Scaffidi returns

LISA SCAFFIDI resumed her lord mayoral duties this week, stepping back into the job while awaiting a reduced penalty from the State Administrative Tribunal.

She told a press conference on Monday there was no bad blood between her and Perth councillors James Limnios, Reece Harley and Jemma Green, despite them calling on her to quit over the travel declaration affair.

Ms Scaffidi temporarily relinquished her duties four months ago, while appealing the 18-month disqualification doled out by SAT for 45 breaches of the local government act, relating to non-declaration of gifts and travel contributions.

In November the court of appeal overturned 26 of those 45 breaches and sent the case back to the SAT to determine a revised penalty, which was expected to take about three months.

Penalty

At the time Ms Scaffidi said she wanted to sit down with the local government department, whose CEO is bringing the case against her, to negotiate an appropriate penalty.

She said if they wouldn’t sit down for reasonable negotiations she’d resume her mayoral duties while awaiting the new SAT ruling.

During her absence James Limnios was acting lord mayor, and then after October’s election Jemma Green was selected as deputy, immediately propelling her into the acting lord mayoral role.

Post-election the new balance of power meant that policies previously stonewalled by Ms Scaffidi’s allies on council were approved: the amount the city charges restaurants to set up alfresco dining was slashed, and a partial free parking trial was introduced over Christmas.

Councillors also voted to reduce their own clothing allowance from $13,360 per year each to $3,000.

On Monday Ms Scaffidi said the council would operate smoothly with her back at the helm; but the next full council meeting isn’t til February 13, and the revised SAT penalty is expected around then too.

by DAVID BELL

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