COLAC OTWAY Shire Council’s sustainable planning and development general manager Jack Green will retire in October.
Mr Green’s formal retirement announcement comes mid-way through the council’s search for a new chief executive officer following current chief Rob Small’s decision to retire at the end of the month.
The planning department’s senior manager will leave the council without fulfilling the final two years in his contract, choosing to retire a month after his 65th birthday to “focus on family, health, travel and his two-year-old granddaughter”.
“After 30 years working in local and State Government with a very tightly programmed and structured lifestyle; I’m looking forward to spending more time with my partner, family and on doing the things I want to do,” he said.
Mr Green started working in local government in 1984 with the former Werribee Shire Council, and also worked at Hobson’s Bay Council.
He developed a working relationship with Colac Otway Shire while in a role as Business Victoria’s south-west regional manager and returned to local government in a director role at the Shire of Moorabool before starting his current role at the Colac Otway Shire Council.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I believe the organisation is far more mature and professional than it was when I first started,” Mr Green said.
“I’d like to pay tribute to Tracey Slatter because she was the initiator of this improvement, and under Rob Small’s leadership we have continued to build on and reinforce the continuous improvement principles which I believe have become the strength of this organisation.
“We have had strong and positive working relationships between councillors and the organisation overall and I’d like to thank all the councillors I have worked with for their support over the years.”
Mr Rob Small said Mr Green had been “a very influential figure in the dramatic improvement in our planning permit process and the strategic direction of developing our land use and urban form”.
“Our working relationship has been very productive and our complimentary styles have contributed to a very progressive shire which has won accolades at the regional and state levels.”
Mr Green said he was publicly announcing his retirement now “because I do not want the community, or other members of this organisation, to think that I was either leaving because of Rob’s departure, or that I wasn’t supportive of the new CEO, whoever that may be”.
“I’m looking forward to working with the new CEO during their initial time with council and it is appropriate that my replacement will be handled by that person as they determine the future direction of this organisation and how it can best serve the community.”
Mr Green, who has faced criticism for planning issues during his time as general manager, praised the council’s planning department.
“My team is responsible for many of the more contentious responsibilities of council, which often come under close public scrutiny,” he said.
“I have been very fortunate with the exceptional quality and commitment of both my managers and the teams that do the hard work to ensure we are able to achieve our objectives,” Mr Green said said.
“I admire the way they deliver their professional responsibilities in the face of sometimes extreme pressure from both the community and other levels of government, whose legislation we are responsible for delivering.”