Accountant becomes latest acting general manager

Bill Richardson.

THE chief financial officer of the Derwent Valley Council has become the municipality’s latest acting general manager.

Mr Bill Richardson, who joined the council last year, is understood to have been temporarily appointed to the senior managerial role in the middle of last week when Sydney-based Brian Barrett decided to stand down.

One of Mr Richardson’s first tasks was to certify the agenda documents for the monthly council meeting to be held this Thursday. He noted that the meeting would be held by “telephone or other electronic means” in accordance with the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020.

“An electronic recording of the meeting will be available for viewing by members of the public as far as reasonably practicable contemporaneously at [the] council’s website,” Mr Richardson said in his Notice of Meeting. “Where not reasonably practicable an electronic recording of the meeting will be  made available on [the] council’s website for viewing the following day.”

Mr Richardson – who usually sits below executive managers Richard Blackwell (infrastructure and development services) and Amanda McCall (acting – corporate and community services) in the council’s chain of command – becomes the council’s fifth acting general manager in less than a year:

  • July 2019: Daniel Smee, seconded from the Kingborough Council when general manager Greg Winton stepped aside during an investigation into a bird-cull at Tynwald Park; 
  • September-November 2019: Margaret Johns, seconded from the Hobart City Council when Mr Winton went on leave;
  • November 2019: Richard Blackwell, DVC executive manager, took over from Ms Johns when she returned to HCC and Mr Winton remained on leave;
  • November 2019-April 2020: Brian Barrett, of Blackadder Associates, took over from Mr Blackwell as Mr Winton’s leave continued, and remained when the council started the process of replacing Mr Winton.

The Local Government Act gives the mayor of a council the authority to appoint an acting general manager when the general manager is absent or unable to perform the functions of their role.

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