LET’S get the ball rolling — that’s the message from Wangaratta Council boss Peter Stephenson.
On Tuesday he will chair the first council meeting since the seven councillors were sacked.
The interim administrator has brought forward the meeting from its usual third-Tuesday date to fit with his other commitments.
On the agenda are items that discuss how a panel of three administrators will operate until 2016.
An announcement on the chosen trio is expected by Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell as Mr Stephenson will be running the council only until October 30.
“We want to get the ball rolling on a few things and ensure things are tidied up for when the panel comes in,” he said yesterday.
Mr Stephenson said first to be discussed was how council contracts would be signed in the absence of a mayor.
Contracts are usually signed by both the mayor and chief executive officer but, Mr Stephenson said, this obviously wouldn’t be the case in the coming years.
After Tuesday’s meeting, Mr Stephenson will consider how the duties of the seven portfolios the councillors shared would be best distributed among the panel.
He was confident they would be able to juggle their multiple roles, pointing to Melbourne’s Brimbank Council — which has been under administration since 2009 — as a good example.
“They have three administrators there and that’s an organisation with a population of 150,000 or more and a budget in excess of $150 million, and they’ve done a very good job.
“The three chosen for Wangaratta will do the same,” he said.
The recruitment process for a new CEO and senior management team is also under way, with a recruitment agency creating a shortlist.
“We’re trying to get it to a point where the panel can make a decision (on the new CEO) fairly quickly,” Mr Stephenson said.
The CEO will select the rest of the management team.
Mr Stephenson said council staff were “in a good place” as the drama settled and there was a “positive attitude, a can-do attitude” among them.