Horsham Rural City mayor Mark Radford has dismissed suggestions for an audit of the council's handling of the City to River masterplan.
Horsham Rural Ratepayers and Residents this week questioned whether the council had been operating within correct governance and procedures. It said a recent Freedom of Information request showed councillors had never endorsed the 20-year vision for Horsham's future, nor approved the appointment of consultants for the project.
In a statement, president Di Bell called for "full transparency and an audit of the processes of all these projects".
Cr Radford said councillors first endorsed the City to River masterplan when it featured in the employment process for a new chief executive in 2018. It became a Key Performance Indicator of the new chief executive's contract with the council.
He said a second KPI was to "Develop a Vision, Branding and Implementation Strategy for the Wimmera River and Central Activity District by 30 June 2019". He said councillors adopted the chief executive's KPIs at its meeting on August 27, 2018.
"Once you set the KPIs for the chief executive it is his job to make them happen," he said.
"One of the first things to happen was to employ the consultants. The chief executive has as delegation to do certain things up to a certain financial limit, so the job description for the consultants came to councillors, (Director of Development Services Angela) Murphy presented that and we discussed questions and problems before going to the market."
Consultancy firm Urban Enterprise created the plan, which cost the council close to $160,000.
At a council meeting on August 26, Cr Radford used his casting vote to defeat a motion moved by Cr David Grimble, calling for an "independent audit of its authorisation and decision-making to commence the City to River" vision and masterplan.
"I didn't think it was necessary, because I am happy with the process we followed," he said.
"I can't see the value in that. I would have thought the council was united on this process until June last year."
A Local Government Inspectorate spokesman said there were no complaints or investigations related to Horsham Rural City Council.
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