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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Totally Flawed Process

Dear Editor, As a former Mayor of the Eurobodalla, I adopted the position to never publicly discuss Council business. My position was that the elected councillors and staff deserve the freedoms to run the Eurobodalla without former councillors or staff interfering and offering opinions. Unfortunately, this all changed when for some reason I glanced at the Council Agenda for June 28th 2022. I was curious after seeing our Mayor pop up on various TV shows pushing the ‘give up your holiday home to folks unable to find a rental home’ idea and thinking there may be a report to council given he was pushing the notion he would consider ‘regulating’ this idea. There was no such report, however I was absolutely stunned by another from the Mayor. A report he has put up with regard to recruiting the new General Manager for the council. Now I am happy to be corrected but didn't the Mayor get elected on a platform of transparency and openness? Well I am sorry to say but his proposal to select a new General Manager is flawed, dangerous and arrogant. The report to council regarding his proposed method of appointing a new General Manager is total betrayal to the ratepayers of Eurobodalla and must be voted down.

Extract of Agenda The appointment of the General Manager for the next 5 years is one of the most important decisions the current council will make. It requires all councillors to be involved in the entire process from start to finish, not a hand-picked group of the Mayor’s allies. The Mayor, is proposing, ‘Selection Panel ‘of 4 to do the first round of interviews for the position. Himself and 3 other councillors with each of them having barely 6 months experience in local government to undertake first round interviews. With the greatest respect how well is the chosen 4 versed in the functions of local government? I would be pleasantly surprised if they had a sound understanding of finance, planning, environmental and infrastructure issues after 6 moths of service. These are the very disciplines a future General Manager must be interviewed on in this process. This lack of experience with the chosen 4 could lead to the best candidate being rejected because the of the lack of experience of the proposed selection committee. Why is Councillor Mayne not included? Does he not have experience in Human Resources? Councillor Pollock would have been through this process multiple times and I am sure the other excluded councillors could bring something to the process from the start, after all they were elected to do such things. Is this happening because of pre conceived ideas, maybe outside influences, or is it more just a concentration of power into a smaller group of hands, I don’t know but either way it is not good democracy and should not be allowed to happen in this way. In 2008 when we employed a new General Manager the council was made of a group of nine experienced councillors who all bought legitimate input to the process. Every councillor should vote down this report and demand to be involved in the entire process. We elected 9 of you to do a job and you all have a responsibility to be involved from the very start in this process. The Mayor should withdraw this report because, whilst it may be permitted, it shows a complete lack of judgement and sets a dangerous precedent. The appointment of a General Manager needs and deserves every one of the elected councillors involved from the outset. Sincerely Neil Mumme Mayor ESC 2005 - 2008

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NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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