In a split decision Warrnambool City Council has voted to remove Peter Schneider as chief executive officer.
The decision was made at a special meeting of Council held on Monday night.
“It is with regret that I announce Peter’s departure from Council,” Warrnambool Mayor Cr Tony Herbert said.
“This will be a difficult decision for the community to understand.
“There was no reason given to support the notice of motion for the termination and Peter’s recent performance appraisals were all passed unanimously by council.
“After numerous offers of mediation by me to avoid this decision, some councillors did not avail themselves.
“The vote was divided along lines speculated in the media over recent days.
“Unfortunately I cannot release any information on the financial cost to Council of this decision, as the councillors who voted in support of the motion also included a gag on releasing the cost details.
“It’s my view that the community has a right to know this cost, but for the time being we are prevented from disclosing this information.
“From my perspective Peter had done an excellent job and had tackled some difficult issues that had arisen prior to his arrival.
“He had also performed well following the declaration of a state of emergency brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
“And under his leadership we had just recently produced a budget that I believe was financially responsible while also extending a considerable amount of assistance to the community, including local businesses.
“I would like to thank Peter Schneider for the work he has done as CEO.
“He was a strong advocate for Warrnambool after making the significant decision to move from Western Australia to Warrnambool.
“I wish him – and his family – well.”
The role of acting CEO will be filled by Director Community Development Vikki King.