Palmerston North City Council chief executive Paddy Clifford has announced his resignation.
Clifford’s contract was due to run out in September next year but he decided not to apply to renew it and his resignation will take effect from the end of May 2017.
Clifford said that in the past nine years he had been privileged to work with many excellent staff and elected members to develop the city. His time at the council was characterised by steady progress while keeping a tight rein on finances, though there was also criticism about a lack of progress in driving some capital projects through to completion.
‘‘The timing of this announcement should allow council sufficient time to select a recruitment agency, advertise the position, interview candidates and for the successful candidate to give notice if so required,’’ Clifford said.
‘‘I have really enjoyed this time with the city council and in particular I’ve enjoyed working with neighbouring councils and various organisations in the region and throughout the country.
‘‘Palmerston North is well positioned for a very successful future and reflecting over my past years in the city I’m proud to have played a small part in its prog- ress.’’
National MP and former city mayor Jono Naylor worked with Clifford between 2007 and 2014.
Naylor said Clifford took up the job just weeks before he became mayor. ’’We worked very closely together in those years. I enjoyed working with Paddy.’’
Looking back, Naylor said his one of his proudest moments with Clifford was around sorting the council’s financials and getting the council back on a sustainable and secure footing.
Ratepayers copped an 11.3 per cent rates increase in 2008 when the council decided to tame its mounting debt problem.
Naylor said Clifford had worked hard on the Community House project, as well as balancing the council books around borrowing money and paying back debt.
Naylor said there was fun, too, with jokes and pranks.
‘‘We worked very closely together in those years. I enjoyed working with Paddy.’’ Jono Naylor
Paddy Clifford will not apply to renew his contract as City Council chief executive.