CEO out early

BAYSWATER CEO Francesca Lefante will step down about a year before her contract ends, leaving the city on September 30 with an undisclosed settlement.

The details are confidential, but councillors Dan Bull, Stephanie Coates, Brent Fleeton, Terry Kenyon, Barry McKenna, Alan Radford, John Rifici and Michelle Sutherland were in favour of a deed of settlement including a payment, while Chris Cornish, Catherine Ehrhardt and Sally Palmer voted against it.

The payout was apparently big enough for councillors to consider dipping into the employee entitlements reserve, but they baulked in the end.

The city cut off any pesky media questions at the pass, emailing a statement which said “the terms of the agreement are confidential and, accordingly, neither party will have any further comment to make about the matter,” before we’d asked.

At the same meeting the council agreed on the deed of settlement Ms Lefante’s total annual renumeration package was increased by 1.5 per cent to $316,680 in line with the determination of the salaries and allowances tribunal. She was also given a pass mark as part of a performance review.

Director of finance and corporate services Carissa Bywater will be acting CEO while the council looks for a permanent replacement.

In a joint release about Ms Lefante’s departure, mayor Barry McKenna says “under her stewardship as CEO since 2008, Francesca has steered the ship during some challenging times, including the pressures placed on the organisation during the state government’s ill-fated push for local government reform and the introduction of the Integrated Planning Framework”.

Ms Lefante says: “All things pass and it is now time for me to focus on the challenges ahead.”

by DAVID BELL

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