FORMER Urana Shire general manager Adrian Butler will make a shock return to Federation Council as acting general manager after quitting the merged entity in May.
Mr Butler was overlooked for the interim general manager position when Corowa and Urana shires merged in 2016, but he will replace the man he worked under, Chris Gillard, as interim deputy general manager and director when Federation was in administration.
Mr Gillard’s dismissal as Federation general manager was confirmed a week ago with another special meeting called on Tuesday to confirm Mr Butler as the acting general manager.
Mr Butler will occupy the role from December 1 to a full-time general manager is appointed next year.
It’s almost certain he will be a contender for the full-time role.
He is presently working at Wagga Council, but will cut short a six-month contract to return to Federation where former Urana mayor Pat Bourke is in the top job.
Mr Butler’s appointment was confirmed at the end of a secret session of council lasting more than two hours.
Cr Bourke said after the meeting he raised the option of declaring a conflict of interest in the matter, but didn’t.
“I tried to remove myself from that decision for obvious reasons,” he said.
“There has been a lot of speculation and there were other interested parties.
“We put it on the table and Adrian came up trumps.
“It wasn’t a unanimous decision.”
The decision to appoint Mr Butler was moved by Cr Fred Longmire and seconded by Cr Andrew Kennedy.
The council will also approach member for Albury Greg Aplin, Local Government minister Gabrielle Upton and Premier Gladys Berejiklian requesting compensation for costs associated with the removal of Mr Gillard.
Before dealing with the acting general manager position, the council spent 45 minutes discussing the latest on the Howlong compost plant saga.
But after the meeting Cr Bourke said there was no update on its plans to stop the facility going ahead.
Cr Bourke, deputy mayor Shaun Whitechurch, Cr Paul Miegel, Cr David Longley, Cr Longmire and Cr Kennedy will sit on the general manager recruitment committee.