It is time for councillors to stand up and be counted regarding our City’s future! (8 March 2015)

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Ballarat Courier 8 March 2015

Anthony Schinck must not be given a further tenure as CEO of Ballarat City Council.

We must call for an independent group to undertake on behalf of Council a national search for a CEO.

To date major projects under Schinck’s watch have been a fiasco; Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka – a budget overrun of $3million plus, nurse the Civic Hall with millions of dollars wasted on its possible demolition, only to see the state government basically save it by announcing the re-location of VicRoads to the site.

Then there is the “John Burt Memorial” 50-metre pool indulgence, the saleyards debacle, the issues associated with the dredging and preparation of the rowing course on Lake Wendouree for the World Masters Games, the abandonment of the Armstrong Street South redevelopment, the Black Hill Pool, Eureka Stadium, Victoria Park, other projects with major cost overruns, as well as the enormous waste on consultants paid for by ratepayers’ money on many of these projects.

Given the disappointing outcomes for these projects, it would be interesting to know the details of the key performance indicators (KPIs) in Mr Schinck’s contract that the councillors use to assess his performance.  How has he been able to be re-appointed as CEO based on his current performance?

Councillors are too beholden to Mr Schinck to lead them because they don’t have the confidence in their own abilities to undertake an objective appraisal of his service delivery? Anthony Schinck’s time is up as CEO of this great city. His management of Council has been less than satisfactory and the renewals of his contract are an indictment on this council and previous administrations.

Ballarat needs inspiring and competent civic leadership. It deserves the best possible Council and officers that are steadfast in acting in the best interests of our community.

And it is to this end, without councillors abrogating their responsibility; I propose the following transparent recruitment processes be implemented:

  1. A CEO-appointment group is established as soon as practicable, with four experienced community and business leaders without conflicts of interest, and one councillor nominated by the current group of councillors.
  2. A transparent process with the following elements for the appointment of a new CEO put in place:
    • An interim skilled CEO be appointed to assist Council manage its business, but not be engaged in the CEO appointment process.
    • No previous mayors or councillors of the City are members of the appointment committee.
    • No Council officers are actively engaged in the appointment process
    • No previous employment agencies or individuals involved with previous CEO or senior staff appointments are engaged with the process.
  3. There is a review of the CEO position description to truly reflect the role into the future:
    • Modify the CEO key selection criteria to reflect the new position description.
    • Modify the CEO KPIs.
  4. A national search be undertaken to encourage the best possible candidates to apply for the position. Following a rigorous interview process of candidates, the CEO-appointment group would make a recommendation to councillors who would then meet the preferred candidate and confirm or reject the person’s appointment.
  5. As part of the search and recruitment process, include the requirement that Ballarat be promoted as one of Australia’s historic, progressive, key regional centres that values liveability, innovation, sustainability and economic growth.
  6. The prospective new CEO does not necessarily have to 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.

It is time for a change of CEO.

 

Ron Egeberg

Categories: Council
This post was written by , posted on August 29, 2015 Saturday at 9:18 am

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