After the City of Kalamunda’s Chief Executive, Rhonda Hardy, was ousted earlier this week, councillors voted unanimously to rescind their decision and reinstate her employment.
Ms Hardy has been with the city since 2011, first employed as the Director of Corporate Services, and then progress to CEO from 2013 to present.
“It truly saddens me to think my last battle is with my council of whom I have been a loyal and hardworking servant,” she said.
Under Ms Hardy’s contract of employment, the council could terminate her contract at any time for any reason, however the decision to terminate was non compliant with the Local Government Regulations 1996, and also did not agree with the Local Government Act’s principles of merit, equity and fairness.
Local Government Minister, David Templeman said a lot of councils are doing great things, but if the due processes aren’t followed it doesn’t look good.
He explained you’ve got to make sure you processes are in place and due processes follow.
“You’ve got to get things right,” he said.
“This is about demonstrating good governance, demonstrating that you understand the needs of your community and it’s a a little disappointing that they haven’t followed a process, and that’s been recognised by the rate payers,” he said.
Mr Templeman commented that ratepayers expect good solid leadership, and the experience over the last couple of days shows the City of Kalamunda needs to get their act together.
With 139 local councils across WA, Minister Templeman explained he cannot keep an intimate on every single one, and being autonomous bodies they have a responsibility to provide good governance to their communities as democratically elected entities.
“I always say to councillors or any elected member that the decisions you’re making are based upon good information, sound information and that you ask the appropriate questions and you make sure that you can hold your hand on your heart at the end of the day and say I made the best decision I could possibly make with the information available,” he said.