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Michael Bradley reflects on time as County of Brant CAO

Community ProfileMichael Bradley reflects on time as County of Brant CAO

Michael Bradley, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the County of Brant, announced his resignation on Monday, November 7, 2022.

Bradley has spent the last ten years working for the municipality, first as General Manager of Corporate Services then as Deputy CAO, before becoming CAO early in 2018.

Bradley is expected to stay on with the County for the next month or so before leaving to pursue other opportunities.

“I have been working closely with the Mayor and Council to plan a go-forward strategy, which considers various options. My last day will be before the end of the year but the exact date is yet to be determined as we continue to develop the plan. I am committed to ensuring a solid plan is in place before my departure,” said Bradley.

With his resignation official, Bradley reflected on his time leading the municipality, beginning with his first days and weeks on the job.

“My transition into the CAO role was successful as I had been with the County for six years, held various General Manager roles within different departments and then progressed into the Deputy CAO role.  The previous CAO, Paul Emerson, provided ample opportunity for me to assume a leadership position which ultimately prepared me well for the CAO role,” he said. “Staff and management were very supportive of me moving into the role.  Staff collaborate well and work together as a team. This cohesive practice allowed me to begin the role as CAO knowing that I had a very solid team with me, a team I could count on.”

The CAO is technically Council’s only employee, directly reporting to the elected officials, and Bradley said he has “a lot of respect for the members of Council.”

“They are passionate about their community. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them and know they will continue to serve the community well,” Bradley said. “In 2018, at the beginning of the term, I worked with Council and the community to develop a four-year strategic plan.  This plan addressed several goals such as addressing infrastructure needs, enhancing communication, and creating a safe and healthy community. I feel staff and Council have worked very hard over the past four years to achieve these goals.”

As Bradley’s tenure with the County comes to an end, he reflected on some of his accomplishments, including the creation of a Communications division and battling through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In 2018, I officially established the Communications division. I felt strongly that the County’s communication needed to be transparent and multi-faceted. The Communication division has modernized and enhanced the way we engage with the public, which has had a positive impact on the community,” explained Bradley. “Then, in 2020,  the Mayor and I worked very closely during the COVID-19 pandemic to carefully manage the dynamic, stressful, and constantly evolving situation. As a community, we did very well to keep the number of COVID cases low to protect citizens and the health care system.”

Bradley also noted that some of his other highlights include the Cowan Community Health Hub, The Age Friendly Plan, the Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan and The New Official Plan, which is complete and awaiting provincial approval.

“This plan guides the future development of communities and infrastructure while protecting the natural, agricultural and heritage areas,” he said.

Bradley went on to discuss some of the infrastructure highlights and accomplishments over the last four years.

“Several infrastructure projects have been completed, including the construction of Rest Acres Road to manage increased traffic flow.  Multi-use trails have been added to encourage biking and walking as modes of active transportation,” he explained. “The Brant Safe Streets strategy was also implemented to help calm traffic, understand traffic problem areas and to implement permanent solutions where necessary.”

Besides the projects and initiatives he was a part of, Bradley admitted that he enjoyed working with all of the staff throughout the municipality

“Staff are dedicated, competent and diligent. It has been a pleasure working with staff over the past ten years and contributing to a culture of professionalism and a place where humour is welcome. Staff work hard and treat each other and the community well,” he said.

As Bradley explores his next opportunities, he said his time as CAO for the County of Brant was “a challenging and rewarding experience.”

“Municipal government impacts peoples’ lives – it’s the roads you drive on, the Firefighters and Paramedics responding to your crisis, the recreation programs you participate in, the facilities you gather in, and the water you drink. I took my job seriously as these are important aspects of our lives,” said Bradley. 

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