GM’s early exit
Friday, 4th September, 2015
By Craig Brealey
The General Manager of City Council, Therese Manns, has resigned and will leave the job at the end of the month.
Ms Manns, who was two years into a five year contract, said yesterday that she was sorry to go and would miss Broken Hill.
“However, in life and career, opportunities arise and I have taken up a role as Director of Corporate Services at Sutherland Shire,” she said.
Mayor Wincen Cuy said Ms Manns had informed him of her decision on Tuesday and that he had accepted her resignation with regret.
This was just days after the mayor and four councillors reviewed her performance as GM and declared it excellent.
Clr Cuy said yesterday that Ms Manns had in her two years achieved about four or five years’ worth of work for Council and almost halved its deficit of $6.9 million.
This work began with a controversial restructure of Council’s management which cost two senior managers and 20-odd staff their jobs.
“There is still a long way to go,” said Clr Cuy. “We still have a $3.3 million deficit.”
But Ms Manns, who is a chartered accountant, had done much to improve Council’s finances, he said.
“So much so, that Council is now looking at a break-even financial position in about five years.”
The system she had established also put Council in good stead, the mayor said.
Ms Manns said that hardest part of her job had been the first stages of the restructure that was made to save money and put the Council in a solid financial position.
“I am proud of the staff and the way they handled the change process, which was very rapid,” she said.
“If we didn’t have the people, we would not be where we are now.
“It’s not just numbers...it’s our future and our kids’ future.”
Ms Manns thanked the staff and the councillors for their work and said she was “proud to have contributed”.
“I say ‘contributed’ because it has been a team effort.”
The councillors, she said, had to make some difficult decisions in the last two years.
“It is a credit to you for showing leadership and tackling those challenges but there is still more to be done and the reform agenda will need to continue.”
Broken Hill becoming the first city to be heritage-listed and Council’s own plan to revitalise the city’s downtown augured well for the future, Ms Manns said, and she urged people to “accept change and be progressive.”
“I really think it’s exciting times for Broken Hill.
“I would encourage everyone, including the media, to put Broken Hill in a positive light.
“If all people hear is negative, then they are not going to stay.
“To the Broken Hill community, thank you. I have met and worked with some wonderful people. There are many who work tirelessly to make Broken Hill great.”
Ms Manns is due to finish work on September 30. Deputy General Manager, Sharon Hutch, will then take on the position until Council decides whether to seek another GM.