A REVIEW of Ballarat City Council senior officer positions was again called for in a public forum yesterday.
But the Municipal Association of Victoria warned the council will have no say over any management position apart from chief executive officer Anthony Schinck.
All but one of the 22 council candidates took part in the 3BA/The Courier Ballarat City Council candidate election forum, with each candidate allocated about five minutes to speak.
Several candidates said that, if elected, they would review the council’s senior management roles.
However, MAV chief executive officer Rob Spence said the only person the council employed was the CEO.
“The rest of the officers are appointed by the CEO and the (Local Government) Act is quite strict about that,” Mr Spence said.
“That’s the rules of the game.”
Central ward candidate John Burt said there needed to be a review of the structure of the council’s paid officers.
Current councillor and fellow central ward candidate Samantha McIntosh also said it was important these positions were merit-based.
She said it was the responsibility of the elected council to go through this process in the right manner.
Candidates Amy Johnson, Glen Crompton, Peter Innes and Stephen Pelchen all said there were serious cultural issues currently in the council while central ward candidate Gary Fitzgerald said he would ask for a complete review of senior positions.
Questions were asked by The Courier editor Andrew Eales, 3BA journalist Andrew Kilmartin and 3BA radio announcer Jane Nield, while the forum was hosted by Mike Cooper of 3BA’s Ballarat Today.
South ward candidate Joshua Morris was unavailable, as he is a school teacher in Darley.
Other issues raised included community engagement, political transparency, planning, poker machine reduction, sustainable growth in Ballarat West, rate rises, the Civic Hall and the saleyards.
Mr Eales said many of the candidates were clear they want more scrutiny of officer performances.
“The Civic Hall and an emphasis on how our city develops were also put strongly forward,” Mr Eales said. “This election is very important for the city of Ballarat and having our candidates state their case for the public in a forum such as this is key to the election process.
“This partnership between 3BA and The Courier hopefully has shed some light on some of the most important issues.”
The City of Ballarat did not wish to comment yesterday.