Former Federation Council Director Infrastructure and Environment Adrian Butler, who quit Federation Council in May this year, will be the council’s Interim General Manager from December 1.
Mr Butler’s temporary appointment was decided at yesterday’s extraordinary meeting of Federation Council, after councillors discussed the topic behind closed doors for 80 minutes, and on the motion of councillors Fred Longmire and Andrew Kennedy.
“It wasn’t a unanimous decision,” Mayor Pat Bourke told the Free Press.
“But there was obviously a majority. I wanted to stay out of the discussion for the general manager position for obvious reasons.”
Councillor Bourke and Mr Butler were the mayor and general manager respectively of the Urana Shire Council immediately prior to amalgamation with Corowa Shire Council in May, 2016.
At age 40, Mr Butler was appointed as Commercial Development Manager with Wagga City Council soon after ceasing with Federation Council.
His six month contract with Wagga is understood to cease at the end of this month.
“He is very popular,” Mayor Bourke said. “But I do thank Peter (Gall currently Interim General Manager) for his services. I have been very impressed with him.”
A plan to have a new permanent General Manager of Federation Council on duty by June 1, 2018 was mapped out at the extraordinary meeting of council yesterday.
Councillors Paul Miegel, David Longley, Longmire and Kennedy were chosen as part of the general manager recruitment committee along with the mayor, deputy mayor and one independent member.
A recruitment consultant’s brief is to be developed by December 1, advertising action completed by December 19, submissions to be completed by January 12 and the recruitment consultant appointed by January 17 (which estimates suggest could cost up to $20,000).
The general manager’s position is planned to be advertised from March 3 to 23, the selection process from March 24 to April 20 and a selection report to council by May 1.
“Whilst the process timeframe as suggested is long, it allows sufficient time for careful consideration and selection of the right recruitment company and then the general manager,” Acting General Manager Peter Gall wrote before yesterday’s meeting.
Mr Gall, 52, will return to his temporary position as Director Infrastructure and Environment upon Mr Butler taking up duty.
Mr Gall’s local government career spans almost 30 years, having been recruited from Warrnambool to Federation Council on June 17 to replace Mr Butler.
A round of applause was given to Mr Gall by councillors for his acting general manager period since October 30.
Yesterday’s extraordinary meeting was the second such meeting in as many weeks. Cr Norm Wales was absent from the meeting.
On November 1, at the first extraordinary meeting of the newly selected Federation Council, councillors voted for council to negotiate the contract of General Manager Chris Gillard with a view to cessation of his employment.
It was subsequently announced that Federation Council and Mr Gillard agreed "to part ways for the best interest of all parties involved".
Mayor Bourke said the parties had entered into a "confidential arrangement parting ways" with each other expressing thanks for the service by Mr Gillard to council and to Mr Gillard for his service.
Robust discussion took place yesterday regarding the filling of the interim general manager position.
Local advertising of the position would likely have resulted in applications for the interim role.
A second two-part resolution passed by council at the extraordinary meeting yesterday resolved to firstly have council approach the State Member, Minister for Local Government and the NSW Premier regarding compensation of costs associated with the negotiated outcome on the general manager position.
The second part of the resolution “authorised the mayor and interim general manager to write a letter requesting compensation and forward (it) to the State Government, member, minister and premier”. The resolution was moved by Cr Longmire and seconded by Cr Longley.