Camden Council managers exit at each other's heels

FOUR senior managers and a planning team leader have left Camden Council in the past six weeks, but the council has declined to comment on the departures.

Development manager Jeremy Swan left at the end of May while most recently strategic planning Kylie Powell, environment and health manager Geoff Green, customer services manager Kylee Cowgill and senior town planner Mairead O'Connor have either retired or left for other jobs.

When Mr Swan resigned Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak delivered a mayoral minute to the council meeting, thanking him for his 4½ years of service.

"Despite the tremendous growth in planning and development application assessment, Mr Swan has been instrumental in the good management of such, with Camden becoming one of the fastest councils in assessing development application in NSW under his direction and management," she said.

Cr Symkowiak declined to answer the Advertiser's questions about the loss of the planning department's two remaining managers, the customer services manager and a senior town planner in such a short space of time.

However a council spokeswoman said in a statement: "Council treats the professionalism and privacy of our staff very seriously and does not propose to comment on general staff matters.

"The council has a committed and highly skilled workforce who are continuing to provide a high standard of service to the Camden community."

However, councillor Eva Campbell said it concerned her to see so many experienced members of staff leave the council all at once.

"I am particularly concerned about planning and compliance," she said.

"We have such massive growth foisted on us by the NSW government at the moment and we need all the expertise and local knowledge and experience that we can possibility retain."

Camden Community Alliance president Peter Versluis said it was of particular concern if senior staff members were leaving the council while there was such worry in the community about the way the council was operating.

"To what extent has this council become so political it is not representative of the community?"

The Advertiser contacted Local Government Minister Paul Toole's office for comment. He declined the request.