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City council CEO quits due to ill health

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Adelaide City Council CEO Mark Goldstone, who has been on personal leave since the beginning of this year, will officially resign tomorrow due to ongoing “health challenges”.

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In a statement sent to staff last night and published by the council this morning, Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said Goldstone, who joined the council in 2015, had “decided he needs to take the time to focus on these health challenges”.

His last day will be on Friday, with acting chief executive officer Clare Mockler to continue in the role until a replacement is found.

Goldstone has been absent from the council since January and was expected to remain on his full pay of about $380,000 until June, when his sick leave entitlement expired.

A council spokesperson confirmed to InDaily that his pay would end on Friday.

Verschoor said in her statement that Goldstone joined the council with “more than 25 years’ experience in local government interstate and here in South Australia, including with Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council and the City of Prospect”.

She said Goldstone had led the city council through “transformational change”.

“His leadership is characterised by his commitment to boosting economic growth, expanding smart city-based initiatives and fostering strong relationships with the Adelaide business and property development community,” she said.

“Notable achievements of the Administration during his time with the City of Adelaide include the rollout of Ten Gigabit Adelaide, the purchase of 88 O’Connell St for redevelopment, the commencement of the major redevelopment of Adelaide Central Market Arcade, the Market to Riverbank redevelopment, and the restructure of the Organisation to enable us to deliver on our strategic plan and to deliver value for our ratepayers.

“He leaves behind a highly engaged team striving to deliver great outcomes for our customers and for a City that is one of the most liveable in the world.”

Verschoor said the recruitment process to fill Goldstone’s role would commence “in due course”.

The announcement follows several special Town Hall meetings about Goldstone’s future.

Those meetings were closed to the public, with the agendas stating confidentiality was warranted given “matters that concern the personal affairs (medical condition) of the Chief Executive Officer of the Council” and “the provision of legal advice”.

Goldstone’s resignation comes as the council continues to grapple with the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and fractious tensions between councillors in the chamber.

In November, Goldstone announced he had axed over 100 full-time jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, while cutting hundreds more casual, trainee and temporary roles, in response to a multi-million dollar hit.

Meanwhile, the council has started to cut back on assets, including the looming sale of the city beach volleyball court on the corner of Pirie and Frome Streets.

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