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City council supremos to quit

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Two of Adelaide City Council’s most senior directors will resign in the coming weeks, one month out from the council handing down its budget.

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The council’s services director Steve Mathewson and operations director Beth Davidson-Park told InDaily this morning they had voluntarily decided to resign from the council.

The directors will leave their posts on April 17, just over a week before councillors are due to approve the council’s 2019-20 draft budget.

However, Davidson-Park and Mathewson said their resignations were not prompted by the timing of the upcoming budget.

Davidson-Park, who on several occasions was acting CEO during her three-year career at the council, said she was “really proud” of what she had achieved in her role, including improving greening in the city and introducing a “whole-of-street approach” to planning.

She said her decision to quit her post was based on “a time for change”.

“It’s all good. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved for the City of Adelaide,” she said.

“In the three years in the capital city, I’ve achieved really significant change in liveability and greening of the city.

“For me, it was really just a time of change.”

Davidson-Park said her and Mathewson’s decisions to leave at the same time would ensure “change would happen in one hit”.

Asked if the timing of her resignation had anything to do with the looming budget she replied: “No, not at all”.

Mathewson, who has worked for 11 years in senior positions in local government, said his decision to quit was brought on by a desire to return to his previous career in consulting.

“It’s just a personal decision, that’s all,” he said.

“We decided to announce the resignations at the same time, which I think is a better outcome for business overall.

“It’s better for change management.”

The council’s draft budget includes more than $22 million in potential projects but only $15.7 million to spend, with the council needing to find $4.5 million in efficiencies over the next two financial year’s to balance the books and avoid a future deficit.

Mathewson said his decision to resign was “quite the opposite” from wanting to avoid any fallout from the budget.

“I think the budget is going to land well,” he said.

“It’s a new chamber, they’re very driven in what they’re doing and they’re going to land a really good budget in the next fortnight, to be honest.”

In an email to council staff, CEO Mark Goldstone said interim management arrangements would be put in place while he considered a longer-term structure.

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