Lonely at the Top: Latest FOMG paper explores CAO role & tenure

The latest paper in ABmunis' Future of Municipal Government (FOMG) series explores the role and tenure of Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) in Alberta municipalities and the implications for those municipalities.

Authors Kate Graham and Jesse Helmer conclude that, overall, CAOs are community-minded public servants who take pride in and ownership of their work and have strong relationships with their administrations. The paper also reveals concerning trends of decreasing CAO tenure which can potentially disrupt municipal organizations. Negative political dynamics pose the greatest challenge associated with the CAO role and are a factor in increased CAO turnover.

Register today for a virtual discussion with the report’s authors on Friday, October 13, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. They will outline their key findings and discuss potential solutions identified in the paper including greater role clarity, onboarding for CAOs and education for elected officials. They will also discuss opportunities to enhance the success and stability of the CAO position and municipalities overall.

Kate Graham will share insights from this report that relate to small communities at Alberta Municipalities' 2023 Convention. Her education session – Help Wanted: Staffing and the Future of Small Communities – will take place on September 27.