Secrecy surrounds the shock, sudden departure of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council general manager Phil McMurray after his resignation was announced at an extraordinary meeting held in Cootamundra on Wednesday night.
A statement released shortly after the meeting stated that the council resolved to accept Mr McMurray’s resignation, and that “due to the confidential nature of the matter no additional information will be provided.”
The matter was deemed as confidential due to the mayoral report containing personnel matters concerning particular individuals, other than councillors.
The council resolved to accept Mr McMurray’s resignation as general manager of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council, effective on and from March 25.
The motion was carried six votes to two, with Crs Abb McAlister and Penny Nicholson voting against the motion.
Cr David Graham was absent from the meeting.
The council further resolved to thank Mr McMurray for his service to the council and, in particular, the leadership he showed in helping to unite the council following amalgamation.
Manager regulatory services Glen McAtear has been appointed acting general manager until the council appoints an interim general manager.
The council will now commence the process to recruit a new general manager.
Little notice was given for the 5pm meeting, with the council only publicising its intention to hold the meeting earlier in the day on Wednesday.
Prior to the 2016 merger, Mr McMurray was appointed general manager of the former Gundagai Shire Council in December of 2014, being promoted from director of engineering services.
He took on the position of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council general manager in October 2019, winning the role over 10 other applicants. He held the position of acting general manager prior to that, following the sacking of former general manager Allen Dwyer who was dismissed by the council in 2018 for breaching a condition in his contract.
Mr McMurray’s experience as an engineer and manager in NSW Local Government spans over 30 years.