Tweed Mayor Barry Longland defends sacking.
Tweed Mayor Barry Longland defends sacking. John Gass

Mayor defends decision to sack Tweed general manager

UPDATED, 3.58pm: TWEED mayor Barry Longland defended his decision to sack the council's general manager at the Murwillumbah chambers today.

Cr Longland tabled the motion to terminate the general manager's contract at last night's council meeting.

"This was not an easy decision it was not taken lightly but it was one that councillors believed was in the long-tern interest of the shire," Cr Longland said

The relationship between the general manager and the elected body was fractured. It was no longer functional and was considered to be irretrievable

"In those circumstances it was the councillor's belief to terminate that contract."

Cr Longland said no mediation was offered between the general manager and elected councillors.

He said it was not a 'personality issue'.

 

UPDATED, 1.15pm:  Despite a rescission motion made by three Tweed councillors, former general manager David Keenan remains out of a job.

An extraordinary meeting of council was held this morning after councillors Warren Polglase, Carolyn Byrne and Phil Youngblutt voted to rescind last night's decision.

However, they were outvoted by mayor Barry Longland, deputy mayor Michael Armstrong and councillors Katie Milne and Gary Bagnall.

In the meantime, the council's director of technology and corporate services Troy Green has been appointed acting general manager.

"Mr Green's experience in the organisation and within local government at a management level for many years will be invaluable in leading the organisation," Cr Longland, said.

"Council has complete confidence in Mr Green's capabilities to fulfill this role until a permanent appointment is made."
"This process could take a number of months," he said.
Cr Warren Polglase said he was shocked last night when the motion was put.

He claims the sacking follows a personality clash between Mr Keenan and Cr Longland.

Cr Longland will respond at a press conference later today.

 

UPDATED, 12,49pm:  A Tweed residents group has come forward to demand an explanation over council GM David Keenan's sacking.

Pat Tate, secretary of the Banora Point and District Residents Association, said the group is absolutely flabbergasted at the move.

"We do not support the actions of these four councillors," Ms Tate said.

"We demand a full explanation as to the reasons why."

 

UPDATED, 11.41am: A combined business chamber has spoken out in disgust of Tweed Shire Council GM David Keenan's sacking.

Rory Curtis, spokesman for the Combined Tweed Chambers of Commerce, said the chambers do not support the actions of the councillors who voted to have Mr Keenan removed.

"We do not condone the actions of these four councillors," Mr Curtis said.

"We strongly support general manager David Keenan and his vision and strategy for the Tweed's future.

"His dismissal is a real kick in the guts."

 

INITIAL report, 10.07am:  THE Tweed Shire Council's general manager David Keenan has ben sacked.

Tweed mayor Barry Longland said he would be appointing an acting general manager as soon as possible.

"There is a clause in the general manager's contract which permits the termination of the contract without notice and without a reason being necessary," Cr Longland said.

"In making this decision, the council has acted in the best interests of the Tweed community.

"I want to reassure Tweed residents and ratepayers that it is business as usual for the shire and the council has an experienced senior management team which will ensure no disruptions to council business."

The vote was 4-3 in favour of the termination.

Those in favour were mayor Cr Longland, deputy mayor Michael Armstrong and councillors Katie Milne and Gary Bagnall.

Voting against were councillors Warren Polglase, Carolyn Byrne and Phil Youngblutt.

Mr Keenan has been the general manager of Tweed Shire Council since April 30, 2012.

A rescission motion on the decision has since been lodged with a special meeting to happen at 10am this morning.



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