Bill Braithwaite is stepping away from Ararat Rural City Council after a 38-year career in local government.
"I have worked in local council as an officer, chief executive, councillor and deputy mayor. I don't think there are too many people that can say that," he said.
"It has been my privilege to work as an officer and councillor for Ararat.
Mr Braithwaite joined ARCC during a "turbulent time" in 2000.
"When I joined the council as chief executive, the council was in disarray," he said.
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"ARCC had just had a commission of inquiry - it had an appointed chief executive and appointed monitor.
"I am proud of the fact that together with my councillor colleagues, we were able to bring stability back to the council and repair the tarnished reputation.
"We also had a very strong mandate to reduce the operating cost of council.
"We managed to produce two years of no rate rise and one year of a rate reduction."
Mr Braithwaite left ARCC in 2007 to take up the position of chief executive at Mitchell Shire Council.
"I returned to Ararat in 2012. I was then elected onto council on the by-election in 2017 and served three years on the council and the last year as deputy mayor."
Mr Braithaite also owns an olive plantation in Armstrong, where he produces extra virgin olive oil.
"The covid citation has basically decimated my business. I lost a lot of my clients in Melbourne," he said.
"Also, the whole process of doing the olives is difficult when you can't get labour.
"It's a labour intensive activity for part of the year, which affects the people that do my crushing.
"I have owned the business for 20 years, but I am looking to sell it soon."
Mr Braithwaite said he withdrew from council because of a "family situation".
"I don't think it was fair to stand and then leave after six months. If you're going to stand you have to do the four years," he said.
"A new council is always a challenge, but we have got a very good chief executive.
"As long as the council work together, everything is set up for a rosy future.
"I think Ararat is an amazing community. It doesn't wait for people to give them charity, It gets up and works.
"The proof of that is when railways closed, 500 jobs gone. When Aradale closed, 900 jobs gone. When Prestige closed, 400 jobs gone.
"Ararat didn't wait for the state or federal government, it started working for itself. Ararat always bounces back."
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