Please do not confuse this letter with your Grumpy Old Man column, but my deep suspicions are aroused on infrequent occasions when our council acts quickly.
Maybe I am just too dithery to comprehend how the community’s interest came first when the mayor rushed to extend the general manager’s contract, effectively for six years to 2018.
The current contract does not expire until about August 2013 and quite a few folk in our community believe things could be done better.
The next group of councillors, to be chosen by the community in September, will be the responsible
governing body when the general manager’s contract is due to terminate or be renewed.
Generous to a fault, the mayor asserted that his intervention was to save inexperienced councillors from the complicated task of dealing with their general manager. But appointing the general manager and establishing the shire’s most important performance agreement is every council’s primary obligation.
There is ample time to accommodate guidelines that require general managers to apply at least nine months before the termination date if seeking re-appointment, and for council to respond at least six months before the end of the contract.
The mayor’s move to deny an incoming council their prerogative suggests other, undisclosed, factors.
Other irregularities are also evident in the expiring council’s handling of this matter.
Some councillors had no input to key performance indicators and remain unfamiliar with the details.
The mayor also neglected the formal requirement for his report on the renewal of a contract for the general manager to an open meeting of council to include both the term of that contract and the total amount of any salary package agreed to.
Years of experience, it seems, do not always produce outcomes that serve the community first.
Don Burns, Tuross Head