Mark Riley is no longer general manager of Dubbo Regional Council.
In a closed door discussion during the November council meeting councillors voted for the general manager’s contract to be terminated by “mutual written agreement”.
Council also voted to note the general manager’s intention to resign from his employment was “for personal reasons”, however they thanked him for his outstanding service to council and agreed to write a reference.
His termination package will remain private.
Mayor Ben Shields refused to speak on the issue after the meeting.
Councillor Stephen Lawrence said it had been a frustrating experience for himself and others to have been bound by the law and the Code of Conduct, and unable to speak on the issue.
“I don’t think certain expectations have been met in terms of knowledge but it’s a testament to people’s concern and regard for their community and the high esteem in which Mr Riley is held that so many people are here,” he said.
He said he understood people had been “unable to be satisfied”.
Two former councillors both spoke at the meeting about the decision.
Lyn Griffiths, a councillor for seven and a half years, said any successful business should surround themselves with experts in their field.
“There was nobody more expert at his job than Mark Riley. Dubbo Regional Council has lost one of the best general managers in the state,” she said.
Former councillor Bill Kelly supported the decision to terminate the general manager’s contract.
“We’ve seen a changing of the guard at the recent council election. More young faces coming through with more fresh ideas. It’s clear that councillors want to bring change to the way council is governed. Unfortunately is seems that Mr Riley does not agree,” he said.
“I understand Mark had opted to stand aside to allow council to continue with that change. For this I support the councillors and I also support Mark’s decision to step aside.”
For the next few days director Chris Devitt will be acting general manager, until he’s replaced by a Michael McMahon while a recruitment process is undertaken.
Local Government NSW will undertake the recruitment.