TWEED Shire Council general manager Mike Rayner will leave the council on Friday with very few regrets after 30 years in its service.
"There haven't been many days where I didn't want to come to work," Mr Rayner said.
"I will miss the position. Something I have realised over the past few days is that I will miss a lot of the people here."
Mr Rayner was always there for council and community access meetings and ready to come to the defence of the officers and staff.
"I have a very strong view that we have a high-performing organisation," he said.
"When you get members of the community who are ill informed, attacking council staff in a public forum well you just can't let that go.
"I wouldn't be doing my job as a general manager if I didn't go on the front foot."
He said a lot has changed with council since he started in June 1982 as a water supply engineer and has seen the shire grow in the past 30 years.
"One thing I would say about council was that we have been able to keep up the infrastructure," he said.
"Growth is not a new thing. In the period between 1976 and 1981 the population of the Tweed rose from 26,000 to 39,000; a 50% increase in a five-year period."
Tweed Mayor Barry Longland said Mr Rayner would be hard to replace.
"His experience of 30 years will be a resource that we lose as of Friday," Cr Longland said.
"You can't just get that resource back straight away.
"The AR Bluett award 2011 from the State to the most-outstanding council is a wonderful accolade for Mike."
Cr Longland said Mr Rayner was highly respected by staff and councillors and was leaving on a high with the council earning numerous awards in the past few years.
Mr Rayner said he would spend his retirement with his family and enjoying his active lifestyle.
"Life's short and for a long time we all think we are bullet proof," he said.
He said now was the time for a lot more golf, running, riding his bicycle and a lot more family time.
The one regret he had about his time at the council was the amount of infrastructure projects still in the pipeline.
"There is an enormous number of projects we want to deliver but there is not enough money to go around," he said.
"But you know, if someone has enough passion for it then it will be delivered."
Mr Rayner met with his replacement, David Keenan, yesterday at the Tweed River Regional Art Gallery.
Mr Keenan starts in the role next week.
"If someone has enough passion for it then it will be delivered."