In a vote that saw councillors divided, the Shire of Capel council has moved not to pursue an urgent review of the chief executive officer's performance.
The motion to initiate a review of chief executive officer Ian McCabe's performance and engage an independent employment consultant was lost 5-4, with councillors Kaara Andrew, Doug Kitchen, Murray Scott, Sebastian Schiano and Debbie Radisich voting against the move.
The meeting resumed on Tuesday afternoon, January 14, after being adjourned early last week because Mr McCabe had had a bereavement in his family.
The motion, originally moved by Shire president Michael Southwell, is understood to have been prompted by the chief executive officer's alleged failure to implement a recent decision of council and provide 'balanced' advice to council.
Councillor Southwell also alleged that the chief executive officer had edited a letter he had written to a local member of state parliament.
While councillors debated the confidential item, more than 30 members of the public stood outside council chambers, many of whom were perplexed by the fact that the meeting had not allowed for public question time.
It is understood the council resumed the meeting from the point in which it ended last week.
Almost half of the attendees waited for more than an hour before being invited inside to hear the result of the vote.
News that the motion had been lost was met with jeers from the gallery.