CEO stoush on again

ARC CEO Susan Law
05th May 2020
Janelle Stewart

Armidale Regional Council CEO Susan Law is facing a new showdown, with councillors once again calling for her resignation. ARC Mayor Simon Murray has confirmed that he has received a new request for an extraordinary meeting with the view to terminating Ms Law’s contract.
The request was delivered by Cr Debra O’Brien and signed by six councillors, believed to be Crs Tiley, O’Connor, O’Brien, Robinson, Galletly and Murat. A similar request, also supported by Cr Bailey, went before council in February but was dismissed on a technicality.
Ms Law’s future is set to be decided at an extraordinary meeting which is set down for next Tuesday, May 12th.
Cr Murray said that he has still not be told the reason behind the move, but is concerned at the financial implications for the community. He said the cost will be at least $800,000 to pay out her contract and begin recruitment for a new CEO. If Ms Law chooses to pursue legal action against Council the cost would be significantly more.
He expressed frustration at his fellow councillors, who he said are actively trying to stop the CEO from doing her job and that the implications are quite severe.
“I believe that council staff and the community want stability and financial accountability,” he said. “Any payout will eat into our cash reserves and risk our ongoing operations.”
“We also need to be mindful that the high turnover of CEO’s in recent times means that potential replacements may view Armidale as toxic and be reluctant to take on the position.”
“The community needs to know why these six councillors have called for this to happen and to give their reasons for what they are doing,” he said. “If they can’t do that, they should take a step back and begin working together to ensure that the Armidale region can continue to move ahead.”