Michael Merritt appointed Chief Administrative Officer
Cape Breton Regional Municipality council hires new CAO
July 29, 2014
SYDNEY, NS - Cape Breton Regional Municipality's new CAO is returning to his Cape Breton roots.
Michael Merritt, 54, an Assistant Deputy Minister in Alberta's Department of Municipal Affairs, was born and raised in Victoria Mines. Today, he became the first Chief Administrative Officer hired by CBRM council as per their duty under the Municipal Government Act.
Merritt has 32 years of experience in the public service in Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario.
Since 2002, he has worked in Alberta where he is an Assistant Deputy Minister for Alberta Municipal Affairs with responsibility for municipal grants, assessment and taxation, municipal advisory services and legislation. Merritt chaired the Slave Lake Wildfire Task force, which oversaw the rebuilding the town of Slave Lake following devastating wildfires in 2011.
Before his move to Alberta, Merritt worked for 15 years with the New Brunswick government in several departments and served as Executive Director with Municipal Affairs and Environment. He also worked in Ontario's Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs.
"I believe we have found, in Mr. Merritt, an outstanding leader with considerable depth of experience," said Deputy Mayor Kevin Saccary, the chair of CBRM council's CAO search committee. "He is ready to work with council to take on the challenges we face as a region."
Merritt is married to Joann Lloyd. They have with two grown daughters attending university in Nova Scotia, one at Dalhousie University and one at St. Francis Xavier University.
"I very much appreciate the opportunity that working with Cape Breton Regional Municipality will provide at this stage of my career," said Merritt. "I am excited to work in collaboration with the Mayor and Council, CBRM staff and our many stakeholders to promote positive change within our municipality."
Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke welcomed Merritt to his new role.
"I look forward to working with Mr. Merritt to ensure the Cape Breton Regional Municipality reaches the goals of our strategic plan for positive change," said Mayor Clarke. "We are determined to become the most business and development-friendly municipality in Atlantic Canada."
Cape Breton Regional Municipality, with approximately 100,000 residents, is Atlantic Canada's third largest municipality. The municipality has a workforce of 820 employees and an annual operating budget of $143 million.
The CAO position has an annual starting salary of $180,000 and is subject to an annual performance appraisal. Merritt's start date is October 14th.