Starland County

Morrin, AB (North of Drumheller, AB)


Chief Administrative Officer

About Starland County

Starland County is in Southern Alberta, approximately 90 minutes northeast of the City of Calgary. Bordered with the Town of Drumheller to the south about 15 minutes away, the County is economically driven primarily by agriculture, oil and gas and linear infrastructure (electric generation and transmission lines and pipelines).

Rich in agricultural and oil and gas economic history, Starland County is made up of five divisions which include several villages and hamlets. Surrounded by natural beauty in the scenic Red Deer River Valley, Starland County’s community offers incredible terrain, archaeological history, and ample opportunity for outdoor recreation.

An impressive video montage of all that the County has to offer can be found here.

Starland County Council is made up of five councilors, one representing each division of the County. Council is led by a Reeve and Deputy Reeve who are elected by Council each fall. With more than 2,000 residents, Starland County is a small but tight-knit community of passionate and hardworking people.

The County’s 2021-2031 Strategic Plan is guided by seven priority focus areas:

  1. Economic Growth
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication
  4. Community Pride
  5. Service Excellence
  6. Financial Sustainability and,
  7. Sustainable Infrastructure

About the Opportunity

Reporting to Council, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is responsible for providing leadership to members of the senior management team and for the administration and coordination of the delivery of services to the County’s residents and businesses in a manner that will ensure the sustainable utilization of human, financial and physical resources of the County. The CAO implements the objectives, policies and programs approved by Council and in accordance with the Municipal Government Act, the bylaws of the County and all other applicable legislation.

The CAO’s direct reports include a:

  • Director of Legislative Services
  • Director of Corporate Services
  • Director of Municipal Services
  • Supervisor of Public Works
  • Agricultural Field person

The Ideal Candidate

The CAO is responsible for providing corporate leadership for the general management and stewardship of the municipality. The ideal CAO will be a self-motivated, collaborative, and a participatory leader. In addition to having mature tact and diplomacy skills, they will have the ability to build trusting relationships, 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. Equally as important, 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 invite and welcome diverse perspectives in a respectful environment and facilitate impactful outcomes.

Specifically, Starland County’s new Chief Administrative Officer will:

  • Be “out in front” and lead his or her team to new levels of service and accountability.
  • Be prepared to give courageous advice and then fearlessly implement the direction of Council.
  • Be inspiring, sharp, and charismatic; and part of a “new school” of CAO’s that is adaptive, open minded, and flexible while adhering to bylaws, policies, and procedures.
  • Be a skilled communicator- with staff, council, and the public.

 Roles and Responsibilities

The CAO reports to Council and will have the following responsibilities:

Council Relations and Support

  • Diligently carry out the direction of Council.
  • Maintain a positive and productive relationship with Council based on trust, commitment, and open communications.
  • Regularly update Council on progress, recommended changes, and new matters that relate to the strategic plan.
  • Prepare and submit timely reports and recommendations as required by Council and Council committees.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Leadership and Staff Relationships

  • Provide positive leadership, supervision, direction, mentorship, and coaching to the senior leadership team, and review the performance goals and objectives of the employees of the County.
  • Work and guide the leadership team to ensure that County operations are aligned with Council’s direction; and that Council intent is carried out thorough to completion.
  • Maintain full and professional relationships with an appropriate network of federal and provincial government employees, neighbours, useful contractors and professional advisors, and mentors.
  • Involve staff in setting and reviewing annual goals and objectives.
  • Provide practical guidance and timely advice to staff, as required.
  • Implement any internal reorganization of responsibilities and duties required for the effective and efficient operation of the County.
  • Promote and encourage the training and development of staff.
  • Create and promote a work culture that embraces health and safety, positivity, productivity, succession planning and customer-oriented attitudes.

Legislative Responsibilities

  • 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 (MGA) are fulfilled.

Community Engagement

  • Develop productive and collaborative working relationships with the community partners of the County.
  • Ensure that the dealings of the municipality with residents are professional, respectful, accurate, and timely.
  • Solicit input from County residents on development of policy, initiatives, programs, or investments when advisable.
  • Establish and maintain positive working relationships and partnerships 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.
  • Ensure that the financial operations of the municipality are in accordance with the direction of council and that finances are recorded and reported in an accurate and timely way.
  • Coordinate long-term land-use, economic development, financial, and capital planning.

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.


  • Post-secondary post-secondary education in Administration, Commerce, Business or a combination of equivalent education and experience
  • Specific or supplemental education in public administration or management is a significant asset.
  • A minimum of seven years of progressive municipal leadership experience or an equivalent combination from another sector.
  • Experience with or relevant exposure and understanding of the Alberta Municipal Government Act.
  • Experience working with a municipal Council or a governance board.
  • Experience in large-scale capital and operational budgeting and planning.
  • Proven exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A rural/ agricultural background and/or economic development experience would be an asset.

Equal Opportunity

Starland 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 is available. 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.

To apply:

Please forward resumes and a cover letter showing the distinct link between your experience and the requirements for this role, in confidence to:

Todd Sharpe, Partner
HumanEdge Global
Phone: 403-828-0286