The Minister has signalled and all but sealed the fate of the remaining Councillors of the South Gippsland Shire Council when speaking on ABC radio twice last week. Poor leadership, poor governance, poor decision making – apart from upsetting the community, has obviously also insulted the Minister for Local Government.
The extra time given by the Minister “in good faith” for the Councillors to respond to the Municipal Monitor’s report has backlashed in their single-minded personal crusade in removing a very effective and well-respected CEO. What a waste!
The ignorance, let alone the arrogance in not following accepted protocol in the process and procedure in the appointment of a new CEO will see them out the door.
The Minister announced an inquisitorial Commission of Inquiry, not an investigation that should last a week not a month, so hopefully no further damage can ensue before dismissal. The Minister stated “the current Councillors lack capacity to be able to continue”.
Councillors should be aware that under the Victorian Constitution Local Government is but a department just like health and education. The Minister is the boss, not the Mayor.
The present Councillors, excepting Cr Aaron Brown who doggedly stood up for good governance, appear to have little or no understanding of their role as independent thinking Councillors let alone a working knowledge of the Local Government Act.
The “new direction” given as the only explanation for not re-engaging the CEO fails to recognise that it is the Councillors by resolution that set direction – the staff merely implement Council policies – what and where is the “new direction” as claimed by Councillors shown in Council minutes or the Council Plan?
No wonder four great Councillors resigned – good governance is the backbone of a successful oragnisation. The end can’t come quick enough!
It is all Down HILL from here!
James T Forbes JP, Poowong (Mayor 1999/2000).