Skip to main content

CAMA Launches CAO Employment Contract Toolkit

November  5, 2020.  Recognizing the importance of an employment contract for municipal administrators,  the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) has launched a CAO Employment Contract Toolkit which is now available to members by visiting the Member’s Section (Resources area) of the CAMA website.

The toolkit was released during a virtual launch that provided an overview of this document along with Glen Davies, CAMA Member and CAO for the Town of Gravenhurst, Ontario sharing some of the lessons he has learned over the years in the public and private sector that have helped him succeed and survive the challenges when negotiating a contract.  Don Lidstone, Q.C., Managing Partner of Lidstone & Company, a local government law firm with offices in British Columbia and Alberta, also shared his expertise on this subject.

“This toolkit is meant to be a resource to support our members whether they are existing CAOs (or senior administrators) with past experience in the role or potential future CAOs with no experience as a CAO when negotiating their contract with elected officials.” said Jake Rudolph, CAMA President/Chair of the Toolkit Committee and CAO for the City of Nanaimo, BC.   “I believe the toolkit delivers on the outcomes identified by the Board and Committee, which were to provide guidance and support to our members along with recommendations and best practices that are a win-win for both parties.  CAMA hopes that this toolkit will become a valuable resource to support senior administrators in their careers.”

In addition to President Rudolph, the CAO Employment Contract Toolkit Committee included the following CAMA members:  Jeff Renaud (CAO, Town of St. Stephen, NB/CAMA Past President); Dawn Chaplin, CAO/Clerk, Town of Torbay, NL/CAMA Board Representative for Newfoundland/Labrador; Marc Landry, City Manager, City of Moncton, NB/CAMA Past President; Andy Brown, CAO, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, ON; Phyllis Carlyle, CAO, Regional District of Nanaimo, BC; and David Stewart, CAO/Treasurer, Municipality of Hastings Highlands, ON.  The Committee worked in collaboration with consultant Transitional Solutions Inc. (TSI) to develop the Toolkit.  TSI is a municipal consulting firm headquartered in Edmonton, AB that provides services across Canada.

The Toolkit offers information on how to assess the political environment and culture of the community, how to negotiate an employment contract, important provisions to include, the different legislation requirements between Provinces and Territories, pension/portability and benefits, the importance of having a performance evaluation, legal advice - just to name a few.  It also provides some sample contracts, a sample CAO Bylaw with a job description and sample contract clauses for each topic.

There will be sections of the toolkit that make more sense for a CAO or Senior Administrator of a different sized community, a rural versus urban community or a community in another Province, so while the Committee made every effort to ensure the toolkit covers all potential situations, it is again important to ensure you have done your local research to understand what the norms are for that particular community or region.

Got questions?  Want more information?  Contact Jennifer Goodine, Executive Director, CAMA National Office, 1-866-771-2262,  If you are not already a CAMA Member and would like access to this toolkit please sign up today at 50% for the first year!


About CAMA:

The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) is a national, non-profit association open to all Chief Administrative Officers / City Managers and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to a CAO.  With a membership of over 650 senior municipal employees, from all parts of Canada, CAMA collectively represents more than 80% of the nation’s population.

Building better municipalities together.

Learn About Cama Membership