Aberdeen’s Labour-led administration is under fire for agreeing to pay £80,000 a year for a new post to improve the public image of the authority.
A head of communications and promotion – a job title that did not exist previously – will be appointed as part of a major restructuring of the organisation.
The new official will have a wide-ranging remit that includes dealing with the media and advertising the good work going on at the town house.
The opposition SNP group argued the role was not necessary and was already being covered by existing staff.
However, council leader Jenny Laing insisted it was not meant as a slight on the current team, and would simply “strengthen” ongoing efforts.
And deputy leader Marie Boulton said the post would be “worth its weight in gold” if the outward image of the authority, and the city itself, could be improved.
An SNP amendment to remove the post from a wider shake-up of the council was defeated by 23-18.
Speaking afterwards, Nationalist leader Callum McCaig linked the new appointment with the loss of another head of service position, in social care and well-being.
He said: “I think it sends an incredibly wrong message to replace that position with a head of communications.
“We already have very good communications professionals, but the simple fact of life is that when we you are organisation like Aberdeen City Council, you are not going to be keeping everybody happy.
“It is a lot of money and it could be spent much more productively on the front-line.”
The remit for the new post covers civic events, promotion, advertising, marketing, communication and media.
Finance convener Willie Young, meanwhile, took issue with an earlier claim from SNP councillor Graham Dickson that the new head of communications would be a “spin doctor”.
He added: “This is not about the political administration.
“It is about the council – one of the most important things is public reporting and how we, as a council, get that message out. It is important that people know how their money is being spent – we have some great people working for us.”
Mr Young added that the removal of the head of service for social care and well-being was due to new legislation from the SNP government at Holyrood on integrating health and social care.