Council managers appointed

Four new general managers have been employed at Latrobe City Council as part of a restructure which acting chief executive John Mitchell said aimed to streamline service delivery and provide cost efficiencies for the community.

A structural review in March resulted in council’s five overarching departments being reduced to four.

It came as the council’s only two remaining, non-acting general managers departed, following an exodus of all their senior leadership colleagues in the six months prior, including chief executive Paul Buckley.

The new divisions are: Community Liveability, Community Infrastructure and Recreation, Planning and Economic Sustainability and Corporate Services.

A new team will support the chief executive’s office, headed by an Executive Manager Policy and Support.

“This new structure will create better synergies internally, which will result in cost efficiencies for the community,” Mr Mitchell said.

“We can now focus on core service delivery as well as prepare for emerging opportunities over the coming months – there is a state election later in November – and years.

“The new general managers and Executive Manager Policy and Support have a wealth of expertise in local government and commercial settings and will bring fresh perspectives to our organisation.” Mr Mitchell said.

The new appointments are:

Alison Coe, General Manager Corporate Services Alison was Director Corporate Governance at the Moira Shire Council in north east Victoria. She has worked in the private, public and not for profit sectors across a range of industries and sectors, including an overseas posting to Japan and Victorian Treasury and Finance.

Phil Stone, General Manager Planning and Economic Sustainability

Phil was Director, Development Services at South Gippsland Shire Council. He has worked in both the private and public sectors, but has a passion for the sense of “greater good” working for local government and empowering people to facilitate economic growth and great service.

Sara Rhodes-Ward, General Manager Community Liveability

Sara was most recently General Manager Marketing and Communications at Goulburn-Murray Water. She has worked in a range of industries – police, not-for-profit, residential tenancies, airports, water, local government, politics.

Steven Piasente, General Manager Community Infrastructure and Recreation

Steven was Corporate Services Director at Bass Coast Shire Council. He has also undertaken the roles of Community and Economic Development Director and Infrastructure Director at Bass Coast Shire Council and is committed to working in local government and making Latrobe a great place to live, work and visit.

Sarah Cumming, Executive Manager Policy and Support

Sarah has held a range of senior management positions at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for the past 11 years. Prior to that she was a Litigation Lawyer with Slater and Gordon with expertise in personal injuries and employment law. She is a Director and the Deputy Chair of Gippsland Water.