REVEALED: When council will have a new CEO
GYMPIE Council is expected to name its new CEO by the end of the week with a special meeting to be held on Thursday to consider the candidates.
Mayor Glen Hartwig broke news of the meeting this morning as the council faces replacing controversial former CEO Bernard Smith, who resigned in April.
Mr Hartwig broke news of this week’s meeting as part of a wider comment this morning on the state of the council’s finances, which he compared to trying to repair the Titanic.
One sticking point was the revelation by acting chief financial officer David Lewis at last week’s meeting that the 2019-20 adopted budget “forecast insufficient cash reserves at years end to maintain business operations”.
He said it was “alarming” this had not been flagged at the time.
Mr Hartwig and councillors Hilary Smerdon and Bob Fredman voted against adopting last year’s budget.
“I do not recall at any point during the budget deliberations that this predicament was mentioned and I specifically do not recall this dire financial dilemma being mentioned during the election period,” Mr Hartwig said on Facebook.
“I persistently raised my serious concerns about council’s financial predicament but found it difficult to get the information that was needed to make sound decisions.
“Sadly my concerns and predictions were very close to reality.
“This council has run into a financial iceberg and it is the responsibility of this newly elected council to try to repair the Titanic before it sinks.
“Unlike the captain of the Titanic we will not proceed as if everything is OK and already, in the first two months, have made some very serious and difficult decisions to correct the past failures and organisational problems.
“My greatest frustration comes with the staff changes.
“Decisions, failures of the former council and management will impact on staff who were in no position to change the outcome.
“It has not been an enjoyable process to unravel the mess and see the options available to this new council.
“I have been overwhelmed with staff and middle managers who have come to me and said, ‘Glen we knew it was coming, the former CFO told us two years ago that if we didn’t change we would run off a financial cliff, we have hit that cliff now’.
“‘Everyone knew we were running out of money there was just no desire in the organisation to listen and change.’
“These statements give little comfort to councillors or staff who may have to pay for the mistakes of those who failed to act.”