning purposes.  Solid skills in motivating others and creating a shared purpose.
  • Supports a team approach and leads by example.  Practices an open-door policy with staff and the public alike. 
  • Willing to provide autonomy and independence to staff, while at the same time holding employees accountable.  Strong organizational skills with the capacity to meet tight deadlines and follow through.  Sense of urgency.   
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with presence and energy.  Able to practice an open and transparent form of communication (oral and written) to staff, contractors, vendors, ratepayers, volunteers, and elected officials.  Proven ability to listen.
  • Politically savvy.  Ability to challenge and mentor Council in a diplomatic way.
  • Ability to analyze the municipality’s competitive position, including its strengths and weaknesses and promote the community in a positive light.
  • Able to work positively with the community, neighboring municipalities, and regional volunteers and organizations.
  • Familiarity with smaller rural communities and the willingness to reside within the area.  Is an advocate of contributing and “giving back” to the community and promotes active volunteerism.
  • As the “administrative face of the Town”, she/he is professional in her/his demeanor and always represents the Town in a positive fashion.
  • Solid experience in, or understanding of, municipal finances.  Must understand budgeting, finance, grant administration and information reporting.
  • Ability to provide executive leadership to all strategic and business planning initiatives.
  • Welcomes challenges and possesses a progressive mentality with a willingness to change.  Able to deal effectively with uncertainty.
  • Strategic thinker with a demonstrated ability to make difficult decisions and the confidence required to stand behind those decisions.  Ability to analyse risk.
  • Knows and understands, or has the capacity to quickly learn, legislative and regulatory processes and possesses an intuitive ability to read the political implications of recommendations and actions.


The ideal candidate will possess a post-secondary education, or a combination of relevant training and senior leadership experience. This includes:  

  • A demonstrated track record of leadership and senior management experience. 
  • An ability to work effectively with elected officials, community volunteers, businesses, Boards and Committees, and public participation processes.
  • Proven HR skills.  Ability to work with staff and achieve the “buy-in”.
  • A thorough understanding of the legislative process and knowledge of the Alberta Municipal Government Act, or a willingness to learn.
  • Proven experience in strategic planning, organizational development, and achieving results in building team relations.
  • A thorough understanding of the financial and budgeting process.
  • Previous experience applying for, and managing grants.
  • Experience in implementing development plans, capital works, and infrastructure improvement programs.


A competitive compensation package will be provided to the successful candidate including a comprehensive benefit package 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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