Former director of corporate management, Daryl Hagger, is taking the reins of Kempsey Shire Council while a replacement for the departed general manager David Rawlings is found.
Mr Rawlings, who had been in the role for eight years, is on leave effective from Monday, July 10.
Mr Hagger, who has been responsible for areas such as finance, rates and governance in his former role, was appointed to acting general manager after council and Mr Rawlings mutually decided it was time for a leadership change to take the organisation in a new direction.
The decision was reached at an extraordinary meeting of council on Friday, July 7.
Council staff were informed last Monday via a memo and a series of staff meetings.
Mayor Liz Campbell acknowledged this is a significant change for the council.
“I am confident this is the right change, happening at the right time for both David and council.
“I wish David every success in his future.
“Councillors have identified the need to work more closely with the community on our vision for reshaping the Macleay.
“We are also committed to reviewing and improving the organisational culture and working towards a more efficient, customer-focused council,” said Mayor Campbell.
The move to part with Mr Rawlings is the second step in council’s plan for cultural reform.
The initial step was seeking a consultancy firm to perform an independent organisational review.
In February, council tendered for a company to conduct the review.
According to the tender advertisement, by undertaking this examination council aims to “redesign and develop improved communication, employment and structure opportunities for the organisation to become a leading local government area and service provider.”
At a council meeting on March 1, LKS Quaero was appointed to conduct the organisational review and a budget of $40,000 was allocated.
A report and recommended organisational structure is expected to be tabled at the August council meeting, with staff to be provided further details around this time.
Once the report has been tabled, council will craft a position description for the general manager role.
The results of the organisational review will also enable council to comment further as to why it required cultural improvement and to provide specific details of what that change will involve.
Mr Hagger has temporarily acted as general manager in the past, so having a caretaker general manager is not unprecedented for council, and he is comfortable and more than capable of keeping business operating as usual.