Warrnambool councillors appear divided on chief executive officer Peter Schneider's future in the city's top job.
Mayor Tony Herbert came out in support of Mr Schneider earlier this week and now councillors Peter Sycopoulis and Robert Anderson have followed suit. The trio represents the full council on the special CEO employment committee.
Cr Herbert's comments came after a special closed meeting was advertised for next Monday to consider a "confidential personnel matter", widely speculated to focus on Mr Schneider's future.
On Friday, the mayor reiterated his stance, saying Mr Schneider was addressing a number of current and historical challenges.
"In these very disruptive and challenging times the last thing Warrnambool City Council (WCC) and the community needs is potential further uncertainty and unnecessary challenges," Cr Herbert said.
"During these times of the world-wide pandemic leaders including local leaders have called on their respective communities to look out for each other and be supportive of every member in that community.
"Challenging times needs stable, secure and steady leadership and this is what WCC is experiencing currently."
Cr Herbert implored his fellow councillors to consider the financial ramifications "if suggestions are correct around the speculation regarding the tenure of the CEO". "Our city is forging ahead as best it can through these tough financial times and any added unexpected and significant expenditure would be viewed extremely poorly by our community," Cr Herbert said.
Cr Sycopoulis said he was very disappointed by the actions of four councillors.
"I express my support to Peter Schneider in his efforts as our chief executive," Mr Sycopoulis said in a statement.
"To this point I have seen no reason to question Peter's performance standards."
Cr Anderson said Mr Schneider had his full support.
On Friday, the trio got together in a show of solidarity for Mr Schneider.
Councillors Michael Neoh, Kylie Gaston, David Owen and Sue Cassidy were not invited, they revealed to The Standard.
Cr Neoh said he found it interesting the councillors were "breaching convention" by talking about a staffing matter publicly. He said it should be dealt with confidentially.
Cr Gaston shared his view, saying it should be handled in a "sensitive and professional manner".
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