RETIRING Peppermint Grove Council chief executive John Merrick (68) will be replaced by Subiaco chief executive Don Burnett.
At a special meeting last night, Peppermint Grove councillors agreed Mr Burnett will lead staff at Australia’s smallest council, where ratepayers can see individual staff members and meetings are short, compared to 25,000-resident Subiaco where issues often lead to long council meetings.
Mr Merrick said he was proud that during his leadership Peppermint Grove Council had moved out of deficit, a result of issues including the cost of The Grove library and a legal battle with the bowling club on which the library now sits, to “healthy and sustainable” finances.
“I’m 68, and I’m retiring. I came here for three years and stayed for six,” Mr Merrick told the Western Suburbs Weekly this morning.
He said a team had been created comprising the councillors, the community and council staff, which would be a legacy of the past six years.
However, he had a challenge for his successor.
“It’s the retention of the heritage and amenity within the shire given the pressure on infill and town planning in general,” Mr Merrick said.
Before Peppermint Grove, he was the chief executive of the Shire of Irwin near Dongara.
However, he said he would not return to the mid-West and instead will take up any relief positions in local government in Perth after his retirement in late June.
The City of Subiaco and Mr Burnett are being contacted for comment.