"Being a peer mentor allowed me to get trained to do what I was already doing unofficially. CAOs phone me for assistance, help and ideas. I help them with the process, rather than give them a direct answer."

Al Harvey has seen much of Alberta over his municipal government career. In his youth, he was interested in sports and athletics and began his career as a recreation director. Moving up the ladder to CAO has been a natural evolution for Al, but the end goals have stayed the same: helping people and building communities.

Currently semi-retired and doing contract work, Al has certificates in local government, Senior Executive Fellows, Local Government Leadership, and National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration. He is well known as a strong communicator and an active listener. Wherever he has been located, he has appreciated the local culture – from the mixture of French, Cree and Ukrainian in Bonnyville to the closeness of smaller towns such as Consort. He notes that every day there is some form of conflict going on in municipal government – between staff, between public and staff, between elected officials, and between staff and elected officials. Often old problems never get effectively resolved.

He believes that all municipal staff should have training in mediation, negotiation and dispute resolution.

“Often, there are many ways to accomplish the same thing – my way may not be the right way for someone else. But there is often a basic underlying theory. It’s like a wheel, where you might need to change a spoke here or there. For example, many municipalities might have an animal control bylaw, but their approach might be different. In some cases, other departments in a particular municipality might be able to offer some solutions, as well.”

Phone: 780-940-7194
Email Allan