Departure of CAO Scott Hildebrand and Appointment of Sean Smith as New CAO of the City of Merritt

By July 17, 2020One Comment

Merritt — July 17, 2020  The City of Merritt’s Chief Administrative Officer, Scott Hildebrand, will be leaving the City of Merritt to take on an exciting new opportunity as CAO of the Thompson Nicola Regional District.  In his stead, Council has appointed the current Deputy CAO, Sean Smith, as the City’s new CAO.  These changes will take effect on August 10th, 2020.

Sean has served as the Director of Corporate Services for the City of Merritt since 2017 and took on additional responsibilities as Deputy CAO in 2019.  Prior to his work with the City, Sean worked as a lawyer for a municipal law firm in Victoria, BC.  Sean holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria and an Economics (BA) degree from the University of British Columbia.

“We are extremely thankful for Scott’s contributions over the past 16 months”, said Mayor Linda Brown.  “In a short time, he has brought a high level of professionalism to our organization and has instilled a culture of service excellence.  He will be missed greatly, but we had a succession plan in place because we knew that this day would come eventually, and we are thrilled to be able to keep our momentum by hiring Sean for this critical position”.

Mayor Brown added, “residents will appreciate Sean’s energy, commitment to providing exceptional service, and genuine desire to make the City of Merritt the most dynamic small community in British Columbia.  Council has relied on him heavily over the past few years and he has proven himself time and again.  Ordinarily, Council would conduct an expansive search to find a CAO, but in this case, Council’s decision to hire Sean was easy.”

Speaking of his time with the City of Merritt, Scott Hildebrand said, “the City of Merritt and this community have been outstanding, and I will miss this team.  We have built a solid foundation with Council, our staff and the projects and initiatives we are working on.  We have tremendous momentum right now, with so many opportunities for growth and I look forward to watching that unfold.

“Personally, this will not be the end of my work with Merritt. I am looking forward to future opportunities where Merritt and the TNRD can work together for the betterment of the entire Nicola Valley. Thank you for the opportunity.”

Sean Smith said, “Scott has been a phenomenal mentor and friend to me, and I know the TNRD will be incredibly well served by his leadership.”

“As for my new role, I have seen firsthand that this Council wants to challenge the status quo and do local government differently.  They want to be innovative, nimble and do away with rules for the sake of rules.  They want to create a thriving downtown, more high paying jobs, recreational opportunities, and housing, and are implementing policies that support and give weight to those aspirations.  They are committed to strengthening First Nations relationships and addressing the infrastructure gap that plagues small communities.  These are causes we can all rally behind and I feel humbled and grateful that Council has tapped my shoulder to help them implement and share their vision with staff, residents, community organizations and businesses.”

Contact Information:

Media Inquiries regarding this announcement can be directed to:

Scott Hildebrand

Chief Administrative Officer

City of Merritt

Phone (250) 378-8613



Sean Smith

Incoming Chief Administrative Officer

City of Merritt

Phone (250) 378-8634

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