Former CEO breaks down

Former chief executive Mark Dacombe. d303696
Former chief executive Mark Dacombe. d303696

After a gruelling four hours of questioning by counsel assisting the inquirer Darren Renton, Mr Dacombe was asked to describe how councillors and Mayor Joe Delle Donne reacted when he tried to get his refocus program back on track.

Mr Dacombe was half way through his answer when he choked back tears.

After a short recess, Mr Dacombe, who had insisted on answering the question on the first day, explained his brief breakdown.

‘The issues that we are talking about represent a pretty difficult period,’ he said. ‘And so that was what I was reacting to.’

He then went on to describe the meeting.

‘As you can gather, it wasn’t that successful,’ he said. ‘The atmosphere was quite adversarial.

‘I made the mistake of saying that we’d got to the stage where the place was being governed by a notice of motion. That attracted quite a violent outburst from Councillor (Graham) Barry, where basically he threatened that if I didn’t get my act together, the place would continue to run by a notice of motion, because that was the only way they could get anything done.’

Mr Dacombe’s description of this meeting highlighted the breakdown in relationship between him and the council, which he said became tense in October 2011, but had started to disintegrate during budget discussions earlier in 2011

‘The culture of the organisation itself, it was the epitome of a siloed organisation,’ Mr Dacombe said.

‘An organisation like that, that had so much going, or has so much going for it. I mean I’ve never worked for an organisation that had money sloshing around in the bank, for example’