TWO Emeritus Mayors and other community leaders have paid tribute the Hunters Hill General Manager Barry Smith, who is leaving the job after 22 years service.
In an historic council meeting, Mr Smith served alongside new General Manager Lisa Miscamble who officially starts her term on Thursday.
Hunters Hill community pays tribute to retiring Barry Smith
Emeritus Mayors Sue Hoopmann OAM and Richard Quinn said Mr Smith had ensured the survival of the heritage municipality during the last year’s battle against a proposed state government forced merger.
“During the forced merger Barry Smith risked his standing and none of us would be here tonight without his support,” Richard Quinn said.
“And while some other councils have faced corruption and code of conduct issues, this council has stayed out of the news and a lot of that is due to Barry.”
Sue Hoopmann OAM said Mr Smith had restored community confidence in Hunters Hill Council at a time of crisis.
“When Barry arrived 22 years ago the community was still reeling about the loss of a previous general manager,” she said.
“Gradually, Barry won over the residents and Barry’s networking was invaluable and still is.
“It is one of the reasons we are still here and why residents say he has done a good job, and he has.”
Save Hunters Hill Municipality spokesman Phil Jenkyn OAM also praised Mr Smith’s loyalty and leadership.
“This is an historic meeting tonight because I don’t think Hunters Hill has ever had two general managers at the one meeting,” he said.
“Barry has shown an incredible commitment to have been here for 22 years and it has been tough, battles have been fought and won.”
Among community speakers to congratulate Mr Smith was Wendy Benrimoj from the Hunters Hill-Le Vesinet Friendship Committee who thanked Mr Smith on behalf of the Committee and on behalf of the Parisian township of Le Vesinet.
Mr Smith thanked councillors, staff, the community and his family.
“I could not have achieved anything without the support of my family, especially my wife, who understands the needs of local government,” he said.
He also expressed confidence in Hunters Hill’s future.
“Financially we are ok in Hunters Hill but we do need to be vigilant and that is the challenge that lies ahead,” he said.
“Hunters Hill is a little place, we may take longer to get things done but in the end we end up getting things done better.”
Mayor Mark Bennett said Mr Smith has served local government for more than four decades and has worked under six mayors.
“We are all justifiably proud of his achievements,” he said.
New General Manager Lisa Miscamble said she is thrilled and excited by the opportunity to work with the local community and staff to achieve great things.