Council members divided - CEO has room to improve

Alexandrina Council's CEO Peter Dinning has received mixed reviews regarding his performance. Photo: File

Alexandrina Council's CEO Peter Dinning has received mixed reviews regarding his performance. Photo: File

REGION – The chief executive officer (CEO) of the southern Fleurieu’s largest council has received a mixed report card on his performance over the past year.

A performance review of Alexandrina Council CEO Peter Dinning indicated elected members were divided on whether he had met expectations in his role. 

In a close vote, councillors decided against endorsing the CEO’s salary increase of 2.6 per cent.

In confidence at council’s August 1 meeting, council voted against granting a salary increase and to ‘crystallize’ the expiry date of his employment agreement at June 30, 2018, rather than extending it to 2019.

This was despite staff members, who report to Mr Dinning, indicating he met or exceeded expectation in all areas.

BDO Industrial and Organisational Psychology conducted the performance review, which found the elected member group to be internally divided, “with some feeling that Mr Dinning is performing at expectation while clearly some feel he is below”.

The report gave feedback that Mr Dinning needed to maintain, and for some, re-establish the relationship with the elected member group and mayor. It also recommended he increase active involvement and visibility with all communities across the council area.

At the council meeting, elected members were tied in voting on a motion not to endorse a salary increase and extension of employment agreement. The mayor used his casting vote to pass the motion.

Councillors voting affirmative were councillors Tuckwell, Walker, Featherston, Davis and Lume. Voting negative were Stanley-Murray, Stewart, Gartrell, Brazzalotto and Woolford.

Neighbouring council City of Victor Harbor recently approved a three per cent salary increase for its CEO Graeme Maxwell, after receiving his performance review. 

At meetings of both Victor Harbor and Alexandrina, councillors attempted to move CEO review discussions out of confidence. 

Mayor Keith Parkes said not all councils use external consultants for performance reviews of CEOs. 

“It’s very subjective, it’s really a rotten process to have to put somebody through that every year,” mayor Parkes said.

“Because it (the vote) was very close, there was a certain amount of emotion involved in it too.”

Mayor Parkes said Mr Dinning’s performance review had to be above requirements to be granted a salary increase and employment agreement extension.

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