Community should help with CEO search


Ron Egeberg

With the possible exception of the development sector, the short term future for Ballarat’s economy looks bleak.

On top of this, staff morale at Ballarat City Council is low, and the organisation has failed to deliver a coherent vision for how we can make our collective future a prosperous one.

The departure of Anthony Schinck from the role of CEO offers an opportunity to appoint a new leader who can lead the organisation and the community to a new and brighter future.

But it will need to be someone with the right attributes and skills.

Rather than just advertise nationally, we must tap the best people on the shoulder and encourage them to apply for this important position.

That is why I believe our councillors need to engage a local eminent persons group – a mix of highly skilled business, community and government leaders – to work alongside a recruitment consultant to assist with this search.

Such a process would not, however, abrogate the responsibility of councillors to appoint the next CEO as is required under the Local Government Act.

The proposed group would assist our elected representatives to select the most suitable person for the position.

The following transparent recruitment process is suggested for the appointment of the next CEO:

1. Establish a CEO-appointment group as soon as practicable to undertake a national search to ensure the best possible candidates apply for the position;

2. Following this rigorous search process, the CEO-appointment group would present a short list of applicants to councillors, who would then interview these preferred candidates and would hopefully select one to be the next chief executive officer;

3. Whilst the search is taking place, an interim CEO should be appointed who is not a current council officer of the City of Ballarat;

4. The former CEO should not be involved with this process and his counsel should not be sought;

5. No previous employment agencies or individuals involved with recent CEO or senior staff appointments are engaged with the process;

6.  A review of the CEO position description needs to be undertaken to truly reflect the role into the future; and

7. The new CEO need not necessarily be a current local government CEO or an aspiring local government senior officer. The person must be an experienced leader in the public or private sector who has a strong track record of delivering on key objectives for the stakeholders. This person must be able to engage with all sectors of the community and provide sound strategic advice to councillors that will see this great city become even better.

I trust that we can encourage a broad cross-section of influential community and business organisations to come to the table to co-operatively and interdependently work together to assist council in resolving some of the major issues facing Ballarat into the future.

The new CEO must be pivotal in leading the change that will ensure Ballarat is once again a vital regional centre in Australia with a prosperous future. Ballarat deserves the best.

To coin a phrase of the Committee for Ballarat – “Ballarat, the moment is now.”

– Ron Egeberg is a Ballarat resident and former senior Ballarat City Council staff member


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This post was written by , posted on May 29, 2016 Sunday at 6:08 pm

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