Monday, February 26, 2024

Council’s Hunt For New CAO Continues

After nearly four months since the departure of Meaford’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Rob Armstrong, Council’s hunt for a replacement continues. Armstrong and the municipality parted ways on July 31, and an interim CAO, municipal Clerk Matt Smith, was appointed on August 28, to fill the gap until a new permanent CAO could be hired.

On October 30, 2023, Council provided direction to the HR Manager in closed session to move forward with the recruitment of a permanent CAO. Council also directed that the recruitment process be conducted by municipal staff, rather than an external consultant,” noted a staff report to council presented on November 20. “At the October 30, 2023 closed Council meeting, the HR Manager provided Council with the current CAO job description, and asked each member of Council to provide their feedback on the job description by November 3, 2023.”

During a special meeting held on Monday, November 20, Council unanimously approved an updated job description for the position, and gave direction to the municipal human resources manager to advertise the position, which offers a salary between $150,137 – $182,494, depending on experience, education, and other factors.

The updated job description includes revisions based on the feedback from members of Council, as well as suggestions from the Interim CAO and HR Manager based on current best practice. The main updates centred around strategic priorities for the CAO and wording to allow for a stronger and more measurable performance review,” noted staff’s report to Council.

The position summary included in the updated job description for the CAO, the only municipal employee that reports to and can be hired or fired by council, notes that the CAO is responsible for the overall leadership and administration of municipal operations.

Reporting directly to Council, this position is accountable for the overall leadership and administration of municipal operations as well as the execution of Council’s Strategic Priorities and all other objectives, decisions and actions approved by Council. Leading and overseeing the Leadership Team, this position is responsible for providing direction and oversight to all municipal staff, while striving for continuous improvement in performance. The CAO position will inform and guide Council, providing recommendations and advice related to all operations and affairs of the Municipality. The CAO will direct the overall planning, strategy and business affairs of the Municipality of Meaford and ensure all corporate objectives, organizational initiatives, and goals are achieved in accordance with approved by-laws, policies, budgeted resources and strategies,” noted the position summary provided to council on November 20.

With Council’s approval of the updated job description, which can be found on the municipal website (, Meaford’s human resources manager will now advertise the position for approximately one month, and qualified candidates will be presented to council for consideration.

Based on Council’s direction, the process will be run by the Municipality’s HR Manager, with the whole of Council participating on the selection committee. Once the job description is approved by Council, it will be posted immediately on the municipal website, and through various professional associations. The posting will be active for approximately one month. This may be extended, depending on the quality of candidates received. During the candidate review process, the HR Manager will assess the criteria outlined in the job description against the skill-set of the candidates and will narrow the pool to those most suitable for presenting to Council,” staff’s report to Council advised.

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