Council infrastructure general manager to study development course in US

THE council will pay for Ballarat City infrastructure general manager Eric Braslis to attend an overseas professional development course as part of his salary package.

The Ballarat City Council has unanimously endorsed Mr Braslis’ travel to Boston from June 2-20 to attend a ‘Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program’ at Harvard Kennedy School in the USA.

The program fee is listed on the Harvard Kennedy School website as US$11,950 and covers tuition, housing, curricular materials, and most meals.

Council CEO Anthony Schinck did the same course in 2010.

Mayor Joshua Morris said each general manager had a professional development allowance as part of their salary.

“It doesn’t come out of other council funds,” he said. “When Eric comes back from that course the council will be the beneficiary of all that knowledge he acquired over there.”

The council’s executive unit recommended the trip and said Mr Braslis was expected to “proactively undertake extensive ongoing professional development” as part of his key performance measures.

“This is a requirement of the general manager’s contract and a portion of the general manager’s salary package and operational budget is quarantined for this purpose to cover the cost of the course and the associated travel,” a report by the executive unit said.

Mr Braslis has not accessed his professional development funds over the past three-and-a-half years, but he applied for and was selected to participate in the three-week intensive Harvard course.