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Time for Councillors to tidy up the GMs lose ends


The Beagle Editor, I wish to share with Beagle readers, an email I have sent to Councillors

Mayor and Councillors,

During the closed part of the ordinary meeting of council on 13 June 2017, you saw fit to renew the General Manager’s contract for a further 5 years, commencing 1 July 2017.

You should remember this meeting well, as it was quite controversial.

Our General Manager, “with extensive management and leadership experience”(quote from Mayor), insisted that the matters to be discussed in closed session that day, which happened to be her contract, must not be disclosed to the public.

Several public forum speakers emphasised that this was contrary to the LGA, with the the OLG later confirming the GM’s advice was wrong.

It is now over 10 months since your confidential discussions and subsequent public announcement to extend the GM’s contract. However, lacking from your announcement was the GM’s salary package.

Section 5 of the OLG's Guidelines for the Appointment & Oversight of General Managers, issued pursuant to section 23A of the LGA, under the heading of Contract Renewal or Separation, advises council,

"it is important that any decision by the governing body of council to renew a contract for the general manager and the term of that contract be reported back to an open meeting of council, together with the total amount of any salary package agreed to";

and, at section 6, council is advised that "Any discretionary increases [in the GM's remuneration] should be modest and in line with community expectations. All discretionary increases in remuneration, together with the reasons for the increase, must be reported to an open meeting of council."

And, of course, as you all now know very well, all decisions made by council at confidential meetings must be published.

Given the significant period that has elapsed since the GM's contract renewal on 13 June 2017, and the absence of any advice to the public on this important matter, could you please provide me with answers to the following questions:

  1. Has council decided on GM's remuneration package, following her contract renewal on 13 June 2017, and if such a decision has been made, when did it occur and what were the details of the decision (of the remuneration package)?

  2. If there has still not been a decision made on the GM's remuneration package, since the contract renewal, when is it expected that such a decision will be made?

  3. Given that GM's remuneration package is an essential component of her contract, how was it possible for council to decide to renew it when the remuneration had not been decided on at the time? and

  4. What is the GM's current remuneration package?

I look forward to your response.

Yours Sincerely

Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley

#Opinion #Council #LocalStateFederal

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