Buller District Council

Media Release – Positive annual review of Chief Executive’s performance

29th October, 2020

Today Buller District Council released the outcomes arising from its 2020 annual performance and salary review of its Chief Executive, Sharon Mason.

Buller Mayor Jamie Cleine said that the review was another overwhelmingly positive endorsement of Sharon’s performance that was again formally signed off unanimously by Council.  “We are very fortunate to have such a great Chief Executive in Sharon. Since arriving here she has transformed the way that Council runs and our relationship with our community.”

Deputy Mayor Sharon Roche, who chaired the review outcomes process through the Finance Audit and Risk Committee, said “In Sharon we have a Chief Executive who makes things happen.  In addition, we have been extremely successful in winning a substantial amount of PGF funding for projects around the district; all of which will make a big difference for our community.”

The review process looks at the delivery of results against the published Key Performance Indicators for the Chief Executive.  At this time, Council also conducts an annual salary review.  To do that, independent salary data was sought that showed how much Chief Executives in similar smaller-sized Councils around the country are paid.  As a result, Councillors unanimously agreed to a salary increase that takes the Chief Executive’s total salary to $244,000 per annum (representing an increase of 3.4%) which places Sharon around the median of salaries for smaller Councils, thereby representing the current going rate for CEs.

“The question of setting the CE’s salary is always a sensitive one, and especially this year with the onset of COVID-19”, Deputy Mayor Roche said. “Council has decided to approve a modest salary increase that keeps us in line with what small Council CEs earn.”

Mayor Cleine added, “Ultimately, we have a really good, high performing Chief Executive in Sharon, and Buller is much better off as a result.”

Some background notes:

Council is legally obliged to carry out a (formal) review of the performance and salary of its Chief Executive (CE) every year.  Normally the review process would be completed in September or October each year to align with the annual report process.

Since employing its new Chief Executive, Council has publicly put in place formal key performance indicators (KPIs) for the Chief Executive which describe the crucial matters that the CE must deliver on. These KPIs describe results in simple terms of whether they are either achieved or not achieved.

Therefore, the clear direction of Council to its CE in the form of those KPIs probably represents the most important decision a Council makes each year, in as much as Council is saying exactly what it wants from its CE. Accordingly, Council believes that there needs to be public transparency around this matter; both in terms of what is being asked of the CE, and in what gets delivered.


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