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CEO search yet to begin
CEO search yet to begin

Albany City Council has yet to start the official search for a new chief executive, six weeks after the shock dumping of Faileen James.

Early last month Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said a professional consultant firm would “absolutely” be appointed by council at its August 21 meeting to begin the search, but no such item is currently on the agenda.

Mr Wellington said council had been comprehensively discussing the issue over the past few weeks but was currently being forced to wait for quotes from various consultants.

He said once a consultant was selected, it would be at least another six months before a new permanent chief executive began work.

“If you find someone in the first two or three months they’ve got to give at least two month’s notice,” Mr Wellington said.

“It is going to take a little while.”

As part of a Department of Local Government Salaries and Allowances Tribunal determination which came into effect last month, Albany was classified as a band two local government with regard to chief executive remuneration, and can offer between $200,000 to $300,000 a year for the position.

This is compared with band one local governments, such as the cities of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Greater Geraldton, which can offer up to $350,000.

WA Local Government Association president Troy Pickard said Albany’s status as band two would add a degree of difficulty in attracting top candidates for the chief executive position and it was up to council to develop an attractive employment package.

Albany will compete with fellow band two Shire of Esperance and band one City of Perth in its search. Each is also looking for a new chief executive.

Mr Wellington said Albany had advantages in lifestyle and amenity and its classification was not a concern when competing with other local governments.

The Mayor has stated extensive local government experience would be crucial when choosing a new chief executive. Mr Pickard said it was not necessarily essential.

Mr Pickard said the various past challenges with chief executives would heighten the level of importance of council’s decision.

Mr Wellington ruled out acting chief executive Linda Hill staying on permanently, claiming she did not want the position.

keir.tunbridge@albanyadvertiser.com