Ratepayer review request

Concerned APC residents Craig Argent, Greg Tucker, Ros Franks, Trish Smith and Bill Roney are calling for an independent management review of the APC.

 

Bec O’Brien reports:

RESIDENTS and ratepayers of Adelaide Plains Council (APC) are calling for an independent review of council management, amid community concerns and numerous Letters to the Editor in the Plains Producer over staffing numbers, management issues and more.

Craig Argent, Mallala’s postman for the past 21 years and Adelaide Plains Ratepayers and Residents Association (APRRA) member, believes a review is warranted.

“There seems to be enough noise in the public to say there’s something going on,” he said.

“If there’s not, then the review will show that.

“The fact council hasn’t responded so far is a point,” he said.

“I think there should be a due diligence thing every four or five years, an outside review.”

APRRA chairman, Greville Knight, said the group ‘absolutely agreed’ an independent review should be conducted.

Mallala local, Ros Franks, is also in favour of the review.

“I am in favour of an independent review of Adelaide Plains Council because council needs to be held accountable,” Ros said.

CEO James Miller, said staff welfare will continue to be his priority.

“Council maintains a safe workplace that provides for the wellbeing of its employees. Our staff are our greatest asset; hard working and committed to serving the community,” Mr Miller said.

“Staff in any organisation may choose to leave their employment for a variety of reasons; retirement, career opportunity, promotion, lifestyle, shorter commute, more money.

“Since June 2016, 22 permanent staff have resigned for these very reasons.

“To include contracts that have come to an end in this figure would be misleading. The very nature of a contract is a period of employment that is intended to come to an end at an agreed date.

“In some instances, and where it is found staff have committed serious and wilful misconduct in discharging their duties, council is duty-bound to take decisive action.

“I would not be discharging my own duties diligently if I ignored such behaviour,” he said.

APC mayor, Mark Wasley, said the alleged figure quoted in letters of 50 staff departing APC since 2016 is ‘absolutely inaccurate.’

“Staff employment matters are operational and are dealt with by Council HR and the CEO.

Neither elected members or the Mayor have involvement in these processes,” he said.

“I hope to make a statement of accurate facts when I am at liberty to do so, but for now I cannot make comments that may predjudice any actions that may be under way.”