Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Posted on Nov. 8, 2021

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Position Details:

Employer: Rocky View County

Location: Rocky View County, AB

Industry: Municipal Government

Position Outline:



Rocky View County is located in southern Alberta and surrounds the northern, eastern and western boundaries of the City of Calgary.  Consisting of 14 hamlets (including Langdon - the third largest hamlet in Alberta), the County has a population of approximately 40,000 residents, and has the fifth highest equalized assessment in the Province.  Additionally, it is part of a larger metropolitan area that includes Calgary, as well as other key communities for a total regional population of just over 1.5 million people.  The geographical footprint of the County spans approximately 393 thousand hectares of land, or nearly 1 million acres (roughly 90% of the land base is part of the thriving agricultural industry that is Rocky View County).  In addition, to a strong rural base, there is a mix of urban-style residential hamlets, regional business centres, as well as acreage communities.  The County provides a range of services to a diverse community that reflect its rural, suburban, commercial and industrial landscapes.  Those services include emergency and fire services, road maintenance, cemeteries, bylaw enforcement, community and social services, waste and recycling, water, wastewater & drainage, assessment and taxation, building services and agricultural supports.  In addition, there are over 60 active intermunicipal agreements between the County and its neighbours.


             Rocky View County - Wikipedia                                        A map of Rocky View County surrounding the City of Calgary.                              

Rocky View was previously governed by a Council consisting of nine elected officials, each representing an electoral division.  As of the October 2021 municipal election, the divisions were redrawn to reflect a Council consisting of seven elected officials.  The Mayor (head of Council) is appointed for a two-year term, and the Deputy Mayor is appointed annually at the Organizational meeting.   

For additional information, please visit our website at


Position Summary: As the administrative head of the municipality, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will lead the senior leadership team and staff (approximately 310FTE’s) by developing and implementing services, programs, projects, policies, and objectives.  This position is responsible for overseeing all municipal services (external and internal) including:

  • External: Emergency and Fire Services, Transportation and Road
    Maintenance, Cemeteries, Bylaw Enforcement, Community, Recreation, Parks, Social Services, Waste and Recycling, Water, Wastewater & Drainage, Assessment and Taxation, Planning and Development, Building Services, and Agricultural Supports,
  • Internal: Information Management and Information Technology, Customer Service, Human Resources, Legal and Land Administration, and all Accounting and Financial Services for the County.

Reports to: Mayor & Council (newly created electoral divisional map of Rocky View County).


Map of Rocky View County showing the electoral divisions and hamlets

Budget (2021):

  • Operating - $216M / Capital - $55M
  • Total Combined - $271M

Direct Reports:

  • Executive Director, Corporate Services Division
  • Executive Director, Operations Division
  • Executive Director, Community Development Services Division
  • Executive Director, Community & Business Connections Divisions
  • Legislative Services Director
  • Business & Economic Development Manager
  • Supervisor of Executive Coordination

Rocky View County Hall closed until April 1 -


Rocky View County is seeking a proven strategic leader to ensure the County remains a key driver and player within the region.  Key areas of responsibility are:

  • Providing Solid Leadership, Advice, Guidance, and Mentorship to Council:
    • Mentor and coach Council in their role to ensure success for the overall municipality, while understanding the separation between Council and Administration. 
    • Recommend objectives, policies and programs to Council; direct the implementation and monitor the progress of policies and programs approved by Council; evaluate same and recommend improvements as required.
    • Attend all regular and special meetings of Council and other meetings as requested by Council and provide well-researched advice on relevant matters.
    • Willingness to respectfully voice your opinion, but also stand behind the directives and decisions of Council once they have been set.
  • Leadership, Team Building, and Human Resource Management:
    • Approve and report to Council any changes involving the addition, subtraction and/or tweaking of staff positions; assign work equitably and in a manner to achieve the required results; ensure that adequate staff and resources are available to carry out functions.  Mentor staff with the goal of leadership development for continued succession planning.  
    • Establish, promote, and maintain comprehensive human resource policies, procedures and programs covering the selection, compensation, development, retention, appraisal and placement of County employees within established policies and delegation; recommend to Council new positions, salary grid adjustments, fringe benefits, and improved working conditions.
    • Develop, implement and monitor performance standards; complete performance reviews on all staff, and ensure that performance reviews are conducted on an annual basis.
  • Public Relations, Communications, and Customer Service:
    • Focus on getting Rocky View County as a key player in negotiations, and ensuring that the professional relationships between municipal neighbours, the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB), other levels of government, and the public are a main emphasis moving forward.  This includes ensuring that the existing intermunicipal agreements are well-managed and ultimately serve the residents of the County.
    • Deliver top-notch customer service to both internal and external stakeholders and ensure it is a priority.
    • Ensure the prompt and proper handling by administration of all requests, enquiries and complaints by the public, including the establishment of County policies and procedures dealing with complaints.
    • Act as a liaison with representatives externally such as boards, commissions, agencies, consultants, neighbouring municipalities, and industry.
    • Develop effective regular and open communication strategies that advance the interests of the County, its residents, and its stakeholders.
    • Attend community events as required, which may include occasional evenings and/or weekends.
  • Strategic Planning, Economic Development, and Marketing of Rocky View County:
    • Work closely with Council and the Business & Economic Development team to develop and implement new and innovative ways to increase the profile of Rocky View County, perception of Rocky View County as an employer of choice, and awareness of Rocky View County as a destination for business.
    • Research and implement new and additional revenue sources.
  • Fiscal Management:
    • In concert with the Executive Director of Corporate Services, direct the preparation of capital and operating budgets and submit same to Council with supporting documentation; act as the senior staff member in charge of budget expenditures and financial controls.
  • General Overall Administration:
    • Establish key performance indicators that are clear and measurable with respect to the delivery of municipal services.
    • Ensure all required bylaws, resolutions, and records of the municipality are regularly reviewed, up to date and available for public review.
    • Make sure Council receives all information it requires to make effective decisions and ensure employees are informed of those decisions; provide opportunities for the public to be informed of, and aware of, County affairs.


As the CAO, you will:

  • Possess strong leadership skills with the proven ability to provide guidance and support while mentoring staff for succession planning purposes.  Also willing to mentor elected officials and ensure that Council is able to achieve the objectives and goals of the municipality.
  • Demonstrate an open, supportive, and collaborative leadership style that supports a team approach and leads others by example.
  • Implement ways to motivate and energize staff, while encouraging maximum productivity and commitment.
  • Know what makes a highly effective team, and build that team with existing staff, while filling vacancies with the most qualified and committed individuals.
  • Encourage staff to be creative and contribute to ideas leading to the growth and forward momentum of the municipality.    
  • See the big picture and set the new Council up for success in achieving the collective mandate.
  • Show vision and a progressive mindset, coupled with a willingness to change and elevate Rocky View County to new heights.  Someone who isn’t afraid of challenges.
  • Possess the hunger and drive to move things forward and get things done, as well as a strong sense of urgency.
  • Be creative, innovative, and focused.  You will have the ability to think “outside of the box” together with the desire to challenge an existing culture and improve upon it.
  • Create and foster positive and professional relationships with neighbouring municipalities as they relate to the County’s role with the CMRB, the Tsuut’ina Nation Reserve, the Stoney Nation Reserve, other levels of government (provincial and federal).
  • Be comfortable working within a changing environment and not afraid to hit conflict and resistance to change head on.
  • Have a solid understanding of, and comfort in, the negotiation process.  Someone who always strives for the win-win, but is calm and focused when representing the County in said negotiations.
  • Have a thick skin and not be swayed by vested interests when representing, or negotiating on behalf of the County.
  • Remain neutral in your views and allegiances, and have the skills to work with individuals with different outlooks to lead negotiations towards a positive outcome….that is reflective of the best interests for Rocky View County as a whole.  
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills with considerable presence and energy.  You are someone who is trustworthy, transparent, while being direct and to the point when required.
  • Be able to practice an open and transparent form of communication (oral and written) to staff, contractors, vendors, ratepayers and Council.  Proven ability to listen.
  • Provide executive leadership to all planning initiatives and ensure accountability for achievement of results throughout Rocky View County.
  • Make difficult decisions and demonstrate the confidence required to stand behind those decisions.
  • Show unimpeachable ethical and moral standards, confidentiality and personal integrity.


The ideal candidate will possess a post-secondary education in Business Administration, Commerce, Public Administration; or a combination of relevant training and proven senior leadership experience gained in a public sector setting, or in private business will be considered.  This includes:  

  • Demonstrated experience in leadership, strategic planning, organizational development, team building, customer service, and conflict resolution.
  • Solid understanding of business practices and how to run a successful operation within a dynamic, highly political, and ever-changing environment.
  • An intuitive mind for reviewing finances, and the ability to convey the financial story of the County to Council and the public in a way that is transparent and easily understood.
  • Having the creative ability to market Rocky View County and tell our story to reflect the size, scope, and opportunities the County has to offer. 
  • Working with other administrators, the CMRB, and the planning and development community to ensure that the region is moving forward as a whole, as opposed to an adversarial approach where there is no unity.
  • A demonstrated ability to work effectively with elected officials and/or boards of directors, volunteer boards and commissions - experience with public participation process and policy and public service delivery would be an asset.
  • Experience working with complex financial budgets and implementing large scale projects.
  • Knowledge of legislation and related statutes, or the willingness to learn.
  • A solid understanding of the importance of creating and managing professional relationships is a must.


A competitive compensation package will be provided to the successful candidate.  This includes an attractive and competitive base salary, a second-to-none benefits package, LAPP (Local Authorities Pension Plan), as well as the APEX Supplemental Pension Plan.  Details will be discussed in further conversations.



James Davies                               

Managing Director

DCG Executive Search Services Ltd.

Phone: (780) 758-9796

E-mail: [email protected]


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