PREMIER Mark McGowan has written to Lisa Scaffidi urging the embattled lord mayor to stand down, but she is refusing to quit and has branded the move “extremely unprofessional”.
Mr McGowan has pledged to sack Mrs Scaffidi, but it’s a lengthy process under the Local Government Act and he’d have to form a three-member enquiry panel, and could only dismiss her if the panel recommended it.
In the meantime he’s written to Mrs Scaffidi and asked her to resign.
“The City of Perth has lost the confidence of the state government, and in my view, will continue to lose the confidence of ratepayers and the wider WA community if the situation is not resolved,” the letter read.
“I urge you to consider the best interests of the City of Perth and make an honourable decision.”
Mrs Scaffidi said Mr McGowan’s letter was inappropriate.
“I am continuing to abide by the processes specified by the department of local government, yet the political interference at play by the premier yesterday and today by the minister show they don’t (abide by their own processes) and this must send a concerning message to any person that find[s] themselves in a similar legal situation,” she posted on her Facebook page.
“If politics can interrupt due process before it’s completed where is procedural fairness for a citizen?
“This is a very sad situation. Given how tirelessly and passionately I have committed to the role. But I have participated at all times according to the Local Government Act.
“I have and continue to maintain a busy schedule, and the city is operating very well. “The government are indicating they can’t work with the City of Perth (not vice versa) so the situation is an indictment on them and of their own creation.”
Following 18 months of Perth council not answering media inquiries from The Voice, its journo David Bell recently discovered he had been been blocked from Mrs Scaffidi’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, City of Perth staff are demoralised and have lost confidence in Lisa Scaffidi, says Cr Jemma Green.
“I call on the lord mayor to stand down,” said Cr Green in a statement on Friday.
“There are more than 700 staff at the City of Perth who are doing so much good work and they cannot get their message out.
“This situation is having an enormous impact on staff morale. The ratepayers and residents deserve better.”
On Saturday, Cr Reece Harley also reiterated his call for Mrs Scaffidi to resign.
“It has been my consistent view since October 2015 that it is in the best interests of the city, our residents and ratepayers for the lord mayor to stand aside,” read his statement.
Mrs Scaffidi has responded saying “those calling for my resignation are the very ones (same three) perpetuating and creating unrest and I hear today a further suggestion by them that it’s causing cultural or brand damage to the city.”
“In fact it is their doing”.