By EMMA CORNFORD
CLARENCE Valley Community Programs (CVCP) chief executive officer and three members of the board have resigned.
Former CEO Michael Foley said three members of the board, including acting chairperson Anne Kelly, held a meeting with him last Monday.
They asked him to resign immediately and 'sever all ties' with the organisation, after some board members lost confidence in the direction CVCP was heading.
Mr Foley said while he would have preferred to staye on until the end of the financial year to complete a number of projects, he decided to leave.
"I don't think they followed procedure in the way that the organisation prides itself, but they must have felt that was the way they wanted to do it and they felt that was their prerogative," he said. "While the timing of my parting was not of my choosing, I did this in order to avert any conflicts which may have jeopardised the future of CVCP, which remains strongly placed to continue to serve the needs of the Valley. CVCP is more important than any individual.
"I am saddened that a dedicated band of excellent workers may see their labours over the past two years come to naught (and) I hope the board will see fit to ensure the Clarence Institute's continued operation and growth."
Following Mr Foley's unexpected departure, board chair Heather Roland, past chair and highly respected, long-time member Ted de Roos and Indigenous board representative Victor Webb also resigned.
"I was touched and honoured when (they) ... felt it necessary to resign from the board, recognising that the move to pull back from the broad agenda we had jointly set was not the direction in which CVCP would be going into the future," Mr Foley said.
Mr de Roos, who had been involved with CVCP since 1997, said the board's actions influenced his decision to leave.
"I didn't really want to comment on that but I suppose yes, we were a bit unhappy with how it was all done and yes we had our concerns," Mr de Roos said.
"But I've become involved with other things during the years and they've been growing and growing so they'll certainly be keeping me busy."
Mrs Roland took six months leave of absence from her position in January, due to ill health and family concerns, but said she had also decided to resign with the restructure.
"I really feel I'm not quite equipped for this field and with my health I feel it's best for me to be involved with things I feel completely comfortable with," she said.
"The work (CVCP) do is fantastic ... but for me, I've had to reassess what I'm doing and that's also why I've decided to resign. It's been a very sad decision."
Mrs Kelly said although she was hesitant to comment before the board had convened for a meeting, she was confident that CVCP would continue to provide quality services.
"I'm sure that CVCP will continue to progress ... and I want to reassure clients that services provided by CVCP will continue to be provided by CVCP in the excellent fashion they always have been."
Mr Foley said he wanted to thank everyone at CVCP for their support and stressed there was no ill-feeling towards the board.
"It wasn't Machiavelian at all. This group of people thought they'd further their agenda and good luck to them. They've taken on a major responsibility and I'm sure they recognise that," he said.
"All those both within and outside CVCP who supported me over the years and particularly of recent times, my heartfelt thanks; I have not had the opportunity to thank you personally as I would have wished, but I deeply appreciate your strengths, guidance and encouragement."