AFTER leading the new Clarence Valley Council through a complicated and sometimes contentious amalgamation process, acting general manager, Ken Boyle, is set to step down.

Mr Boyle told The Daily Examiner yesterday he would be 60 years of age this year and would not be able to commit to serving the council for all of the next four or five years he believed was necessary for the new general manager.

The appointment of a new general manager is now expected to be one of the lead items in the inaugural meeting of the first elected Clarence Valley Council on Wednesday.

The council will consider a recommendation that external consultants be engaged to help with the recruitment process.

Mr Boyle said he would remain in charge of the council until that appointment was made, probably about June or July.

"I am not in a position to commit to the next four to five years ... they need someone else," he said.

"I am not saying I wouldn't be willing to stay for another 12 months, but it needs someone to commit for a longer term.

"I can't work forever, and I am not in a position family-wise to commit to that four or five years. "I will go into semi-retirement."

Mr Boyle said leading the council through the amalgamation process had been one of his toughest jobs, but it was made easier through the cooperation of staff.

"It has been a challenge, but the cooperation has been great," he said.

He said it would be difficult to leave without seeing the full fruits of the efforts to bed down the amalgamated structure.

"It is a bit hard ... it would be nice to reap the rewards, but that's the way it is," he said.

"We are now getting more staff into the amalgamated structure, but there is still a lot to be done."

The new council, he said, would need to pay immediate attention to a rating structure and believed that would be finalised before his departure.

"I hope the new council inherits a reasonable budget structure, but a major task will be to revisit the organisational structure," he said.

"It is going to be an interesting time."

Mr Boyle said he and his wife had enjoyed their stay in the Clarence Valley, especially its people.

"They have been very friendly and welcoming, like they are in most country areas," he said.

"I haven't had much trouble with people anywhere."

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