THE looming retirement of the Riverina's longest-serving council boss has been met with a mixed response from Berrigan Shire's mayor and business leader.
Berrigan general manager Rowan Perkins will work his final day on April 16 and officially finish in July.
He became general manager aged 39 in 1998 after having been director of corporate services at the council for the previous three years.
Mr Perkins declined to speak to The Border Mail about his retirement but told the Southern Riverina News that he had planned to leave the job in June before bringing it forward because of other senior staff exiting.
"Several key staff members made the decision to retire, so I thought it best to leave the hiring of their replacements to the next general manager.," he told the newspaper.
Mayor Matt Hannan praised his work.
"Rowan has been a great servant with Berrigan Shire, both in his role as general manger and through his community involvement with the Tocumwal Football Netball Club as an example," Cr Hannan said.
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"He's been a great leader in his field, not just locally but at a regional level with (council body) RAMJO, where he's been on the board."
Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce president Sergio Redegalli, who disagreed with Mr Perkins' handling of plans for a new visitor centre in his town, believes the retirement is overdue.
He noted the process surrounding the redevelopment of a hall at Finley and the Tocumwal information centre had been contentious issues.
"I wish him well in his retirement but it's time for a change," Mr Redegalli said.
Cr Hannan said a consultant had been engaged to recruit a new staff leader and the job, which will be rebadged as chief executive officer, would be advertised soon.