Another GM goes
By UTE SCHULENBERG
AFTER 18 years as Bellingen Shire Council's general manager, Peter Doyle is now out of a job.
Bellingen mayor, Cr Mark Troy, announced yesterday that Mr Mike Colreavy, currently general manager at Musswellbrook Shire Council, would be the new general manager, as of November 14, 2005.
A disappointed Mr Doyle said when he became shire clerk in 1987, he inherited a council that was technically bankrupt.
"The local government inspectors at the time, told me I would have to implement strategies to turn around council's adverse financial position," Mr Doyle said.
"I have achieved that and laid the platform for a number of exciting projects, such as the development of the Telstra site in Bellingen ? I am sorry I won't be here to see them completed."
Cr Mark Troy said telling Mr Doyle that his contract would not be renewed was one of the most difficult tasks he had ever faced during his time in local government.
"We are losing a dedicated and senior employee whose corporate knowledge will be missed," Cr Troy said.
"He has guided the council through some turbulent times, overseen many achievements . . . and will be leaving the council in a strong financial position."
Recently, however, there was a concerted campaign of weekly full-page advertisements in the Bellingen media by Bellingen resident, John McAlpine, directly targeting Mr Doyle.
Mr McAlpine said he ran the ads because 'some people get arrogant when they get power and forget the ratepayers who pay their salary'.
"I knew I would win eventually ? I'm happy," Mr McAlpine said.
Deputy mayor, Cr Ralph Lynch, said the campaign had 'absolutely not' influenced the outcome of the recruitment process.
"Peter had been there for a long time but his position had not been advertised for 12 years," Cr Lynch said.
"It is sad Peter's term has ended but it was time for a change.
"Mr Colreavy brings a great deal of local government experience with him and the council is looking forward to working with him."
Regarding the campaign in the local media, Mr Doyle said he recognised he worked in a political environment and that as general manager he was subjected to political decisions.
And plans? Mr Doyle says he doesn't have any at the moment.
"I need a break ? I'll be painting the house and doing a myriad of little jobs around home."