The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is appointed by council to assist in setting the direction of the Town of Amherst by providing guidance and advice – based on best practices and emerging trends in municipal government.
He works closely with his counterparts in other municipalities, as well as with federal and provincial government officials on a variety of issues affecting the Town of Amherst.
The CAO also directs and co-ordinates the general management of the business affairs of the town, overseeing the work of all municipal employees, in accordance with the bylaws, policies and plans approved by Amherst town council, so that our programs and services meet the ever-changing needs of the community, while ensuring fiscal responsibility.
Before becoming the Chief Administrative Officer in June 2021, MacDonald joined the Town of Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland in 1999 as a land-use planner. He worked in that capacity until he became the town’s planning manager in 2001.
In 2003, MacDonald was appointed to the position of director of planning and development. In 2008, he assumed the role of director of planning and engineering services following the retirement of longtime town engineer Ron Patterson.
In 2014, MacDonald was appointed deputy-CAO-operations, adding the management of the town’s Public Works Department, and for a short while the Amherst Fire Department, to his duties.
With the resignation in 2019 of Bill Schurman, the town’s former recreation director, MacDonald added the management of recreational facilities to his duties. Another change in his duties occurred in 2020 when he took over the management of the town’s community well-being team following the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Shelley Rector. He became the town's interim CAO in April 2021 following the resignation of longtime CAO Greg Herrett.
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