Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)


Located just over an hour northwest of Alberta’s Capital Region, the Town of Barrhead (approximate population of nearly 4,500) is ideally situated and has much to offer residents and visitors alike.  The Town serves as the regional trading and service center for the County of Barrhead and surrounding area (approximate aggregated population of 11,000).   While agriculture is the mainstay of the regional economy, the Town boasts over 300 businesses including agricultural services, restaurants, retail outlets, business services, and manufacturing.   There is an abundance of indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities, as well as plenty of recreational programming and events in and around the Town.  For additional information, please visit the Town’s website at,, as well as the community statistics, demographics, and economic indicators webpage at

Vision Statement: Barrhead…..a quality community… a quality lifestyle.


Due to an upcoming retirement, the Town is actively seeking a dynamic and progressive leader to work with a cohesive and forward-thinking Council, and lead a dedicated administrative team.  

Reports to:                         Elected Mayor & Six Town Councillors

Staff Supervised:             Total Full Time Employee’s with the Town is 43

Budget:     Operating: $16M, Capital: $6.4M


The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is responsible for the overall administration of municipal operations in accordance with the objectives, policies and plans approved by Council.  The CAO is responsible for directing, controlling, and coordinating the activities of the various Town departments.  Working with the senior leadership team, the CAO ensures that the policies and programs of the Town are implemented and he/she also advises and informs Council of the day-to-day operations and affairs of the Town.  The CAO performs all the duties and exercises the powers and functions assigned by all applicable enactments or assigned by Council.


The CAO will:

  • Keep Council, through the Mayor, informed of the day-to-day operations of the Town. 
  • Provide support and direction to Council on policy development and implementation, and make recommendations where appropriate. 
  • Communicate all relevant information to Council in a professional and timely manner, and proactively anticipate the needs of Council, as well as the information required to make sound governance and policy decisions.
  • Attend all required Council meetings, Committee meetings, and Board and Commission meetings.  Assists in the decision-making process by providing well-researched advice, guidance, and consultation as required.
  • Develop and manage, in conjunction with the Director of Corporate Services and other senior staff, procedures concerning budget preparation, financial reporting, and variance analysis of the Town’s revenues and expenditures.
  • Prepare and submit to Council quarterly reports and annual budgets with appropriate explanations and substantiating information. 
  • Report to Council any matter, either administrative or financial, that relates to Town affairs.
  • Review the Town’s organizational and departmental structure regularly and recommend changes to improve operating effectiveness and efficiency. 
  • Establish, promote, and maintain comprehensive personnel policies and programs. 
  • Supervise, hire, promote, discipline, terminate, and direct all staff reporting directly to the CAO, within appropriate management practices and legislation. 
  • Oversee the development, implementation and monitoring of performance standards for staff.  Complete regular performance evaluations on staff directly reporting to CAO, and ensure that performance appraisals are conducted for all Town staff on an annual basis. 
  • Enforce all By-Laws, and implement all resolutions of the Town. 
  • Ensure efficient and cost-effective procurement of goods and services for the Town. 
  • Monitor the prompt and proper administrative handling of all requests, inquiries, and complaints by residents of the Town, including the establishment of related Town policies and procedures for dealing with such complaints.
  • Direct the execution of all documents, agreements, or contracts approved by Council. 
  • Liaise with other local government officials and senior governments (i.e., Provincial and Federal) as required. 
  • Undertake the responsibility to stay informed and updated on governmental and community affairs, and ensure that Council and staff are made aware of significant trends. 
  • Perform any other duties as may be required by Council.


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

  • Leadership – A progressive and effective leadership approach.  Provide guidance and support to all staff while allowing Town employees opportunities to grow in their careers by providing necessary resources required for them to be successful.  Serve as a mentor and positive role model in guiding both staff and elected officials alike.   Exhibit a practical and common-sense approach.  Willing to get out of the office from time-to-time and visit Town staff.
  • Visionary/Economic Development/Growth - Understand and interpret trends and management challenges with clarity, energy, and confidence.  Calculated risk taker with an entrepreneurial mindset who is able to see and articulate the potential for the municipality through economic development initiatives and business opportunities.   
  • Interpersonal – A collaborative “people person”.  Works well with individuals from all backgrounds and disciplines, is sensitive to diverse needs, and possesses the proven ability to integrate teams.  Personable and approachable to all members of the community.  Honest, transparent, and compassionate.
  • Communication – Solid verbal and written communication skills with the ability to convey a message with clarity and conciseness to a diverse audience. 
  • Professional - An integral part of the administrative team.  Display a “first amongst equals” style, with high ethical and moral standards.  A solid understanding of the importance of regional partnerships and shared service agreements.  Top-notch negotiating skills while always striving for the win-win.   Current connections into the Provincial Government, coupled with the ability to get in front of key decision makers.     
  • Politically Astute - Know and understand legislative and regulatory processes, and possess an intuitive ability to read the political implications of recommendations and actions. 
  • Change Management - Innovative with a mature, progressive, and engaging style.  Interested in on-going professional development for all employees.  Not afraid to think outside of the box in   order to advance the vision and standing of the overall community.    
  • Corporate and Strategic Planning - Provide executive leadership to all strategic planning initiatives, and ensure accountability for achievement of results throughout the municipality. 
  • Financial Management - A proven ability to work in a fiscal environment of restraint and lead with a strong sense of service.  Efficient in budgeting, financial management, and information reporting. 
  • Volunteer Service – Demonstrate a non-wavering commitment to community service, with a strong belief and engagement in volunteering.  A willingness to get involved and be visible in the community.  
  • Self-Confidence – Possess confidence in own skills and abilities.  Able to make difficult decisions and stand by those decisions while always demonstrating a positive attitude.  Not afraid to stand up to and challenge Council in a professional and respectful manner.  
  • Organized –Promote and run a high-functioning and service-oriented administrative team.  Able to simplify complex matters and issues. 
  • Customer Service - Confidence in ensuring customer/resident needs are identified and promptly addressed.   Ensure appropriate consultation with all stakeholders and deliver timely, cost effective, and quality services for the Municipality.  Continue solid professional relations with the Chamber and the business community.  
  • Human Resource Management - Excellent human resource knowledge and interpersonal skills to work positively with senior leadership and staff.  Sensitive and caring with the ability to bring diverse individuals and program initiatives together using strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills.   Understands the importance of confidentiality. 


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

  • A post-secondary degree or diploma in public administration or a related field is desirable.  
  • Certificate in Local Government Administration (CLGM), or a professional designation in a related discipline is beneficial.
  • Previous experience at the CAO level, or in a senior municipal leadership capacity.
  • Familiarity of working in a multi-dimensional service organization with the proven ability to provide leadership, adapt and integrate complex planning and policy initiatives. 
  • A positive record of working effectively with elected officials, volunteer boards, committees, and public participation processes.
  • Proven experience in strategic planning, organization development, and in achieving results in building solid teams.  A focus on succession planning, coaching, and mentorship.  
  • Experience in implementing capital works and infrastructure improvement programs. 
  • A keen interest in, and focus on, OH&S, safety excellence, and the willingness to practice and promote a safe working environment.
  • Ability to apply computer tools to work projects.


A competitive compensation package will be provided to the successful candidate.   This includes an attractive and competitive base salary (current band is $154,676 to $204,821), a comprehensive benefits package, LAPP (Local Authorities Pension Plan), and enrollment in the supplemental APEX pension plan.  Details will be discussed in further conversations.


James Davies, Managing Director
DCG Executive Search Services Ltd.
(780) 758-9796

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