New Town CAO to be hired by early February

by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent

Council has directed administration to move forward with a hiring process for a new Chief Administrative Officer for Morinville by February 2018. The position will be vacant after Morinville’s current CAO, Andrew Isbister, retires in March of next year.

Isbister will have served as CAO or Acting CAO for over two years following his retirement, a position he took over from previous CAO Debbie Oyarzun in early 2016. Isbister was reportedly planning this retirement since before accepting the new role when he previously served as the Town’s CFO.

Council briefly debated the timeline and process, agreeing with a proposal from administration that hiring a replacement in early February would allow some overlap between Isbister and his replacement. This will lead to some added costs for the Town in the CAO’s budget; however, as the Town will have to pay two salaries for more than a month.

The next step in the process will be for council to put out a request for proposal for an executive recruitment agency, something to be put in place during the fall with given timelines.

Administration predicts that the expenses for this recruitment are typically 20-30 per cent of the candidate’s annual salary, in the neighbourhood of $30,000.

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1 Comment

  1. I would like to suggest that the town leadership puts together a volunteer hiring board and does the work internally, rather than paying $30,000 and potentially coming away with mixed results. Other levels of government do their own recruiting, so why do we have to pay for it? I’m sure that there are lots of residents experienced with hiring out there that would volunteer for such a board. I know I would. One benefit would be more interest and ownership of the candidates as we live here. And as for cost, it could likely be done for the cost of small honoraria for time doing things such as reviewing resumes and interviews, rather than the big bucks that head hunters charge. if the town were to just ask… Andy is still here, so I would like to think that he would have lots to offer with regards to helping select a successor. Has this been considered? Given the relatively short tenures of past CAOs, I think that something like this stands as good a chance of success as past efforts.

    As well, two things impress me with the news. First, Andy is being great by giving eight months notice, as that gives the town’s leadership lots of time to prepare. Second, I’m impressed that Andy is retiring and not being fired. When is the last time Morinville had a CAO retire and the town wasn’t forced to pay out a huge severance package? I’ve only been a resident for 14 of the past 17 years, so I’m not sure. But no one comes to mind.

    Let’s hire for excellence, not politics or ego. Thoughts?

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