‘He’s an energetic, eager, go-getter’
West Hants hires director of finance as new CAO
West Hants’ new chief administrative officer hopes his positive attitude will benefit the municipality in the years to come.
On March 26, council officially hired Martin Laycock, who has been the acting chief administrative officer since the start of 2018, as its new CAO.
Warden Abraham Zebian said nearly two dozen professionals had applied for the job, which became available when council fired Cathie Osborne on Jan. 9.
“He has the experience, he has the knowledge of the county, he has knowledge of staff,” said Zebian. “He’s very familiar with council. His knowledge of the MGA is second to none and he has an incredibly strong financial background on top of it all. The guy’s got two MBAs. He’s an energetic, eager, gogetter.”
Laycock, who lives in Halifax with his family, took on the role of director of finance in the fall of 2014. Zebian said during Laycock’s tenure with the municipality, he’s spent about 30 per cent of his time in an ‘acting CAO’ capacity. Zebian said council knows what he’s capable of and feels he is the right fit.
“We have a lot of trust in Martin. He’s going to be very good for our county. He’s involved in activities in the county, he comes to everything, he supports local business here. I think our future is incredibly bright with Martin,” said Zebian.
Laycock said he’s honoured council selected him.
“I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity. I’m really honoured that council has shown faith in me to take on the role of chief administrative officer for the municipality,” said Laycock.
When asked what kind of CAO he will be, Laycock said, “Hopefully, I’m an approachable one; hopefully, I’m a forward-thinking one; hopefully, I’m a positive one. I’m a fan of positivity and I think that you can get a lot more done (when you’re positive).”
He said he takes an ‘If you succeed, I succeed ‘ approach to life — and it’s an approach he hopes the municipality will embrace.
“I don’t like saying no. I like to provide options. I know sometimes that’s just the reality — having to say ‘no that can’t be done’ — but I think there’s always an option so I’d like to be able to present those to council so they have all the facts in front of them to make the best decisions possible.”
Both Laycock and Zebian said the coming year is filled with opportunities to continue to grow and enhance the municipality and they’re looking forward to working together, especially on implementing West Hants’ strategic plan.
West Hants Warden Abraham Zebian congratulates Martin Laycock, left, on being hired as the municipality’s new chief administrative officer.