Lisa Scaffidi gets back to work as City of Perth Lord Mayor after four month absence

Lisa Scaffidi faces a seven month suspension while already suspended along with the rest of Perth council.
Lisa Scaffidi faces a seven month suspension while already suspended along with the rest of Perth council.

FIRST thing on the agenda for Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, who returned to office today after four months, is getting her email up and running.

Ms Scaffidi stepped down from her duties while she awaited a penalty decision on her breaches of the Local Government Act.

She refused to speak to reporters today about any pending State Administrative Tribunal matter, but said she was “refreshed and keen to focus on our capital city’s needs”.

Ms Scaffidi said she intended to have a “casual meeting” with all councillors this week, including new councillors Lexi Barton and Steve Hasluck, who were elected during her absence and she had not met.

“As soon as my emails are up and running today I intend to invite them to participate in a meeting with me if they would like to,” she said.

“I want to hear what they have to say and obviously we are about a week and half away from committee meetings so it would be a good opportunity to have a casual meeting with them and learn about the new councillors, I’ve not met them.”

Ms Scaffidi said there was no “bitterness or bad blood” towards other councillors with whom she rarely saw eye to eye, such as Reece Harley, James Limnios and Jemma Green.

“There’s no bad blood on my part. I’m very keen to return to work; I’m a very fair person and I will continue to operate professionally,” she said.

“I’d say 95 plus per cent of our decisions are unanimous.”

Ms Scaffidi said she used downtime during the last four months to spend more time in the City and identify where improvements could be made.

“I’ve taken time to speak and meet with many City stakeholders and they’ve been very candid with me in giving me their views on various aspects of the city,” she said.

“It’s also enabled me to look at the City from a user perspective and that has been very useful.

“I’ve had the opportunity to venture into the metropolitan area a little bit more than time allows normally in this role and I’ve taken the time to look at the ways the City could do things and I believe there are some initiatives that I will bring back to the city that I could improve how we focus on our needs.”

Dr Green last week told the Guardian Express she had reached out to Ms Scaffidi for a handover meeting, but had not been successful.

Today, Ms Scaffidi confirmed the two would meet when Dr Green is back from leave on January 16.