Town of Cambridge searching for another interim chief executive

Town of Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon.
Town of Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon.

THE TOWN of Cambridge is looking for another interim chief executive and has appointed a law firm to provide advice in regards to suspended chief executive Jason Buckley.

The council made the decision at a special meeting this week after a motion to go behind closed doors was lost, and the item was carried 5-4.

The council also authorised a payment of almost $34,000 to law firm Hall & Wilcox for providing advice in relation to an internal investigation.

Mayor Keri Shannon said Hall & Wilcox drafted Mr Buckley’s suspension letter and show cause letter.

Councillor Andres Timmermanis said the meeting’s item dealt with a number of administrative issues.

“I’m glad this meeting is public, in that what we’re attempting to do as a council is fix some pretty substantive issues,” he said.

“There’s a need more broadly for some sense of stability and certainty.”

Price Consulting will run a recruitment process to appoint an interim acting chief executive to begin around June 11.

Corporate and Strategic Director Jason Lyon had been fulfilling the interim role.

A submission from Mayor Shannon said the appointment had become untenable because of continued delays with Mr Buckley addressing the show cause notice.

MDC Legal will act on behalf of the town and provide advice in relation to issues with Mr Buckley’s employment.

“We’re effectively a senior executive position short in terms of functionality at a pretty difficult time for the town, not just simply because of the investigation, but also it’s budget time and end of financial year time,” Cr Timmermanis said.

Councillor Louis Carr raised questions over the expenses involved in hiring a new interim acting chief executive and legal fees.

“My concern is the cost of this exercise is mounting rapidly,” he said.

The Town of Cambridge is currently the subject of a Department of Local Government inquiry as the result of ongoing monitoring and the decision to suspend Mr Buckley.

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