MOIRA Council’s chief executive officer Gary Arnold has been forced to re-apply for his position.
Meanwhile, Wangaratta and Corowa councils have set about the task of finding replacements for their top jobs.
Mr Arnold’s contract expires in February and Moira councillors have elected to exercise the option of advertising the position.
He was invited to apply for the position he has held since 2009, but has yet to indicate whether he will do so.
Corowa Council is in the advanced stages of securing a replacement for general manager Bruce Corcoran, who plans to retire next month, and there are more than 50 applicants.
Wangaratta Council is also on the recruiting trail for a replacement chief executive after the dramatic departure of Doug Sharp and four other senior managers.
Moira had an option to re-appoint Mr Arnold for another three years without advertising the job.
Moira mayor Brian Keenan said the decision to advertise Mr Arnold’s position had split the council.
“It isn’t a universal position at all,” he said.
“Those supporting the decision believe it is open and transparent governance.
“I think (Mr Arnold) would be dismayed.
“He has been doing an excellent job and is very highly regarded and I supported extending his contract.
“We definitely run the risk of losing him.”
The decision on the chief’s position is the second recent show of strength by a new-look council elected in 2012.
Its first was to overturn a recommendation for a 6 per cent rate rise.
An initial push for a reduction to 5 per cent was defeated before a revised 3.5 per cent rate increase got up on a 5-4 vote.
Cr Keenan and former mayor Ed Cox were among those pushing for the six per cent rise to remain and also opposed the decision to advertise Mr Arnold’s position.
Mr Arnold first worked at Moira Council in 2003-4 as a director after being Hume Shire Council’s general manager for four years and chief executive of Wangaratta Council for five months.
He was a Wodonga council director before returning to Moira as a director in 2007 and was then promoted to chief executive officer in 2009 after Gavin Cator moved to Wodonga.