The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and its CEO John Walker have agreed to a mutual separation.
In a joint announcement the Mayor John Bowler and Mr Walker said there would be a three-month notice period with Mr Walker’s final day being Saturday, October 16, which is the date of the local government elections.
“We both believe this will be an opportune time for the City to look for a new CEO, when there will be a new council sworn in,” said Mr Bowler.
“Events in the last two months have impacted on the health of the CEO to the point that there was consensus on both sides that it would be difficult for him to maintain the high standards both parties have come to expect.
“It was only at the last council meeting that we reviewed his work last year, which saw a rating of 79 percent for his key performance projects and 96 percent for carrying out duties and responsibilities.
“Personally, this is a sad day for me and, I believe, a sad day for John Walker because I know just how much of himself he has put into his work in administering our community.”
Mayor Bowler said the commitment of the CEO to Kalgoorlie-Boulder was demonstrated by his three-month notice period, which the City wanted because he had so much to pass onto senior management.
In the five and a half years he has been the City’s CEO, its finances have improved dramatically; going from the 139th
out of 140 councils in Western Australia to be in the top 10 percent every year. That was achieved with the lowest cumulative increase in rates in the state.
Mr Bowler said that at the same time as pulling the City’s finances into order, John Walker had inspired the most dramatic and ambitious expansion of Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s economic base in a century, with several new industries lined up for two heavy industry parks at West Kalgoorlie.
“I, and I know several Councillors, are worried that his departure comes at a crucial time in the development of these important projects.
“That is why his three-month notice is crucial to ensure our senior management will have time to come up to speed on this important work.”
Mr Bowler said the CEO had been front and central in attracting and progressing the Hilton Hotel Golf Clubhouse, the Lynas rare earth plant, the Child Care Centre for Council staff, and the Lot 350 Strategic Industrial Land, and several other major industries that will create thousands of new jobs and on-going wealth for decades.
Mr Walker added he was proud of the job he had done over the last 5 and a half years and the results achieved, and also the contribution that he and his partner Veronica had made to the community.