COLAC Otway Shire Council chief Rob Small has turned down a pay rise for a second time.
Mayor Lyn Russell said Mr Small showed “good leadership” after the council offered to increase Mr Small’s pay from $217,500 to $223,000 and Mr Small declined the offer.
Cr Russell said it was the second year Mr Small had declined a pay increase.
“It’s good leadership that he has decided not to take that pay rise,” she said.
Mr Small said it was important to show leadership in the current economic climate.
“The community’s hurting. We’ve got to show some leadership and I’m happy to do that,” he said.
“I made that cut in my budget, so I’ve made this decision eight months ago.”
Mr Small said every council department had to look for cuts, although he was the only staff member forgoing an approved pay rise.
“Because I had to make a cut in my budget like I asked everybody else to, that’s the only place I could find it,” he said.
“That’s total remuneration, so out of that comes superannuation and a payment I make for private use of a car.
“What I’ve negotiated is that I may take some additional leave in lieu of that money, I’ll work that out on a pro rata basis, it’ll be agreed to by council and will all be above board,” Mr Small said.
“Right now for me, time with my grandchildren and children is probably more important to me than a salary increase, so the community can benefit from that.”
Mr Small said his pay was in the “bottom quartile” for comparable council chiefs.
“While it seems extreme to people, it’s what the market says,” he said.
“If I work whatever hours I need in a day I don’t get anything more for it, other than that fact that I’m driven by doing the job.”