Lake Macquarie City Council general manager, Brian Bell, has announced his retirement, effective at the end of June.
Mr Bell, 68, retires after a career in local government spanning 50 years, including the past 11 years at Lake Macquarie where he has worked with three mayors and four councils.
Under his administrative leadership, Lake Macquarie was recognised as the most progressive council in NSW, receiving the A R Bluett Memorial Award in 2012.
Mr Bell received a Public Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours Awards in January 2016 for his service to local government.
“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.”
It is now time for someone else to take the council into the next decade and beyond.- Brian Bell
Mayor Kay Fraser described Mr Bell as an outstanding general manager who earned the respect and admiration of everyone he worked with.
“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.”
Mr Bell said he would leave Lake Macquarie City Council with a heavy heart, but also with great optimism for the city’s future.
“There are many exciting things in the pipeline and with the collaborative culture that exists between councillors, staff and community, I am confident Lake Macquarie will continue to prosper.”
Federal Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, commended Mr Bell for his contribution to local government, and Lake Macquarie.
“I wish Brian Bell and his family many happy and healthy years post his long local government career,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“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 has clearly done an outstanding job as is evidenced by the progressive growth of the city over his 11 years as general manager.
“I thank him for his outstanding service. He will be sadly missed.”