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Council reignites CEO controversy

Benalla Rural City Council tries to rescind resolution by previous council to advertise the CEO position.

LIBBY PRICE July 23, 2014 3:30am

Benalla Rural City Council is seeking legal advice on whether it can rescind a resolution made two years ago by the previous council to advertise the position of chief executive officer when the current contract ends in December.

Chief executive officer Tony McIlroy signed the contract in late 2011 which included a clause that the position be advertised at the expiry of the contract. It is understood that at the last council meeting, in confidential business, all but one councillor agreed that Mr McIlroy be given a further two-year contract to provide continuity of management during the election of a new council and into the next term.

A former councillor who wishes to remain anonymous said the controversial decision set an ugly precedent.

‘‘Does this mean a new council can just rescind any previous resolutions agreed to by a previous council? And should ratepayers’ money be spent on seeking legal advice?’’

In 2011 council was presented with a petition of more than 500 signatures requesting that Mr McIlroy not be reappointed without extensive advertising and that a ‘bona fide’ attempt be made to find the best person to perform the functions of chief executive.

However councillors now feel to do so could be considered to be showing a lack of confidence in Mr McIlroy.Continued on page 3

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