Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Robert Domm resigns

Council's General Manager, Robert Domm resigned this morning and will be leaving within a week. Mr Petar Vladetta, the City's counsel, will fill his shoes on an interim basis. Councillors hope to determine the appointment of the next manager, according to one councillor. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Now could the Editor of this KX Times please take on the job so we can help Clover get some sense into this city?

Anonymous said...

Does mean that the motion was carried as presented at the community meeting?

Anonymous said...

Oh please, oh please can Clover be next?

Anonymous said...

I think the editor of the KX Times would make a bloody good Lord Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, and get Pam Walker to be the Editor of the Kings Cross Times.

The Editor said...

The editor prefers to have a life. What we actually need is a general manager who has read and taken on-board the work of Jane Jacobs and Richard Florida, rather than the Kafka-esque tin-god bureaucrats who now opress us with their regimental, self-righteous squelching of all community life.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the editor of the Kings Cross Times would make a good mayor. His financial responsibility is defunct. He needs to pay some of his own long outstanding creditors first who have been sorely abused at the hands of this flippant, recently arrived twat from the north shore.

The Editor said...

That's interesting. My credit is actually really good and my business has made a point of paying all genuine debts since its inception in 1991. I have many references to that effect. Perhaps, rather than posting anonymously, you would care to put your name to your impolite slander? Then I could perhaps put you straight about whatever misconceptions you are labouring under. In the meantime, can we keep this public forum civilised? I really don't want to have to start censoring these comments.
Best regards, Michael Gormly

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael, It seesm that lying, deception and dishonesty are also your trademarks. I welcome censorship, the more you have to do for your illgotten gains the better. Why don't you actually include some information in Your Profile, or are you too scared that people will realise that your views are based on less than 2 years in the area, but is nevertheless happy to be a self-appointed mouthpeice on behalf of people who have lived here for decades. On behalf of those people, I say, "take your dog, your mouth and good riddance".

The Editor said...

My, you are a bitter person, still not identifying yourself or substantiating any of your silly slander. You obviously have some chip on your shoulder -- why not talk to me face-to-face? By the way, I don't believe in dog.

Anonymous said...

Alan Jones interview with Clover Moore reported in the Wednesday Daily Telegraph

“she did not believe there were problems between her team of councillors and staff , or within her team”

Clover must have been sleeping when Councillor Black spoke out about problems with staff at the public meeting chaired by Clover last week

Anonymous said...

From ABC radio tonight

Sydney council manager abandons contract

The general manager of Sydney City Council has quit his job and will leave on Friday.

Robert Domm has come under fire in the past two weeks for accusing Deputy Lord Mayor John McInerney of having secret briefings over a plan to turn the area from Central Station to Sydney Airport over to the South Sydney Development Corporation.

The corporation is currently in charge of the the redevelopment of Sydney's Green Square.

Mr Domm also had a no confidence motion moved against him at a community meeting last week.

But a spokesman for Lord Mayor Clover Moore says Mr Domm has not resigned over the recent infighting.

She says Mr Domm is looking for new opportunities.

She says that his job has changed significantly, even though he has two years to go on his current contract.

Anonymous said...

To the Editor:
Rats come in all sizes and shapes. Your detractor is a low-life and you should ignore him completely.
Keep up the good work Michael!

Anonymous said...

From Sydney Morning Herald 30 September

Rise and fall of a City veteran

By Darren Goodsir, Urban Affairs Editor
September 30, 2004

While Robert Domm attended the funeral of his predecessor, Greg Maddock in Brisbane, he knew his extraordinary actions had jeopardised his own career.

Mr Domm has been cast as autocratic, displaying many of the attributes of his former boss at the City of Sydney, Frank Sartor.

The general manager had disparaged Lord Mayor Clover Moore's deputy, John McInerney, in a blistering email to councillors - an extraordinary attack for an unelected official.

Mr Domm might have believed at first that Cr Moore would back him against her running mate, whom he accused of undermining the City's authority on a major planning change.

She supported him initially, but if Mr Domm thought her support would survive the long term, let alone over the weekend, this was seriously misplaced.

It was also a dramatic misreading of the pressure building within the court of Cr Moore, who has been attracting more brickbats than compliments recently over claims of secrecy and a lack of proper consultation.

The relationship between Cr Moore and Mr Domm, whom she controversially reappointed months ago, had up until last week been seen as upbeat.

That was not the view of other councillors, including some of Cr Moore's own team of independents - some of whom resented Mr Domm's demeanour.

Although his run-in with Cr McInerney sparked the events that led to his resignation yesterday, the cracks in council solidarity - and in Mr Domm's own power base - can be traced to a meeting less than a fortnight ago.

Then, one of the independents, Cr Phillip Black, attacked Mr Domm at a Kings Cross meeting over shop awnings. He then failed to intervene to stop a motion of no-confidence launched from the floor against Mr Domm by residents and shopkeepers.

The general manager's post has been a difficult one, with a number of individuals filling the role in the past few years.

But with three years in the job, Mr Domm was a veritable veteran.

He did what even his most strident adversaries would say was a reasonable job in blending the radically different staff cultures of the City of Sydney and South Sydney councils.

The City had swelled from seven square kilometres to 26 square kilometres, resident numbers rose from 30,000 to 130,000 and workers increased from 200,000 to 350,000. In addition, he had just supervised a budget surplus, the envy of other councils.

Cr Moore last night paid tribute to these accomplishments, and then sought to suggest his parting had little to do with his verbal assault on Cr McInerney.

She said Mr Domm had approached her on Monday seeking an amicable departure.

That move climaxed in yesterday's resignation. With two years left on his contract, Mr Domm got to leave with $208,000 - or the equivalent of nine months' salary.

But the reality of his leaving is far from the serene affair portrayed by Cr Moore.

At a council meeting on Monday night, an independent councillor, Marcelle Hoff, accused Mr Domm of "lacking courage" in sending the email. She objected to the manner in which he has levelled his criticisms.

Shortly after, a Labor councillor, Tony Pooley, moved a motion of confidence in Cr McInerney, a gesture that was seconded by Cr McInerney himself. Cr Moore's refusal to accept the motion as "urgent business" finished with her asking Cr McInerney to see her in her office immediately. But this invitation was declined, and Cr McInerney turned on his heels.

Labor's Cr Verity Firth said the affair showed how Cr Moore's platform of promoting transparency in office "had failed to live up to expectations." The Liberal's Cr Shayne Mallard said of Cr Moore's claim the departure had little to do with recent events: "[She] has spent too much time hanging around the Carr Government if she thinks the community will swallow that one."

In an email to staff, Mr Domm said his departure was "appropriate in my current circumstances". He thanked Cr Moore "for all her support" and wished the other councillors the best.

Petar Vladeta, has been appointed acting general manager. Cr Moore said yesterday that a permanent replacement would not be announced until all councillors had been consulted.

Anonymous said...

Daily Telegraph:

Council at war: chief leaves

By MARK SKELSEY Urban Affairs Editor

September 30, 2004

JUST a few days after being publicly abused by a councillor, Sydney City Council's top bureaucrat yesterday decided to resign with a $208,000 payout.

Council general manager Robert Domm said he would be walking out the door tomorrow, capping a tumultous week at the authority covering 150,000 residents.

Mr Domm, a public service industrial relations hardman who some residents nicknamed "The Domminator", said it was "time to explore other opportunities".

Despite having two years left on his contract, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she had negotiated for Mr Domm's payout to be "reduced" to nine months of work – a sum of $208,000.

Ms Moore, with the support of a majority of councillors, decided in May to renew Mr Domm's contract for another two years.

Mr Domm's position was unclear because the proclamation creating the newly-expanded council referred to him only as the "acting general manager".

Mr Domm last week sent an e-mail criticising Deputy Lord Mayor John McInerney over his alleged support of a plan which would have stripped the council of planning powers.

Councillor Marcelle Hoff attacked Mr Domm over the e-mail at a council meeting on Monday, calling it "disgraceful".

Ms Moore said Ms Hoff's comments were irrelevant, because Mr Domm said he had indicated he wanted to "finish up" before Monday's meeting. Ms Moore supported Mr Domm, saying she had a "good working relationship" with him.

But it's clear that at least half the councillors did not hold this view and the relationship between them and Mr Domm was deteriorating.

Former South Sydney mayor Tony Pooley, now an ALP councillor, and Liberal councillor Shayne Mallard, said Mr Domm should not have been re-appointed by Ms Moore in May.

Mr Pooley said the position should have been advertised for all comers, as the new council had the authority to do this.

Mr Pooley clearly felt Mr Domm had an autocratic style which included making councillor inquiries to staff run through his office.

Mr Domm will be best known for his tough stance to eradicate inefficient industrial relations practices, including a system where garbage collectors could only work two or three hours a day.

Mr Mallardsaid yesterday's events showed that Sydney should not have a part-time lord mayor.

"The Town Hall crisis also demonstrates yet again that a modern global city like Sydney cannot be run as a part-time position."

Anonymous said...

Oh please, please don't censor the crap like that bitter curmudgeon puts forth. As you say, it's just gutless slander and anyone who knows you will be having a good old chuckle. Free speech! Biff.

Anonymous said...

Actually it is a full time position with a Lord Mayor who has half a brain.

Anonymous said...

No need to censor that horrible bile from the commentor further up - the more the person writes, the more deranged they sound.

Anonymous said...

No need to censor that horrible bile from the commentor further up - the more the person writes, the more deranged they sound.

Anonymous said...

Robert Domm is an honorable man