BAW Baw Shire CEO Helen Anstis was awarded her position by councillors in 2010, but many in the community may be wondering what her role is.
First published in the 13 February edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. Get your copy today from retailers across Baw Baw.
When the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen ran the news of Helen Anstis’ likely reappointment online last month, a number of readers criticised the decision, blaming Ms Antis for what they saw as poor council decisions.
But many of those responses were based on misunderstandings of the council CEO role.
The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the council’s administrative management.
The CEO provides advice to councillors, seeks to ensure council decisions are implemented legally and without delay, establishes and maintains an appropriate organisational structure and is responsible for the management of council operations in accordance with the council plan.
RELATED: Baw Baw reappoints CEO ahead of challenging times
In addition to general organisational management, the CEO also has the ability to appoint, manage and dismiss council staff and represent the council at events.
But the CEO has no formal role in the creation of council policy and follows the direction of councillors.
Municipal Association of Victoria CEO Rob Spence told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen the influence of the CEO was no greater when a large number of councillors are newly elected or inexperienced, as is the case in Baw Baw.
Mr Spence compared the CEO’s role to that of the staffers in state and federal cabinet, where the politicians make policy decisions.
Documents from the Municipal Association of Victora show the idea the CEO creates policy is the most common misconception of the role.
The reappointment process
The responsibility to employ a CEO rests with the council and is outlined in the Local Government Act.
In the six months leading up to the expiration of the CEO’s employment contract the council must pass a resolution to reappoint or replace the CEO.
The act allows a council to reappoint a CEO without accepting applications, which is what Baw Baw’s councillors have chosen to do.
The council must also give the public notice of its intention to vote on the resolution 14 days before, which has also taken place.
13 FEBRUARY EDITION OUT NOW – Copies available from retailers across Baw Baw.
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