Wodonga councillor Ron Mildren has voiced some major concerns in handing chief executive Mark Dixon additional powers to crunch deals with land developers in the Leneva-Baranduda corridor relating to their financial contributions to essential infrastructure.
The move coincides with the council entering caretaker mode ahead of elections and two negotiations on works via in kind agreements with developers being undertaken for the first time presently.
In kind agreements allow developers to build infrastructure themselves in lieu of identified payments to council for the works.
Ballarat is among councils which have already delegated such tasks to its chief executive, but Cr Mildren strongly argued such matters need to be done in a more transparent fashion.
"This is not a minor matter," he said.
"Developer contributions are one of the most contentious matters for councils and all decisions should be made in open, transparent council meetings and not by an officer behind closed doors and out of the eye of the public's scrutiny.
"Decision-making in respect to developer contributions is widely known to be the point of most exerted pressure upon council staff.
"This delegation is a big step too far."
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Council voted to hand Mr Dixon the additional powers, but in a minor concession to Cr Mildren, a review of the exercise of this delegation will be carried out by June next year at the latest.
Mayor Anna Speedie said there were "time sensitive" considerations and the incoming council wouldn't be properly placed to deal with present matters until January.
Mr Dixon further explained the delegation sought referred to "fairly operational activity".
"It's important to clarify that the developer contributions plan has already been agreed," he said.
"This plan is a way where we get developers to fund all the critical infrastructure that goes to a future development.
"Specific items have all been costed and signed up in a legal agreement.
"But there is an opportunity for us to negotiate operationally, almost week-by-week, with developers to deliver those outcomes by works in kind."
Leneva-Baranduda is a long-established city growth corridor with work also to start soon on the long-awaited Baranduda Fields sporting complex.