Clarence Valley Council (CVC) will re-engage Local Government Management Solutions (LGMS) “to facilitate” general manager Ashley Lindsay’s annual and six-monthly performance reviews.
One councillor, Greg Clancy, disagreed with continuing with the status quo.
“It has been agreed between the general manager and the mayor, in accordance with the … general manager policy of [CVC], to involve the services of an external facilitator for performance reviews,” Cr Jim Simmons wrote in his mayoral minute tabled at the November 26 CVC meeting.
Councillor Clancy, the only councillor who did not support the mayor’s proposal at the November 26 CVC meeting, said he had “some concerns about this set up”.
“Personally, I’d like to see a totally independent person or organisation as part of the review,” he said.
Councillor Clancy said engaging LGMS, which is a business unit of Local Government NSW, was “a bit too close to the people involved”.
“General managers seem to be [assessing] general managers,” he said.”
“I think we need someone more independent; I just don’t think it’s the right way to go.”
Local Government NSW, however, says its closeness to the governance industry is its strength.
“We are owned by the industry and support our members through applying expertise, resources and knowledge tailored to the specific needs and issues faced by them,” the LGNSW website states.
Councillor Karen Toms acknowledged that former general managers were involved in the assessments; however, she said she was comfortable with that.
“The confidential report tells us [about] the expertise of the two [people] who do the review,” she said.
Councillor Kingsley said LGNSW “is right up there in regard to its credibility”.
“I’m quite happy with situation at the moment,” he said.
The performance review panel is comprised of mayor Simmons, Cr Jason Kingsley (deputy mayor), Cr Richie Williamson and Cr Peter Ellem.
Councillors did not resolve a budget; however, Cr Simmons “anticipated” it would cost “a total of $5,000 to $7,000 per annum”. Local Government NSW says it “is the peak industry association that represents the interests of NSW general-purpose councils, 12 special purpose councils and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council”.