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Benalla Rural City Council announces intention to re-appoint CEO Tony McIlroy

Dissenting councillor Peter Davis on holidays when Council takes the confidential vote to re-appoint the CEO with advertising the position.

LIBBY PRICE August 20, 2014 3:00am

Benalla Rural City Council has made the controversial decision to give notice of its intention to re-appoint chief executive officer Tony McIlroy without advertising the position.

The decision was made in confidential business at last week’s council meeting while the one councillor who’d fought to have the job advertised, Cr Peter Davis, was on leave of absence.

Prior to leaving on his annual overseas holiday, Cr Davis told The Ensign he fully expected the council to take advantage of his absence and go against the resolution of the previous council to include a clause in Mr McIlroy’s contract that the position was to be re-advertised before the contract expired. Mr McIlroy would then have had to reapply for the job. He has held the position since 2003.

In a statement from the council, Mayor Barbara Alexander said reappointing the current chief executive officer was in the best interests of Benalla Rural City.

‘‘All the councillors work closely with the CEO and it was apparent to all of us, without exception, that he has done a great job for the Benalla Rural City community.’’

When Cr Davis was informed by The Ensign of the decision, he angrily denied that it was unanimous.

‘‘Prior to departing for holidays I met with the mayor and the CEO, informing them both how strongly the ratepayers felt about this issue.

‘‘I believe that rescinding the previous council’s motion and altering the CEO’s current employment contract does not show open and transparent conduct by the mayor and councillors. This option may seem to be legally acceptable to the mayor and councillors, but I believe it is totally unacceptable and morally wrong,’’ Cr Davis said via email.

Cr Alexander said the resolution of the previous council for the position to be re-advertised was rescinded last month, and the advice to the council from its Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Advisory Committee was that a council may appoint a chief executive officer if ‘‘... in the six months immediately before the person’s contract as chief executive officer is due to expire, the council passes a resolution to reappoint that person as its chief executive officer; and at least 14 days before the resolution is passed, public notice is given of the intention to put the resolution.’’Continues on page 3

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