Mark Henderson has been named Moira Shire’s new Chief Executive Officer.FIONA BLICK April 1, 2014 4:30pm
Mr Henderson was previously the CEO of Mildura Rural City Council, a position from which he resigned last week.
Moira Shire Mayor Peter Mansfield said it had been a thorough recruitment process through independent management consultants and the councillors were “delighted” to announce Mr Henderson’s appointment.
“Mark’s experience running regional councils and his knowledge of agriculture and regional tourism will be invaluable to helping to grow the shire’s economy,” Cr Mansfield said.
“He has a reputation as a strong leader who develops top management teams and addresses tough issues.”
Mr Mansfield said the Mayor of Mildura Rural City Council Glenn Milne described Mr Henderson’s term at Mildura as fantastic based on the region’s growth and the strength of the council’s management team and finances.
“These qualities are important for Moira Shire and we look forward to welcoming Mark on board,” he said.
Mr Henderson is expected to relocate this month and begin work at Moira Shire in May; Peter Bertolus will continue as acting CEO in the interim.
Mr Henderson spoke with Mildura Rural City Councillors after announcing his resignation saying he had decided to return to his home in the Victorian High Country to be closer to family and farming interests.
“My contract is up and I felt personally it was time to move on,” Mr Henderson said.
“I have really enjoyed my time in Mildura, but I have a fabulous cattle property (near Myrtleford) to get back to and like most farms the fences won’t repair themselves.”
Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne praised Mr Henderson and said he was leaving the shire in a strong position financially and laid the foundations for further growth into the future.
“Mark has installed a strong team of managers who will continue to do their very best for our community each day,” Cr Milne said.
“Even more importantly those managers have fantastic staff under them who keep things running day in and out.
“We certainly wish Mark all the best for the future – he has been the driving force behind a number of projects over the past three years and his leadership and guidance has really helped a number of our visions come to life.”
During his term as CEO Mr Henderson oversaw projects such as the new arts centre, a massive upgrade of the city’s drainage infrastructure, helped secure funding for the airport and riverfront and the recovery efforts after devastating flooding in February 2010.
“Mark also undertook a major restructure of council’s services and staffing,” said Cr Milne.
“We now run a very tight ship in terms of staff costs and are constantly undergoing sustainability reviews across departments to ensure ratepayers money is being spent wisely.”
Born and educated in Melbourne, Mr Henderson’s link with local government came early when his father was elected the local Mayor.
Mr Henderson has extensive professional experience in local government and has served as a Council CEO in regional cities in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria including inaugural CEO at Alpine Shire, General Manager at Albury City Council and CEO at Hervey Bay City Council.
He has also overseen three council mergers as local government has evolved over time.
Mr Henderson lives with his partner, Helen, and he has three adult children.
The announcement of Mr Henderson as Moira’s new CEO came after council voted to delegate this appointment to all nine councillors at the recent ordinary meeting in Wunghnu.
Prior to the selection of a CEO, a council must resolve to delegate the power of ‘decision making’ to either a special committee or the full council; in this instance Moira Shire Council decided on the full council option.
Following the early termination of former CEO Gary Arnold the process to recruit a new head of council staff was initiated in November 2013.
In a report tendered to council by Manager Corporate Governance David Booth and acting CEO Peter Bertolus, Jo Fisher and Associates were engaged to assist with the negotiation and recruitment of a new CEO.
Cr Ed Cox moved the recommendation for all nine councillors to appoint the new CEO and said “this is the most important decision we will face in our term of governance”.
“I call upon my fellow councillors to work together,” Cr Cox said.
“There will have to be a strong relationship between the new CEO and councillors.
“We need the CEO to be abreast of issues on both sides, councillors and staff.
“Moira Shire Council is facing the potential drain of senior staff so we really need a strong person to lead council.”
Cr Marie Martin said it was vitally important the delegation to appoint the new CEO was all nine councillors.
“I am hopeful we will get a good outcome from this and it will be full steam ahead,” Cr Martin said.
Acting CEO Peter Bertolus removed himself from the meeting during the discussion and vote for this recommendation citing conflict of interest issues as he had applied for the position of the new CEO.
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