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Innes cohort extends General Manager's contract : McGinlay makes comment

Liz Innes, Mayor of Eurobodalla, along with nine of her cohort in the Innes Term, have voted that Council renew the contract of the General Manager, Dr Catherine Dale, for a period of 12 months commencing 1 October 2021. It is not known if the new contract will also come with an increase in salary (reported as $330,946 in 2019/20) but it does come with provision of an executive car to be negotiated with full private use rights, professional development expenses up to a maximum of $8,000 pa to allow for payment of professional memberships and for attendance at relevant professional associations and professional development events as well as a mobile telephone, laptop computer and an ipad or similar equipment deemed by Council to be necessary for the fulfilment of the position. Home and mobile wireless broadband access will be provided. Councillor Pat McGinlay has offered the comment of the decision: "After a confidential briefing last week, and after the ‘In confidence’ part of Tuesday’s council meeting, I formed my view based on the council report, verbal advice and discussion, that: The Employee followed due process given her contractual rights/obligations to exercise HER choice to ask the CURRENT councillors to affect an extension to her occupation in the role, rather than wait until a new cohort was elected, and seek from the new councillor body, as Mr Bright suggests in this article, a temporary placement to achieve the same outcome, or whatever else she chose to do. Given that a formal request was in fact made, by the employee to the current councillors, it could not then be legitimately ignored, and these said councillors had no choice but to make a decision due to contractual matters, prior to Oct 1. While a decision had to be made, the option was always there to choose to make that decision either affirmative and vote YES to the proposed new contract as per the report recommendations or simply say No. As it was, the majority said YES. If the majority had said No, then the current incumbent employee’s contract would simply have legitimately expired on 30 June 2022. Once elected, it would then have been up to the new councillor body to exercise their decision on the way forward as is normal, in regard to appointments/re-appointments/temporary measures to employing someone to the GM position. Please note that all of the foregoing is my perspective on the situation and that it is being put forward in the interest of clarity to the public as to the process undertaken and I accept that the decision in this matter was made by a majority of 7 of 9 councillors and won’t be commenting further." The vote was won - seven against two, with Councillor Pat McGinlay and Councillor Anthony Mayne voting against.

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