CITY of Perth council has tonight voted in a new acting chief executive in what Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has called an act to usurp administration.
Director of economic development and activation Annaliese Battista will step into the role for only a few days.
A special council meeting was called to change the City’s policy to allow council to choose an acting chief executive and to nominate a member of administration.
It comes days after City chief executive Martin Mileham took stress leave and his replacement acting chief executive Robert Mianich later did the same, both alleging workplace bullying.
Tonight’s meeting was adjourned twice before Ms Battista was declared the new acting chief executive.
Councillors Reece Harley, Lexi Barton and James Limnios and deputy mayor Jemma Green’s attempts to vote in a new acting chief executive hit several snags.
It was revealed a nominee must give their consent, but Ms Battista, who was on leave until 5pm today, could not be reached by phone by manager of governance Mark Ridgwell.
It was only when Mr Ridgwell received a call back from Ms Battista in which she accepted the nomination, that council could finally vote.
Ms Scaffidi and Councillor Jim Adamos were vehemently against the move and nomination, with Mr Adamos repeatedly calling the situation “a joke”.
After the meeting, Ms Scaffid told media the move, in her opinion, showed “a complete lack of support and confidence in the City’s administration”.
“In essence, in this resolution the council has usurped what would be a simple administrative matter and allowing good people the City employs to run administration to determine who is the best and most appropriate person to fill for an employee away for less than four weeks,” she said.
“I am very concerned about the timing of this resolution; it was not an urgent matter.”
She said her support was with Mr Mileham and Mr Mianich.