Mayor Glen Hartwig left the meeting over a conflict of interest owing to a complaint made by Mr Smith against him.
Mayor Glen Hartwig left the meeting over a conflict of interest owing to a complaint made by Mr Smith against him.

Hartwig: I wasn’t part of the meeting

THE bitter power struggle that lead to the spectacular defeat of ex-mayor Mick Curran at the recent election reached its final conclusion today with the resignation of controversial CEO Bernard Smith.

New Mayor Glen Hartwig moved quickly to quash suggestions he had a final say in the CEO's departure.

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Mr Hartwig left the meeting before debate began and did not vote, owing to a conflict of interest stemming from a previous complaint lodged against him by Mr Smith.

"I wasn't part of (today's) meeting," Mr Hartwig said.

CEO Bernard Smith resigned this morning.
CEO Bernard Smith resigned this morning.

"Mr Smith tendered his resignation, councillors present at the meeting accepted that resignation, and we wish him well as he moves on to future employment opportunities."

Nor was he concerned about the council's cart being up-ended in the middle of the pressures of managing the fallout from the pandemic.

"People may be concerned with that, but I have the utmost faith in our staff to fill any void that's there."

New acting CEO Pauline Gordon's previous experience would be a big help, too.

"(Ms Gordon) has handled that role incredibly well in the past and I see no difficulty in filling the void.

CEO Bernard Smith at the post-election council meeting with new Mayor Glen Hartwig and Councillor Dan Stewart. It was the last meeting Mr Smith would be part of.
CEO Bernard Smith at the post-election council meeting with new Mayor Glen Hartwig and Councillor Dan Stewart. It was the last meeting Mr Smith would be part of.

"We will go to the marketplace and advertise the position as vacant, and open it up to anyone to make an application.

"We want as many people to apply as possible, and if Ms Gordon chooses to apply - like any of the other directors or any other staff within our organisation - we're more than happy to go through their resume and see if they are duly qualified."

Deputy Mayor Hilary Smerdon, who chaired the meeting in Mayor Hartwig's absence, said the change would be a "good thing for the council".

"There was a clear sign during the election of what the community thought," Mr Smerdon said.

"I wish (Mr Smith) well in his future endeavours."

Gympie Times


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