Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Posted on April 27, 2022

Apply Now Contact Us

Position Details:

Employer: Town of Nipawin

Location: Nipawin, SK

Industry: Municipal Government

Position Outline:

The Town of Nipawin (one of the largest towns in Saskatchewan) is a safe, friendly, diverse, and welcoming community that provides employment and business opportunities for future growth and development, located on the forest fringe in the boreal area of northeastern Saskatchewan.

Nipawin has a solid population of 4500, and offers a strong retail and service sector capable of serving the region.  Nipawin is nestled between two lakes: Codette and Tobin.  Boreal forest expands to the North and some of the best agricultural land in Canada surrounds the area.  These conditions have led to Nipawin becoming, and continuing to be known, as one of the best all season recreational areas anywhere.  

In addition to an array of shopping and dining opportunities, Nipawin offers exceptional facilities and outdoor options for citizens and visitors alike including: a world-class 18-hole golf course with on-site conference facilities and dining, an arena, downhill and cross-country skiing, an outdoor swimming pool and waterslide, a biking and skate park, an extensive system of groomed trails, as well as cultural attractions such as the Nipawin Living Forestry Museum.  Nearby is a regional park with camping sites, a spray park, swinging bridge, a trout pond, and home to some of the best fishing, and renowned fishing competitions.

Alberta man dies after plunging down embankment near Nipawin, Sask. | CBC  News

Nipawin is well known for its volunteers and its hometown spirit.  The Town offers a safe community with an outstanding quality of life including an excellent K to 12 education system, adult educational options through Cumberland College, as well as access to excellent healthcare services and facilities in town.

Please visit our website ( for further information on the Town of Nipawin.  


The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) directs the overall planning, coordination, and control of all municipal operations in accordance with the objectives, policies, bylaws, and plans as approved by Council, as well as legislation outlined in The Municipalities Act of Saskatchewan….and she/he is the primary policy advisor to Council.

The CAO reports directly to the Mayor and six Councillors, oversees a total combined budget of $14M, and is responsible for an overall staff complement of approximately 40 FTE’s, PT, and seasonal unionized employees (CUPE).



Town of Nipawin reminding residents to keep property clean | saskNOW |  Saskatchewan | News, Sports, Weather, Obituaries, Classifieds


The Town of Nipawin is seeking an experienced strategic leader who can work with Council and Administration to ensure that the Town remains a crucial economic driver and player within the region.  Key areas of responsibility include:

  1. Management of Municipality:
    1. Administer the day-to-day business of the Town in accordance with the bylaws, policies and resolutions approved by Council.
    2. Ensure proper oversight of all departments and operations of the Municipality to ensure the Town is being managed professionally, effectively, and efficiently.
    3. Guide and direct all department heads in the recruitment, training, assessment, and termination of their staff.  Act as the approval authority for all such decisions.
  2. Relationship to the Mayor and Councillors:
    1. Develop and maintain a positive, open, and professional relationship with the Mayor and all members of Council.
    2. Ensure that the Mayor is treated in accordance with their status as the Chief Elected Official, and thus provide regular briefings and/or assistance as requested or required.
    3. Aid the Mayor, as the chair of Council meetings, and ensures that the Mayor is prepared for all agenda matters in a professional and timely fashion.  Similarly provide such assistance in preparing for major meetings and/or conferences.
  3. Strategic Planning:
    1. Recommend goals, objectives, policies, and programs to Council.  Meet with Council regularly to review and update.
    2. Support and engage in an annual corporate strategic planning process with Council.
    3. Assist Council in the development of long-term planning and programs to ensure that the Town has quality infrastructure and services are maintained in an up-to-date manner.
    4. Work closely with Council to continue to promote local businesses and attract new businesses to the Town of Nipawin.
    5. Research and implement new and additional revenue sources.
    6. Seek out, apply for, and manage all applicable grants and additional funding sources available to the Town.
  4. Policy Advisor:
    1. Direct the implementation and monitor progress of policies and programs approved by Council; evaluate and recommend changes as required.
    2. Update existing policies consistently and in a timely manner and ensure all of Council and senior management is aware of current policies.  Ensure Council is provided with thoroughly researched and coordinated information in a timely manner.
    3. Review and sign off all management reports and recommendations before they are considered by Council at its regular and/or special meetings.
    4. Provide advice to applicable committees of Council on all new and/or revised policies.
  5. Departmental Supervision:
    1. Coordinate departmental activities; recommend to Council any necessary changes in duties or authority within administration.
    2. Chair regular (bi-weekly minimum) management team meetings.
    3. Ensure that each department is managed in accordance with accepted principles.
  6. Performance Assessment:
    1. Agree to the right of Council to undertake an annual performance review of the CAO (or more frequently as determined by policy, bylaw, or resolution).
  7. Financial Management:
    1. Direct the development of the annual and multi-year budgets and establishment of the financial policies.
    2. Ensure the Town has current and appropriate tendering and procurement policies and practices which provide the Town with quality suppliers and reasonable prices for all goods and services.
    3. Work with the Finance Department (CFO) in coordinating budget information.
    4. Coordinate the work of Department Heads in preparation of budget estimates; ensure that deadlines and guidelines are routinely followed and met.
    5. Regularly monitor all municipal investments and the fiscal management of all Town-owned facilities.
    6. Ensure that expenditures are within the Council-approved budget.  Make sure that Council is kept aware of any/all changes to the proposed and/or current budget.
    7. Review with Council the potential fiscal impact of any requested policy or program changes.
  8. Human Resource Management:
    1. Within established Council policies and budget guidelines, and in accordance with applicable Collective Agreements, direct the appointment, promotion, demotion or transfer or dismissal of staff.
    2. Build and lead a high functioning administrative team through progressive change while ensuring office duties and functions are carried out in a confidential, efficient, accurate and timely manner, in accordance with municipal legislation, policies and procedures,
    3. Train and mentor staff with the goal of leadership development for continued succession planning.  
    4. Establish key performance indicators that are clear and measurable with respect to the delivery of municipal services.
    5. Ensure the municipality has a well-developed, comprehensive, and current human resource plan.  Ensure that all HR policies are updated regularly and that, where applicable, they reflect Provincial standards.
  9. Communication & Public Relations:
    1. Act as a liaison to maintain positive public relations with ratepayers, businesses, industry, neighbouring municipalities, key stakeholders, First Nations (including Cumberland House Cree Nation, Red Earth Cree Nation, and Shoal Lake Cree Nation), contractors, as well as other levels of government.
    2. Deliver top-notch customer service to both internal and external stakeholders and ensure it is a priority for all staff.
    3. Ensure the prompt and proper handling by administration of all requests, enquiries and complaints by the public, including the establishment of Town policies and procedures dealing with complaints.
    4. Develop effective regular and open communication strategies that advance the interests of the Town, its residents and its stakeholders.
    5. Attend community events as required, which may include occasional evenings and/or weekends.
  10. Bylaws, Agreements and Contracts:
    1. Direct the execution of all policies, documents, agreements, or contracts approved by Council.
    2. Ensure all required bylaws, resolutions, and records of the municipality are regularly reviewed, up to date and available for public review.
    3. Ensure the satisfactory preparation of bylaws and that copies of all official correspondence, records, bylaws, are retained by the office.  Ensure that the statutory provisions of the Act(s) are compiled relative to records management, freedom of information.  Provide Council with a copy of the relevant records as set by policy or bylaw.
    4. Act as an “Officer” of the Town regarding the Freedom of Information and Protection Act.
  11. Meetings:
    1. Prepare meeting agendas and attend all regular and special meetings of Council and other meetings as requested by Council and provide advice on relevant matters as the principal policy advisor to Council.
    2. Delegate the response to requests from Council as appropriate but retain accountability for the flow of all such information.
    3. Ensure that Council is informed of any planned regular, special or committee meetings and the purpose/agenda thereof.  Direct the preparation of Council agenda packages, including background documentation.  Ensure that the agenda package represents the best efforts of the administration.
    4. Ensure that the minutes of all such meetings are properly and expediently recorded and filed as an official record.  Maintain a separate bylaw register
  12. Special Services:
    1. Coordinate the provision of special services (e.g., legal, audit, consulting) to the Town as approved by ongoing Council policy and/or resolution.
    2. Ensure that such services are used in a meaningful manner and that the Council is made aware of any problems which arise pertaining to such special and external services.
  13. Briefing Council:
    1. 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.
    2. Update Council regularly on all major ongoing and emerging issues relative to their status and any expectations of action by Council.
    3. Maintain an awareness of regional and provincial activities as they pertain to the Town; brief Council as to any implications or possible impacts.
  14. Provincial/Federal Liaison:
    1. Prepare resolutions for Council’s consideration and the consideration of any regional provincial and federal jurisdictions and associations.  Provide comments to Council on the resolutions under consideration by the applicable Provincial/Federal Association and FCM.
  15. Other Related Duties:
    1. Fulfill all obligations of The Municipalities Act of Saskatchewan either personally, or as permitted by legislation or policy, by delegation.  Perform other related duties as may be requested by Council.


The CAO will possess the following to be successful:

  • A visionary who isn’t afraid of challenges and who possesses a progressive mentality.  Can work with developers and current and potential business investors from an economic development perspective.
  • Strong leadership skills with the proven ability to provide guidance and support and mentor staff for succession planning purposes.
  • Open and supportive collaborative leader who supports a team approach and leads by example. 
  • Established experience in leadership, strategic planning, organizational development, team building, conflict resolution and labour relations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with elected officials, volunteer boards and commissions and experience with public participation process and policy and public service delivery.
  • Ability to engage and involve, in a professional and sensitive manner, employees, residents, stakeholders, and neighbouring municipalities and groups, while being culturally sensitive and aware.
  • The drive to move initiatives forward and get things done, as well as a strong sense of urgency.
  • Creative, innovative and focused on new ways of doing things.  Ability to think “outside of the box” and enjoys challenging an existing culture.
  • Ability to work within a changing environment and not afraid to hit conflict and resistance to change head on.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with considerable presence and energy.  Someone who is direct and to the point when required - the ability to deal with complaints and issues in a professional courteous manner.  Proven ability to listen.
  • Ability to provide executive leadership to all planning initiatives and ensure accountability for achievement of results throughout the Town.
  • Make difficult decisions and demonstrate the confidence required to stand behind those decisions.
  • Politically savvy with the aptitude to know and understand legislative and regulatory processes coupled with the intuition to read the political implications of recommendations and actions.
  • The ability to research and implement best practices, policies, and procedures.
  • Unimpeachable ethical and moral standards, confidentiality and personal integrity.  Trustworthy and willing to follow the Town’s Code of Conduct.


The ideal candidate will possess a post-secondary diploma or degree in Business Administration, Commerce, Public Administration, or a related field, a minimum of a “Standard Level C Certificate” in Local Government Administration, together with seven (7) years of progressive experience in a municipal (or related public sector) environment.  At the discretion of Council, a combination of related coursework and experience may be deemed suitable.

The CAO will also have:

  • Experience working with Acts and Regulations applicable to local government, bylaws, policies, OH&S and the Labour Standards Act, municipal accounting practices, budgeting, and implementing capital works and infrastructure improvement programs.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of The Municipalities Act of Saskatchewan and related statutes, or equivalent experience managing in a government environment.


A competitive salary, a comprehensive municipal benefits package, and MEPP (Municipal Employees’ Pension Plan) is available.  Specifics will be discussed in a personal interview. 


James Davies  

Managing Director

DCG Executive Search Services Ltd.

Phone: (780) 758-9796

E-Mail: [email protected]


Apply Now