Wodonga Council will engage a human resources expert to assist in future deliberations on its most senior staff member with the external appointee to purposely remain beyond the length of elected councillor terms of four years.
The council on Monday night adopted a chief executive officer employment and remuneration policy as required by recent changes to the Local Government Act with the addition of an independent member a source of concern for a minority of councillors.
Cr Ron Mildren unsuccessfully attempted to have the committee made up of the mayor, three councillors and the independent member dissolved at the end the council term to allow a newly elected council take charge of the only staffing appointment in its control.
"You cannot have a committee of the council inclusive of councillors carrying over," he said.
"The incoming council should have the authority and ability to make their own decisions about who sits on committees."
Cr Mildren's amendment to cut short the recommended tenure of the independent member was lost 4-3 with mayor Kevin Poulton and councillors Graeme Simpfendorfer, Kat Bennett and John Watson opposed.
"If the new council really, for some reason, hates who we've got on board they can, within a year, appoint their own independent member," Cr Bennett said.
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Chief executive Mark Dixon confirmed the Act didn't specify a requirement on how long a committee needed to be in place, but revealed Wodonga was in talks with neighbouring councils about sharing the cost of the independent member.
"The intent behind the Act is to add an independent member who has HR expertise, experience in actually performance managing a CEO, which to be frank, not many councillors have that experience," he said.
"They haven't run a large organisation or been a CEO.
"The independent member is likely to come from Melbourne or Sydney to do this role and by sharing the role with surrounding councils, not only do we get value for money, but we will also get that talent at the right sort of level.
"Continuity is important in the role, councillors do come and go, and that independent member can be the continuity and help with new councillors."
Cr Olga Quilty said council shouldn't be locking in someone for so long.
"It is a bit of a concern to me that our decisions will be inherited by the next council," Cr Quilty said.
Cr Libby Hall said: "It's our decision and should be done independently."
The independent member to be appointed by council can re-apply for another four years in the role at the expiry of the initial term.
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