Decision to close Camden Council meeting raises ire of residents

General manager Ron Moore.
General manager Ron Moore.

Camden councillors rejected calls from residents, including Camden Community Alliance members, to allow the public to hear discussion concerning general manager Ron Moore’s performance review and senior staff contractual conditions at last night’s meeting.

Alliance member Lorraine Iddon told the meeting she didn’t understand why the discussion would be closed to the public: ‘‘don’t we pay these wages?’’

Pieter Versluis (left) and fellow Camden Community Alliance Peter Standen, who are opposed to changes in Camden's main street.

Pieter Versluis (left) and fellow Camden Community Alliance Peter Standen, who are opposed to changes in Camden's main street.

Pieter Versluis told the meeting he had no problem with the remuneration packages of staff being kept secret.

But, he said, ‘‘we have a right as members of the public to know how long your contract is and a right to know what the KPIs [key performance indicators] are.

‘‘The meeting should remain open’’.

Mr Moore told the meeting that in his experience the contracts of senior staff ‘‘should be discussed in a confidential setting’’.

Mayor Lara Symkowiak said the council was acting in accordance with Office of Local Government guidelines in closing the meeting.

However, councillor Eva Campbell — who with councillor Penny Fischer opposed closing the meeting — questioned why previous mayors and general managers had reported the performance reviews as mayoral minutes to general council meetings.

‘‘Why the change?’’ 

Cr Symkowiak said mayoral minutes on the general managers' performance reviews in the past were always of a general nature, there were ‘‘never any specific details’’.

''Specifics can be addressed in the closed meeting.''

Councillors Symkowiak, Peter Sidgreaves, Therese Fedeli, Debby Dewbery and Greg Copeland voted to close the meeting.

Councillors David Bligh and Greg Warren were absent from the meeting.

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