Council casts $295,000 lure to attract new GM
CLARENCE Valley Council has up to $295,000 to lure a new general manager into the hotseat.
An extraordinary council meeting in Maclean on Tuesday voted to set the total remuneration package for a new GM between $240,000 and $295,000.
The amount is in line with July 1, 2016 determination of the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal for country rural councils with a population of 52,873.
Cr Andrew Baker's motion setting the parameters of the package to be offered also asked applicants to advise the council what other terms or conditions they would like in their employment contract.
The council has engaged Local Government NSW to recruit a new GM and this information would be made available to all potential applicants.
The need for a new GM was created in March with the resignation of Scott Greensill, who had been in the role since October 2011.
The council's director corporate Ashley Lindsay has been acting general manager since Mr Greensill's departure.
Cr Richie Williamson said the lowest figure of the next GM's potential remuneration package would have been the top of the range offered to Mr Greensill.
Cr Andrew Baker cautioned against worrying about what had happened in the past with previous general managers.
"If we get this wrong and we get a report back to say you haven't got very many applicants because, whatever, then we've got to do something else. We've got to take advice from that," he said. "This is meant to draw out applicants without creating an expectation that it might be a $400,000 or even a $320,000 negotiation."
Cr Baker said the experience of Richmond Valley Council, which was able to attract a GM with extensive local government and private sector experience, should be an inspiration for councillors.
"Obviously they thought that was a pretty good arrangement at that time," he said.
Cr Baker said the second part of his motion allowed applicants more flexibility in negotiations.
"Look at point two. You can tell us what you think," he said.
"If you think you're better, you tell us. If you think you're already established here and won't need much money to get yourself established and you're prepared to take a bit of a haircut in the first 12 months, you tell us that."
Cr Williamson said the new GM would come into a council facing some problems, in the short term, but better days were coming.
"There are exciting things ahead," he said. "Yeah, we've got an issue we're going to overcome in the next couple of weeks, but the best days of this council, I believe, are certainly ahead of it."
Mayor Jim Simmons said yesterday that wages for general managers were "getting a little over the top", but hoped the council would not have to pay top of the range for its new GM.
Cr Simmons told the meeting he expected councillors to interview a field of seven or eight applicants before coming up with a short list of three or four.
Cr Baker in his right of reply warned the hiring committee against shopping around for the best price GM.
He said it would be better for it to find the right applicant, make him or her an offer and go from there.
The project cost centre for the general manager in the 2017/18 budget has been allocated $447,403 for the financial year.