Chief Administrative Officer
About the Municipality
Athabasca County’s Administration Office is located approximately 150 kms north of Edmonton, AB. The official 2016 Census lists the County population just under 8,000. The County is sprawled across 2,364 square miles. Municipalities within the boundaries of Athabasca County include the Town of Athabasca, Villages of Boyle, Summer villages of Bondiss, Island Lake, Island Lake South, Mewatha Beach, South Baptiste, Sunset Beach, West Baptiste, Whispering Hills, and Hamlets of Atmore, Breynat, Caslan, Colinton, Donatville, Ellscott, Grassland, Meanook, Perryvale, Rochester, and Wandering River.
Athabasca County’s economy is supported by agriculture, forestry, aggregate, tourism and recreation, and the oil and gas industry. The Town of Athabasca and the Village of Boyle are key services hub for the region. Collectively the County offers access to many services and amenities including hospitals, airport, primary, secondary, and post-secondary education, secondary medical and pharmaceutical services, fire protection, policing, seniors and supportive living care and housing, community organizations, shopping and a multitude of recreation facilities, green spaces, sports fields, areas, curling rinks, parks, lakes, and rivers.
The County is legislated under the Alberta Municipal Government Act and is governed by a Council comprised of nine (9) Councillors from which a Reeve and Deputy Reeve are appointed.
An inclusive region and vibrant centre of dynamic economic innovation, prosperity, diversity, and opportunity.
Commitment; empathy; respect; honesty, ethics and integrity; accountability, transparency; patience; service before self; communications, collaboration and partnerships.
To provide the region with leadership, direction, and guidance by championing and developing ideas and initiatives that empower, promote, and catalyze growth building economic activity.
Relevant Planning and Strategic Documents:
- Municipal Development Plan
- Area Structure Plans
- Intermunicipal Development Plans
- Building Prosperity in Athabasca Region
- Strategic Plan 2021-2025
- Strategy #1: Business Retention and Expansion
- Strategy #2: Business and Investment Attraction
- Strategy #3: Business Creation and Development
About the Opportunity
Council is seeking a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) that will embrace the community and welcome the objective of growing and developing the region along with its partners. It is preferred the new CAO reside within the County. The CAO will report to Council and will be responsible for implementing Council’s direction and vision, and the overall administrative management and operational responsibilities of the County.
Athabasca County Organization Chart (2020) link: Organization Chart
The Ideal Candidate
The Chief Administrative Officer is responsible for providing corporate leadership for the general management and stewardship of the municipality. An Ideal Chief Administrative Officer should be self-motivated, collaborative, and participatory leader. In addition to having mature tact and diplomacy skills, they will have the ability to build
trusting relationships and be fair and empathetic. They will have exceptional interpersonal skills, the ability to build and support strong teams, and the capacity to work with a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders. They should also have the capacity to work cohesively with elected officials, community organizations, industry, agencies, chambers of commerce, and other internal and external stakeholders including residents. They should possess the ability to invite and welcome diverse perspectives in a respectful environment and facilitate impactful outcomes.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) reports to Council and will:
Leadership and Staff Relationship
- Provide positive leadership, supervision, direction, mentorship and coaching to the administrative team, and review the performance goals and objectives of the leadership team, direct reports, and employees of the County.
- Conduct oneself in an honest and ethical manner.
- Involve staff in setting and reviewing annual goals and objectives.
- Provide practical guidance and timely advice, as required.
- Ensure that staff issues and concerns are addressed respectfully.
- Implement any internal reorganization of responsibilities and duties required for the effective and efficient operation of the Municipality.
- Promote and encourage the training and development of skills and professional development.
- Create and promote a work culture that embraces health and safety, productivity, succession planning and customer-oriented attitudes.
- Meet regularly with all levels of staff to ensure current understanding and knowledge relevant to operational issues, staffing concerns and any concerns received from stakeholders and County residents.
Council Relations and Support
- Maintain a positive and productive relationship with Council based on trust, commitment, and open communications.
- Unless excused, attend Council and Committee meetings to contribution and assist in deliberations.
- Be prepared for Council providing all the information required to enable well-informed decisions.
- Regularly update Council on progress, recommended changes and new matters that relate to the strategic plan and work programs.
- Prepare and submit reports and recommendations as required by Council and Council committees.
- Develop and recommend, for Council approval, bylaws and policies dealing with non-administrative matters as directed by Council, or at the initiation of Administration.
- Advise and inform Council of issues and developments and opportunities of an operational, legislative, economic development or political nature that relate to the interests of the County.
- Work with Council to address matters of importance to the County.
- Develop objectives that align with the vision and direction of Council and communities.
- Support Council in determining policy by providing information such as other levels of government objectives, social and economic trends, advice of staff, positions advocated by community groups and local businesses
Administration and Organization
- Develop, approve, and implement policies, procedures, and practices dealing strictly with administrative matters.
- Ensure the appropriate implementation of all programs and policies of the Municipality.
- Negotiate contracts, agreements, and transactions required for the effective operation of the Municipality and recommend the approval of such by Council.
- Hire or retain legal counsel on behalf of the Municipality as may be required.
- Attend meetings of such boards, committees, commissions, or other bodies as may be required.
- Maintain knowledge of the key responsibilities within the organization.
- Ensure operations and budgets align with the County’s approved strategic and business plans and goals.
- Terminate contracts on behalf of the Municipality or has been directed by Council.
- Review and recommend progressive and responsive policies, procedures, systems, and investments that may positively enhance County activities, programs, and services.
- Sign any order, agreement, cheque, negotiation instrument, or document made or executed on behalf of the Municipality.
- Assumes full accountability under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) Act.
- Listen to the concerns of Council via the CAO’ s annual performance review and seek to improve any deficiencies on an ongoing basis.
- Provide leadership, oversight, and support to direct reports and Council.
- Ensure that the organization structure for the County reflects operational needs and achieves objectives and vision established by Council.
- Liaison between industry, developers, regional municipalities, Committees, Commissions and Council.
- Ensures personal professional development relevant to CAO competencies.
- Performs other duties as may be requested by Council or required by bylaw, order, statute, or regulation.
- Work and guide the leadership team to ensure that County operations aligned with Council’s direction.
- Subject to the approval of Council, create or eliminate any organizational divisions or positions.
- Maintain a current understanding of applicable municipal legislation and leadership, as well as relevant provincial and federal government programs, policies, and initiatives.
- Ensure all powers, duties and functions prescribed under the Municipal Government Act are fulfilled
- Ensure municipal compliance to legislation as set out in the Statutes of Alberta.
- Ensure that all municipal staff comply with legislation as set out in the Statutes of Alberta.
- Maintain an understanding of municipal legislation.
- Develop productive and collaborative working relationships with community partners of the County.
- Solicit input from County residents on development of policy, initiatives, programs or investments.
- Explore and encourage community organizations to provide different services throughout the County.
- Establish positive working relationships with officials with neighboring municipalities, industry, surrounding First Nations, and provincial and federal levels of government.
Budgeting and Finance
- Manage the development and administration of the County operating and capital budgets.
- Ensure compliance with the MGA in terms of budget submissions and reporting.
- Direct as well as approve expenditures in accordance with County policy.
- Ensure for appropriate reserve fund management to address and plan for future Capital requirements.
- To oversee, review, advise, and update Council on County assets, debentures, and investments.
- In an emergency, authorize any expenditure not previously approved by Council and report to Council.
- Coordinate long-term land-use, economic development, financial, and capital planning.
- Investigate and pursue grant funding through various avenues and partnerships for the benefit of the County.
- Oversee the management of tax assessment, collection and appeals.
Economic Development and Tourism
- Be a champion for investment and recreation within the County.
- Oversee economic development and tourism planning, pursuits, promotions, initiatives, and programs.
- Advise on programs and policies to Council which create or increase employment and business opportunities for residents.
- Participate in regional economic development committees and explore potential for productive partnerships.
- Apprise Council and County employees of significant trends, opportunities, and threats.
- Post-secondary education (degree, diploma, or certificate) is an asset.
- Prior municipal leadership experience or an equivalent combination from another sector.
- Exposure or experience with municipal financial budget planning software e.g., Excel, Diamond or equivalent is an asset.
- Completion of or enrolled in a local government management program or public administrator program such as CLGM, NACLAA, LGA would be an asset.
- A provincial emergency management certification is an asset, but this certification is optional.
- A minimum of five (5) years of progressive leadership experience.
- Experience and or knowledge of the Alberta Municipal Government Act is desired.
- Experience working with a municipal Council or Governance Board is preferred.
- Demonstrated management experience with financial and budgeting processes, strategic planning, government and people relations, negotiations, communications, conflict resolution, and capital works and infrastructure.
- Experience in capital and operational planning.
- Functional computer literacy and Microsoft Office skills.
- Proven and mature interpersonal and communication abilities.
- Well organized
- Fiscally astute
- Politically astute
- Business minded
- Customer centric
- Safety conscience
Athabasca County is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognizes that a diverse staff benefits and enriches the work environment and contributes to organizational excellence. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals including candidates from diverse backgrounds and those with disabilities.
A competitive compensation package commensurate with skills and experience. Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.
In compliance and consistent with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), HumanEdge shall respect the privacy and confidentiality of all personal information provided directly or indirectly verbally, electronically or in print throughout the process of candidate engagement in our search assignments.
Information, expressions of interest and resumes contact or send in confidence to: