Albury councillor Darren Cameron has revealed the reasons behind his crucial switch of support which has guaranteed the council's chief executive a longer contract.
Two years ago Cr Cameron was a central figure in the decision to offer Frank Zaknich only an 18-month extension after initially being given a four-year contract.
The 2019 shorter term was agreed to by Cr Cameron, mayor Kevin Mack, deputy mayor Amanda Cohn, Cr Murray King and Cr John Stuchbery.
But on Monday night Cr Cameron voted for the four-year extension with Cr Henk van de Ven, Cr Alice Glachan, Cr David Thurley and Cr Graham Docksey.
Cr Cameron said dramas around the Lavington Sportsground redevelopment contributed to his decision two years ago.
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But the council's response to COVID-19 and strong financial position swayed him to go for the longer deal for Mr Zaknich
The council set aside $3 million for its coronavirus pandemic response, but only $100,000 in support has been applied for.
"For me the offering of a contract is a yes or no proposition," he said.
"If you are going less than what would be considered to be a full term (four years) then you are sending a signal you are not exactly happy.
"It wasn't the right signal to send in this case.
"It has been a particularly difficult time for everybody getting through COVID.
"But Albury Council has come out in one of the strongest financial positions there is in the state.
"At the same time we've kept rates under CPI and also provided very substantial assistance packages for those who need it.
"I would say our community is more resilient than many others.
"It's a great thing.
"Our organisation is in very good shape also and it must be recognised."
Mr Zaknich declined to comment on his contract extension offer.
The Lavington Sportsground redevelopment was officially unveiled last year after cost blowouts connected to soil issues and the financial demise of the head contractor on stage one of the project.
The main oval will host its first Australian Rules match for premiership points on Sunday since the upgrade completion with Lavington hosting Wangaratta Rovers.
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