Omodei to help Perenjori
A dysfunctional shire in the Mid West will draw on the experience of the Manjimup Shire Council as shire president Paul Omodei steps in as commissioner this month.
Local Government Minister David Templeman appointed Cr Omodei as commissioner for the Shire of Perenjori after the resignation of five of its nine councillors.
A commissioner essentially serves as a shire’s chief executive officer, shire president and councillors until an election can be held — in this case, on May 30, 2020.
Cr Omodei said his appointment as commissioner was a feather in the cap for the Shire of Manjimup because it showed “the powers that be” realised the council was a professional organisation.
“I think where I’m fortunate is that the Shire of Manjimup has very good processes and a very stable council and we can use some of our examples and apply them to the Shire of Perenjori,” he said.
Cr Omodei said his commissioner appointment would not interfere with his role as the Manjimup shire president.
“It might mean there are times when I’m away for more than two or three days at once,” he said.
“The Minister virtually said that I had done a good job as the Grants Commission chairman, but he’d like me to go to Perenjori, so he wasn’t reappointing me as chairman.”
While he acknowledged the upsides, Cr Omodei said he was also disappointed to be removed from the Grants Commission.
Cr Omodei was selected for his experience in local government as a former Local Government Minister, having had Manjimup Shire Council involvement for 18 years and having served as a commissioner on two separate occasions.
“In all, it adds up to about 30 years experience and I know the Local Government Act, which was brought in when I was Local Government Minister,” he said.
“I’ll have the job of sorting out all the internal problems at the shire and my first task will be to pass the budget.”
Cr Omodei was appointed as commissioner after Mr Templeman gave the Perenjori Shire Council a Show Cause Notice as to why they should not be suspended, but by their June 21 deadline, five councillors had resigned.
Mr Templeman said appointing Cr Omodei as commissioner until next year would allow appropriate time to properly stabilise the operations of the shire and to provide good government to the people. “It is disappointing when the level of dysfunction within a council requires intervention by the Minister,” he said.
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