CEO and Toodyay shire to part ways early (March 2024 edition)

SHIRE of Toodyay CEO, Suzie Haslehurst, will be leaving her role on April 9 – almost three months before her contract was to expire.

This early exit follows her commencing sick leave on February 21.

Ms Haslehurst states she will not be returning to her CEO role and added that “it’s been a challenging and rewarding time at the Shire”.

While absent from her CEO duties, she remains employed by the shire and an Acting CEO will be nominated from the executive management team.

Previously at the Shire of York where she was Executive Manager, Corporate and Community Services, Ms Haslehurst was hired in June 2020 to replace discredited former Toodyay Shire CEO Stan Scott.

Mr Scott had quit in the middle of a State-ordered inquiry that later made adverse findings against him including financial mismanagement and breaching the shire’s code of conduct.

The inquiry also investigated allegations of bullying, botched shire prosecutions that cost ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars, and the “culture within the shire”.

At the time of his departure he had been on three months sick leave taken at short notice on the morning of a council meeting.

Like her predecessor Ms Haslehurst will not see out the full term of her contract.

It was last September that Ms Haslehurst advised the then council that she wanted to renew her contract in June 2024.

The following month on October 2, councillors voted 7-1 to endorse the independent CEO annual review report by Perth firm Price Consulting and to recognise its “high rating” of Ms Haslehurst’s performance.

Voting for the motion were Crs Madacsi, Ruthven, Duri, Hart, McCormick, Pearce and Wrench with Cr McKeown opposing.

Two days after the October shire elections at a special council meeting held in chambers, Cr McKeown was elected in a secret ballot for the presidency defeating Cr Madasci.

The Herald December edition reported that Ms Haslehurst gave formal notice two weeks later that she had withdrawn her request for a new employment contract.

She declined to comment about why she had withdrawn her request.

Following her notification, Ms Haslehurst at council direction obtained quotes from independent recruitment consultants to find a new shire CEO.

The Herald understands Beilby Downing Teal has been awarded the task of assisting council in the recruitment process.

David Flaherty, Senior Vice President of the WA Police Union, has been selected by council as the independent person to the CEO Recruitment and Selection Committee.

Ms Haslehurst’s departure adds to the number of shire workers that have left in recent months.

March 2024 edition