A New Chapter Begins at Turner Valley Town Office

Turner Valley’s search for a new CAO appears to be over.

Congratulations to Mr. Todd Sharpe. Effective May 14, 2018 he will be the New Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Turner Valley and the only employee of Mayor and Council. A quick look on his LinkedIn profile indicates that Mr. Sharpe is currently employed in Municipal Government. He has 3 years and 10 months of experience as the General Manager of Parks and Recreation for the City of Medicine Hat. It appears that Council will vote on his appointment on Monday April 2, 2018 at the regular Council meeting. Mr. Sharpe will be the overall manager of a significant number of Town of Turner Valley employees. No one really seems to know how many employees that is. The current and past Town of Turner Valley administrations don’t seem to be able to provide an organization chart for this extensive administration. The City of Medicine Hat publishes an organization chart that looks like this:

CorporateOverviewOrgChart(2)Medicine Hat
PublicServicesOrgChart(7)Medicine hat

I am, personally, very hopeful that Mr. Sharpe will be the best CAO in all of Alberta. I want him to do a great job of being a public servant. I want him to fully understand that he answers to the residents of Turner Valley via our elected officials. I want him to take the direction he is given by Council as a skilled and professional CAO should. I want him to give good advice and assistance to Council. I want him to demand that the organization he runs becomes leaner, more productive, and cost efficient. I want him to be extremely successful in this new role in our town. I want him to make the hard decisions, that are required, to put Turner Valley on a financially stable path. I want him to understand what Councillor Gordon posted on social media recently. “As an elected official, I am expected to serve the Town’s greatest assets – the citizens!” I want Todd Sharpe to understand and embody this philosophy by putting the “servant” back in the title “Public Servant”. I hope that Mr.Sharpe will choose to live in Turner Valley, buy a home in our town and pay the rates and taxes that we all pay.

The Town of Nanton has gone through the same change of leadership on roughly the same time frame as Turner Valley. From the Nanton News: http://www.nantonnews.com/2018/01/31/town-outlines-the-qualities-it-wants-in-new-administrator

The Town is looking for someone with three to five years of senior management experience in municipal governance, with a degree in business/public administration or equivalent.

The municipality says the CAO needs to be an “effective communicator” with excellent interpersonal skills, can “build a strong work plan with measurables for accountability,” can set priorities and has strong time management skills, is politically savvy, and “understands the importance of a CAO’s presence in the community.”

Experience in land and community development would be an asset, says the Town.

The Chief Administrative Officer will oversee 19 full-time staff, 10-12 seasonal staff, and direct an operations budget of $4. 5 million as well as a capital budget, reads the Town’s job posting. ….The CAO’s responsibilities include managing municipal staff, preparing materials for council meetings and acting as the primary advisor for council.

So how did the leadership selection go for the Town of Nanton? http://www.nantonnews.com/2018/03/26/town-of-nanton-has-hired-a-new-cao

Tarolyn Aaserud has over 20 years of experience in senior management including 12 years as CAO for various Alberta municipalities, says the Town.

“Her education, knowledge, and experience will serve Nanton well,” said the Town of Nanton in a statement. “Tarolyn is a ‘small town girl’ coming from an agricultural background with some of her interests being in curling, rodeo, and baseball. She is excited to join the organization and participating in the community; she and her family will be relocating to Nanton in the next few months. Tarolyn will arrive and take over her duties on May 13th, 2018.”

It will be interesting and educational to watch how the two new CAO’s operate and manage their administrations. It appears to me that if Mr.Sharpe is to be the best CAO in Alberta, as many of us hope he will be, he may have some stiff competition from Mrs. Aaserud in Nanton. I wish them both all the success they can produce and all the success we can measure.

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