The Hilltops Council is divided over the decision to not renew general manager Anthony McMahon's contract.
The Harden-Murrumburrah Express understands that of the nine councillors who voted, four wanted Mr McMahon's contract renewed (Tuckerman; Wallace; O’Connor and Roles), two were absent from the vote (Flanery and Manchester) and mayor Ingram along with councillors Armstrong, Stadtmiller, Walker and Horton voted to dump Mr McMahon.
Mr McMahon said he would take some time before deciding if he would re-apply or seek opportunities elsewhere.
McMahon is highly respected in the local government professional sector.
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Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said she was baffled by the decision.
“It’s an absolute privilege to have Anthony McMahon, the youngest GM in NSW, in our electorate and working for the people of Hilltops," she said.
“He’s an invaluable contributor and a true leader - recently demonstrated at our Cootamundra Summit last week - where he showed great insight and depth of knowledge.
“He knows the issues and their implications and it’s a joy to work alongside a public servant who is so passionate and competent.”
“There was no malice in the decision and any suggestion that this was a get-square by certain members of the council is irresponsible and unfounded."Councillor Greg Armstrong
A councillor who voted in favour of Mr McMahon said they thought he deserved to have his contract renewed.
"It would be safe to say the four that voted to renew Mr McMahon's contract think he is doing the job well and we wanted that to continue," the councillor said.
Councillor Greg Armstrong acknowledged the decision was not unanimous.
“It was not a unanimous decision, but ultimately we agreed to test the market, " Cr Armstrong said.
"This was a commercial decision to test the market to see if we have the best general manager possible.
“There was no malice in the decision and any suggestion that this was a get-square by certain members of the council is irresponsible and unfounded."
Mayor Brian Ingram said there would be nothing precluding Mr McMahon from applying for the role when it is eventually advertised.