Gympie council CEO BErnard Smith and Cr Glen Hartwig.
Gympie council CEO BErnard Smith and Cr Glen Hartwig.

OPINION: Failed CEO ‘no confidence motion’ a sad episode

Letter to the Editor

PERHAPS it’s because of laws involving local government that the voting public weren’t allowed to know what and who was behind the Gympie council vote of no confidence against the council CEO which never happened this week.

Regardless of by who, or on what grounds, this ratepayer found the entire episode sad in its hypocrisy.

One of the common cries among elements of our community and councillors has been that there needs to be more openness and accountability.

Mayor Mick Curren's first day as Mayor of Gympie Regional Council, to his right is CEO Bernard Smith. Photo: Greg Miller / Gympie Times
Mayor Mick Curren's first day as Mayor of Gympie Regional Council, to his right is CEO Bernard Smith. Photo: Greg Miller / Gympie Times

I can see no case more deserving of openness and accountability than when, especially so close to an election, the future of who the next council inherits as their most powerful administrative officer is brought to question.

There was justifiable unrest when the previous council brought re-employing the CEO forward not far out from the last election. Surely the same critical eye should be cast on the actions and motives of those behind this latest stunt.

I sure those who wished for a vote of no confidence against the CEO will be hoping for broad changes in who sits on council too but they seem to give scant regard to the need for some sort of stability and managed, workable transition.

Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.
Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.

To me the matter of somebody attempting to dislodge the CEO at this late stage is worryingly indicative of how those who wish for dramatic changes (in council but usually not in the community which changes despite them) don’t bother with self reflection.

If they did they may see that politics is politics and although they may see themselves otherwise they’re demonstrating actions and attitudes no better than those they wish to depose.

Dave Freeman, Cedar Pocket

Editor’s note: The minutes of the council meeting Wednesday, January 22, show that Cr Hartwig requested that the item be removed from the agenda