Murray Daly cut his teeth in bylaw enforcement as a way to get into policing.
Instead, he found himself entrenched in local government, working his way through the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District managing landfills, transfer stations, and other services in Terrace before taking on the role of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) with the Village of Clinton earlier this year.
The move has been a “blessing”, he says, thanks in part to the Village’s staff, mayor, and council. He sees the CAO’s job as managing council’s vision for the community, and notes there’s a lot of variety and good programs going on in Clinton right now, especially the seniors’ housing facility, plans for a new public works building, and rewriting the zoning bylaws.
“I think that part of being a CAO is ensuring you have the right team around you,” Daly, 40, says.
“When you look at CAOs across the province there’s no real cookie-cutter profile that they come from.
“It’s not like the CAO, in any community, is an expert in anything. You have to ensure you have a good team under you and that you can trust that team and have the humility to recognize when you’re not an expert and to lean on those who are.”
Daly, who grew up in Victoria and has lived and worked across the province in various local governments, says he’s excited about helping to shape the Clinton community. He and his wife have always really liked the Cariboo area, and were attracted to Clinton because they have friends in both 100 Mile House and Kamloops.
The job has been a bit of a learning curve, he says, mostly because of the difference between working for a municipality rather than a regional district. Clinton’s population is only about 600, while the regional district provided services to a population 37,367 in northwestern B.C.
Daly says he had some great mentors at the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District, which allowed him to work his way up and expand his skill set. Overall, he says that his previous job prepared him for this role, and it hasn’t been “terribly challenging yet.”
One of the first issues he is tackling is working with the villages of Cache Creek and Ashcroft on creating a position for a joint bylaw enforcement officer who will be shared between the three communities.
“There are a lot of unique challenges in trying to provide services to a small community, and you need to make sure you do so fairly and at a good cost to the taxpayer,” Daly says.
He adds that he’s planning on “being here a while,” noting his wife, eight-year-old son, and three-year-old daughter are also happy to be here.
“We bought a house and my wife really likes the neighbourhood and my son really likes the school. I just hope the legacy I leave, whenever I move on or whatever happens, would be one of a good leader and someone who balanced the needs of the community well with the resources available.”