Community News

CVC budgets up to $295k for new GM

Councillors have unanimously agreed to spend up to $295,000 per annum to fill the vacant general manager’s position at Clarence Valley Council (CVC). The decision was made and debated in a public session at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday June 13; as agreed to by all councillors apart from Cr Arthur Lysaught, who voted against councillors Toms’ and Novak’s motion to “not move into a closed session”. Councillors resolved to “instruct Local Government NSW”, which has been engaged to conduct the recruitment process, to tell “applicants and potential applicants” that CVC “will offer to negotiate a Total Remuneration Package [TRP] within the range $240,000 and $295,000, after consideration of the qualifications, experience and any other matters relevant to the negotiated contract terms and/or conditions”. Former general manager Scott Greensill’s TRP was upgraded to an estimated $259,534 (effective from February 17, 2016) following the tabling of a report regarding the contractual conditions of CVC’s senior staff at the October 2016 meeting – the 2.5 per cent increase was in line with the remuneration for senior executive office holders, as determined by the Statutory and Other Officers Remuneration Tribunal. Mr Greensill’s estimated TRP consisted of $228,204 salary, plus $25,000 superannuation salary sacrifice, plus the 2.5 per cent increase. Councillors also resolved to invite the applicant “to state as part of an application, their expectations of a Total Remuneration Package and of any other contract terms and/or conditions sought in the event of an offer by Council to negotiate an employment contract”. Councillors based the TRP’s range on advice contained in a confidential report from Local Government NSW Management Solutions. However, in the public report to council, councillors were advised: “under the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal’s July 1, 2016 determinations, Clarence Valley Council is categorised Country Rural (population 52,592). “Other local councils in this category include Lismore, Byron and Ballina.” The report to council states that the average TRP for Country Rural councils is $296,280 and the median TRP is $295,081. Clarence Valley Council has budgeted $447,403 in 2017/18 for the General Manager’s cost centre. A maximum of $35,000 has been made “available to engage the services of a recruitment firm/consultant and to cover the associated recruitment costs”. Mayor Jim Simmons has previously stated that “it is important to note that in my view, the final interviews will involve all councillors in a closed session of the council”. The Director General’s guidelines (2011), issued pursuant to section 23A of the Local Government Act 1993, state that the “the recruitment process must be open and transparent, but the confidentiality of individual applicants must be maintained. A failure to maintain appropriate confidentiality may constitute a breach of the Act and/or Privacy legislation. “…The selection panel is responsible for preparing a report to the council’s governing body that: outlines the selection process; recommends the most meritorious applicant with reasons; recommends an eligibility list if appropriate; and, recommends that no appointment is made if the outcome of interviews is that there are no suitable applicants. “This report should be confidential and reported to a closed meeting of council. “The council’s governing body must by resolution approve the position of the general manager being offered to the successful candidate before that position is actually offered to that candidate.” Applications close June 26 and CVC “hopes the position will be filled by the end of July”.