Horsham council's Peter Brown to stay on as chief executive

STAYING ON: Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

STAYING ON: Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

HORSHAM Rural City Council intends to re-appoint chief executive Peter Brown for another five years after his contract expires at the end of October.

Council will place a public notice in Friday's Mail-Times stating its intention to re-appoint Mr Brown without advertising the position.

Not all councillors were in favour however, with Cr Heather Phillips voting against the motion at Monday night's council meeting in Horsham.

Cr Phillips said her decision was based on principle.

"It has nothing to do with my respect or otherwise for our chief executive," she said.

"I've got a basic belief that such a senior position of such significance to our organisation should be advertised at the end of each contractual term."

Cr Phillips said appointing a chief executive was one of council's most important roles.

"The way council operates is purely the result of our appointment of the chief executive, who then sets the direction for the staff," she said.

"To ensure the chief executive is on track and able to meet the demands of a changing group of councillors we should advertise the job at the end of each contract.

"This is one way of being really transparent and showing the public we do have a depth of scrutiny in our employment of the chief executive."

The remaining councillors voted in favour of the recommendation to re-appoint Mr Brown, which came out of an advisory committee meeting on June 30.

All councillors are on the committee, which was established to make recommendations about the chief executive's employment conditions, contract extensions and remuneration as well as performance reviews.

Cr Pam Clarke said council was abiding by the Local Government Act, which required council to inform Mr Brown if he would be re-appointed by July 30.

Mr Brown, who took on the role in 2010, had expressed his desire to be retain the role.

"The reason the legislation has been brought in like this is to give some surety to chief executives, so at the end of their tenure we don't just say, 'see you later' and they've had no chance to look for another job," Cr Clarke said.

She said a long, drawn-out process would create insecurity for both council and Mr Brown and give false hope to prospective applicants.

"This is our way of saying we are happy with the job our chief executive is doing and we want to continue this process," she said.

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