Steve McGrath
Steve McGrath

New GM takes reins from Nov 15

COFFS Harbour City Council’s new general manager will take over the reins on November 15 and at Thursday’s meeting, councillors were looking for reassurance about his contract.

After the drama surrounding the departure of the previous general manager Stephen Sawtell, whose contract was terminated on August 2 just eight months after he had signed a new one, councillors are wary about signing up to anything which could prove more expensive than planned.

A reassuring mayoral minute from Cr Keith Rhoades advised that the calibre of all applicants for the position had been extremely high and the process to find a new GM ‘has once again identified the level of competence, skills and expertise within this organisation.’

Cr Kerry Hines said it was her understanding that, as part of the contract, a review process would take place three months after Mr McGrath took up his new position.

“Will there be any consultation with councillors?” Cr Hines said.

The director of corporate business, Craig Milburn, said the review process at that time was between the general manager and the mayor and the involvement of other councillors was at the discretion of the mayor.

Mayor Keith Rhoades said there were some things in the standard contract he did not like, but it was devised state-wide in consultation with the LGMA.

“Let’s hope we never have to use any of them,” Cr Rhoades said

Acting general manager Ben Lawson said performance standards and measures were done after commencement of the contract.

“There is not a lot of movement in the contract as a whole,” he said.

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