New GM ?is visionary
STEPHEN Sawtell has been appointed as the new general manager of Coffs Harbour City Council.
Mr Sawtell has been council's acting general manager since September, when former general manager, Mark Ferguson, resigned to take up a new job as the general manager of Pittwater Council in Sydney.
Stephen Sawtell joined Coffs Harbour City Council in 1982 as a junior health and building inspector and progressed to become council's senior health and building surveyor.
In 2001 he became the project manager of the $7.1 million City Centre Revitalisation project before expanding his role as the manager of special projects. In 2003 he was appointed as the director of city services.
The Mayor of Coffs Harbour, Cr Keith Rhoades, said he was positive that Steve Sawtell would prove to be a visionary and capable GM who would help the city of Coffs harbour to realise its full potential.
Cr Rhoades said the calibre of applicants for the position had been extremely high, attracting applicants from across Australia as well as several from New Zealand. He said the selection process had been exhaustive and all councillors had been involved in reaching the decision.
Mr Sawtell said it was a privilege to continue working with the Coffs Harbour community and council.
He said his vision was of a healthy, smart and cultural city and next year he would be presenting councillors with a roll-out of strategic directions to help achieve this.
Mr Sawtell, who has lived on the Coffs Coast for 25 years, is married with three teenage children aged 19, 17 and 13.
His wife Janine is a teacher and their two youngest children attend John Paul College while their eldest son plans to begin university studies next year. Mr Sawtell has a broad range of interests which range from administration and education to science and sport.
His special interests include coastal ecology, tennis, fencing and water sports, especially swimming.
The family has a two-hectare property at Moonee and Mr Sawtell hopes to be able to spend more time working on it in future, because he says it has 'missed out' over the last five years when he was busy studying. He has a Master of Science (MSc) degree in addition to other qualifications.
But he says he has now given away studying and cut back on his membership of community committees.