BRIAN Bell will call time on a career in local government spanning half a century in June, when he will retire as Lake Macquarie City Council general manager.
The 68-year-old has spent the past 11 years at the helm in Lake Macquarie, taking the reins in 2006 and earning a Public Service Medal in last year’s Australia Day honours.
“I have been fortunate in my 11 years at Lake Macquarie to work with stable, considered and courageous councils that have worked for the greater good of the people of Lake Macquarie,” Mr Bell said.
“My time here has been exceptionally rewarding and I have enjoyed every moment, but it is now time for someone else to take the Council into the next decade and beyond.”
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said Mr Bell had earned the respect of his colleagues during his tenure.
“Brian has overseen a period of strong financial and operational management, which laid the foundation for Council’s successful campaign to remain a stand-alone organisation when declared fit for the future in 2015,” Cr Fraser said.
“Council’s’ relationship with the community has also flourished under his leadership, with a strong focus on participation and engagement.”
The council will run a recruitment process to find a replacement.
Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon wished Mr Bell well in life beyond local government.
“Since being elected to represent the western side of Lake Macquarie last July, I have been impressed by Brian’s management and leadership style,” he said.
“I thank him for his outstanding service. He will be sadly missed.”