Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Posted on March 20, 2024

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Position Details:

Employer: City of Brooks

Location: Brooks, AB

Industry: Municipal Government

Position Outline:


The City of Brooks is located within the County of Newell, approximately 185 kilometers southeast of Calgary, and 110 kilometers northwest of Medicine Hat on Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway). 

With a population of nearly 15,000 residents, the City has cultivated a demographic that is wondrously diverse, with residents originating from almost 70 different countries who have settled in Brooks and made it their home.  Which is why we are known as the “City of 100 Hellos”.   

Brooks embodies the warmth and charm of a rural municipality and a close-knit community, with expansive farmlands, tarmac country roads, and an idyllic ambience one would never find in typical urban city centres. 

The City offers an abundance of both indoor and outdoor cultural and recreational activities to suit an array of interests.  These activities and attractions include: Lake Newell - offering endless water sport options, camping, multiple golf courses, several ball diamonds (home to the Brooks Bombers Western Major League Baseball team), as well as several state-of-the-art recreation facilities housing a robust aquatics centre, field house, arena (home to the Brooks Bandits Junior Hockey Club), and many other recreation and sporting options for individuals, teams and families alike.

Further enriching the charm, Dinosaur Provincial Park, located just outside of Brooks, is one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world, providing an awe-inspiring glimpse of the prehistoric beasts that roamed the area, long before civilization began.

For additional information on the City of Brooks, and the geographic region, please visit our website at



Position Reports to:       Mayor and Six Councillors (Seven Total Council Members)

Direct Reports:

Total Staff:                         Approximately 100 FTE’s

Budget:                              Operating - $30.7M

                                             Capital - $28M

                                             Total - $60M

*For more detailed information on the 2024 budget, please visit:



The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is the administrative head of the municipality, and provides effective support and advice to the elected Mayor and Council within the framework of interprovincial legislation governing the City of Brooks.  The incumbent will provide strategic direction and leadership to all employees of the City, and will be instrumental in developing, implementing, and executing policies, strategies, and objectives (as approved by Council) to address the immediate and long-term needs of the Municipality.  Vital to this role is the ongoing open communication and effective relationships between Council, administration, neighbouring municipalities, the Province, local businesses, potential investors, ratepayers, and the general public.


Advice, Guidance & Support to Council:

  • Support the Mayor and Council in determining policy by providing well-researched and objective advice, clearly articulated alternatives, ongoing counsel, and the presentation of information from staff recommendations, community groups, and citizens so that decisions are being made using effective and realistic strategies.
  • Advise Council on matters relating to finance, service delivery, legal issues, use of resources, operational developments, as well as any other municipal matters as they pertain to the City’s interest.
  • Recommend to the Mayor and Council any new and/or revised policies and programs that are consistent with the strategic direction, including public and stakeholder input.
  • The CAO will maintain a relationship with Council based on trust, commitment and the ongoing willingness to communicate. 

Leadership & Management:

  • Maintain an effective organization structure and culture that reflects the changing needs of the organization that will ensure the ongoing development of a sound business operation while promoting organizational efficiencies within the framework of the strategic plan. 
  • Develop and lead an effective senior leadership team, foster others to develop their skills and potential while demonstrating the attributes of self-confidence, flexibility, commitment, and self-control.
  • Together with the senior leadership team, work to ensure that the municipal operations are functional and in line with the direction of Council.
  • 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.

Economic Development Support:

  • Work closely with the Mayor and Council, the Community/Economic Development department, as well as regional partners to implement an economic development strategy in order to promote local businesses and attract new businesses to the City of Brooks. 
  • Promote an “open for business” mindset and always strive for new and innovative ways of doing things.

Financial Administration:

  • Work collaboratively with the Finance Manager to ensure appropriate financial and administrative systems are in place that maximize the effectiveness of resource utilization within the objectives, policies, and budgets established by Council.
  • Prepare and present financial options for Council’s consideration, including the general operating budget, the capital budget, and the capital plan.
  • Develop short-term and long-term financial plans along with appropriate financial strategies as they relate to municipal finances and the ongoing sustainability of such.
  • Regularly prepare and submit to Council estimates and variance analyses as they pertain to revenue and expenditures, capital programs, and municipal reserves.

Customer Service/Public Relations:

  • Ensure that all employees remain committed to a high level of public and customer service (both internally and externally), and foster a dynamic climate that continually searches for new and better approaches towards fulfilling the City’s mandate.
  • Establish positive working relationships with the provincial and federal government, adjacent municipalities and their CAO’s, regional boards and committees, relevant municipal associations, businesses and industry, volunteer groups, as well as the general public.
  • Maintain a professional and positive presence within the community, and take a leadership role in facilitating public participation processes.
  • Attend community events as required, which may include evenings and/or weekends.

Open and Transparent Communication:

  • Promote effective and transparent communication among Council, employees and the general public.
  • Guarantee that the media and the public are kept well-informed on relevant matters regarding the City’s operations and initiatives through reports to Council, social media and other media contacts, outlined in an approved annual communications plan.
  • Provide background information to the media, and refer political comment to the Mayor or appropriate Councillor.

Strategic Planning:

  • Support the Mayor and Council in the formulation and updating of a Strategic Plan for the City.  This plan will chart a future, identify critical issues, and set annual objectives and strategies.
  • Create a dynamic climate that results in the continual search for new and more effective approaches to fulfilling the City’s mandate.

Resource Management:

  • Together with the Human Resource Coordinator, oversee the general management of labour relations, staff evaluations, and human resource functions within the City (i.e., up-to-date job descriptions; effective programs for ongoing professional development of staff; and key performance indicators (KPI’s) to measure employee performance).
  • Ensure that appropriate levels of resources (human and otherwise) are available and fall within the budgets as approved by Council.
  • Safeguard municipal assets with the provision of suitable insurance and appropriate protection against claims.

Policy & Procedure Administration:

  • Ensure that administration and staff adhere to the MGA, policies set by Council, as well as relevant Provincial and Federal statutes.

Ongoing Academic and Professional Development Training Opportunities:

  • Keep apprised of governmental and community affairs (local and regional), and advise Council and staff of significant trends and upcoming issues.
  • Participate in all relevant conferences, conventions, and training sessions as approved by Council.

Other Duties as Required:

  • Ensure that workplace health and safety remain a point of focus and is updated on a regular basis and guarantee that health and safety remain a top priority for the municipality.



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

  • Solid leadership and direction through personal example while demonstrating professionalism and a sound work ethic at all times. 
  • 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.  The willingness to coach and mentor staff with the goal of resource retention and ultimately succession planning.
  • Being actively involved in the community, as well as a thirst and interest in growing the City through economic development and other long-term sustainable initiatives.
  • A comprehensive understanding of municipal finance and the budgeting process.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, interpersonal, and public relations skills.
  • Unimpeachable ethical and moral standards, personal integrity, and willing to follow the City’s Code of Conduct.
  • The capacity to maintain confidentiality and deal with highly sensitive information.
  • A high degree of personal initiative, ability to prioritize tasks, work in high pressure and challenging situations, meet tight deadlines, keen sense for accuracy and attention to detail, and work both as part of a team as well as independently.
  • A commitment to ongoing strong regional working relationships and the willingness to always promote and support the City of Brooks, as well as the overall region positively.
  • Politically savvy with the ability to know and understand legislative and regulatory processes, coupled with the intuition to read the political implications of recommendations and actions.
  • The ability to interpret bylaws, legislation, and policies as required.  Previous experience applying for, and managing grants.
  • 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.
  • A welcoming, trusting, and calming demeanor, coupled with effective conflict management skills. 
  • Self-confidence and effective assertiveness with decision making.
  • The ability to research and implement best practices, policies, and procedures.
  • Able to build consensus, lead change, and think creatively.  Innovative and open to consider alternative approaches.
  • A progressive and dynamic outlook with the ability to recognize and interpret shifting global, national and provincial realities and their potential impact on the local community.



The successful candidate will possess the following, or an acceptable combination focused on administrative leadership:

  • A post-secondary degree or diploma and/or significant and relevant direct involvement in senior management, coupled with executive leadership experience in a dynamic organization.
  • A proven record of working effectively with elected officials and/or Boards, highly skilled staff, community volunteers, boards and committees, and public participation processes.
  • An understanding of, and appreciation for, economic development and marketing practices and strategies, coupled with a passion for promoting economic growth within the community.
  • Solid fiscal management experience and expertise, especially around planning and budgeting.  The ability to convey financial information in a manner that can be clearly understood by others.
  • Working knowledge of the MGA and other relevant municipal legislation, as well a CLGM designation would be an asset.
  • An understanding of, and appreciation for, good governance.
  • Willingness to work in a union environment (CUPE).



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, and enrollment in LAPP (Local Authorities Pension Plan), as well as the supplemental APEX pension plan.  Details will be discussed in further conversations.

An American Moving To This Small City In Alberta Got The Weirdest Warning  From Locals - Narcity


James Davies  

Managing Director

DCG Executive Search Services Ltd.

(780) 758-9796

[email protected]

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