Council administrator Tim Overall told a budget estimates hearing in Sydney on Friday that he had asked to forego his allowance in the lead-up to this week’s election.
He was questioned by Labor MLC Peter Primrose and Greens MLC David Shoebridge, two men who have vocally opposed administrators running at council elections.
Vivian May, administrator of the Cumberland Council, also appeared before the committee.
Both administrators were questioned over job losses in their respective councils since amalgamation, their remuneration for the role and superannuation contributions.
Mr Primrose questioned whether Mr Overall had taken any leave from the administrator position while preparing for the election. Mr Overall indicated he had not as there were no leave entitlements because he was not an employee.
Mr Overall told the committee that he had elected to forego his administrator’s allowance, of $225,000 per annum, for the two-week pre-poll period.
“In other councils mayors and councillors receive their allowance right up to the declaration of the poll of a new council,” he said.
“But I, as administrator, decided to do the right thing and forego during the two-week pre-poll period up to the election.”
A heated exchange ensued when Mr Shoebridge suggested that campaigning had begun much earlier than pre-polling and suggested it was “grossly unfair” and “unconscionable” that Mr Overall was running while appointed administrator.
Time for Mr Shoebridge’s questions then ran out before he could receive a response on whether Mr Overall had received any legal advice on foregoing his payments. Mr Shoebridge suggested that others in similar positions in other councils had been told they could not.