THE boss of Wodonga’s ratepayers association believes the city’s next council chief should not be an insider.
Ian Deegan wants the successor to Patience Harrington, who resigned his week from the top job, to provide a fresh approach.
“I’d like to see them advertise and get someone from completely out of the city, someone who comes in without preconceived ideas and brings fresh ideas – that would be fantastic,” he said.
“I believe if we continue with someone from inside the city we’re not going to get any fresh ideas.
“We need somebody to come in and think of something we haven’t thought of, to keep it vibrant.”
Ms Harrington became chief executive in 2012 after having spent 11 years at the council as a manager and director in the community services field.
Member for Benambra Bill Tilley suggested the private sector be scoped for a new boss .
“They should conduct a far-reaching search and it doesn’t necessarily mean that whoever the replacement CEO is, is restricted to the local government sector,” he said.
“The bottom line is the CEO at local government level has a fiduciary responsibility to return the best value they can on behalf of the ratepayer.”
Mr Tilley said the waste fees scandal suggested there was a “culture” at the council that may need to be tackled by a leader coming from outside the organisation.
Councillor and former mayor John Watson said a three-member committee, consisting of mayor Anna Speedie and two other councillors, would be formed to recruit a new CEO.
He said he did not have a preference for an internal or external candidate.
“I think we just want the best skills-based person and if they come from within our council that’s great, but if they come from outside with the skills base that’s great too,” Cr Watson said.
He hopes Ms Harrington’s replacement will be in place early next year.