Byron Shire Council has announced its replacement for outgoing GM Ken Gainger. And if his face looks familiar, that’s because it is.
Long-time senior staff member and acting Council general manager Mark Arnold has been confirmed in the role.
GMs are responsible for the Council’s operation and staff, who enact policy that councillors vote upon.
Mr Arnold has worked for Byron Shire Council for ten years as the director of Corporate and Community Services and will offically replace Ken Gainger, who retired in January.
Mayor Simon Richardson said, ‘I am pleased to announce that Mark was the successful candidate in a very strong field and I am really confident that he will be a great leader of the council over the next five years.’
‘Byron Shire is well known for having a passionate and engaged community that is demanding of its council and Mark has a strong rapport with many community groups already and he is also highly respected by the staff,’ he said.
Mr Arnold, who this year notched up 37 years in local government, said one of his top priorities when he takes over as GM on July 2 will be to empower the community in Council’s decision-making process.
‘The Byron Shire community is actively engaged and interested in the activities of Council and, as an organisation, we need to respect this and work with our community to make sure that what we do reflects the needs, desires and values of our residents,’ Mark Arnold said.
‘There’s never a dull moment in the Byron Shire and this is one of the things that I love about working here,’ Mr Arnold said.
‘There are a lot of exciting and innovative projects in areas like sustainability and renewables that are ready to go and I am looking forward to seeing these implemented.
‘The community can also be assured that there will be a major focus on continuing to improve infrastructure like roads,’ he said.
Mark Arnold began working for Council in 2008 after a being employed at Tenterfield Shire Council.