Sutherland Shire Council general manager John Rayner to retire after 33 years of service

Dedication to the community: Sutherland Shire Council General Manager, John Rayner is pictured after his contract was extended in July 2013. Picture: John Veage.
Dedication to the community: Sutherland Shire Council General Manager, John Rayner is pictured after his contract was extended in July 2013. Picture: John Veage.

General manager John Rayner will retire in September after 33 years with Sutherland Shire Council.

Mr Rayner joined the council in January 1982 as shire clerk and was appointed shire clerk/general manager in 1988.

With changes to the Local Government Act, he was appointed general manager in 1993.

Before coming to the shire, Mr Rayner was town clerk with the newly amalgamated City of Great Lithgow Council and worked at Mudgee and Grafton in local government.

‘‘I’ve enjoyed my time in the shire,’’ Mr Rayner said.

‘‘It’s a leading council in Australia and over the decades the council and the people of Sutherland Shire have made it the great place it is today.

The council agreed in mid-2013 to Mr Rayner’s request for an extension of his contract from March 2013 to September 2015.

It was reported in late 2013 that Mr Rayner came within one vote of being dumped from the job during a dramatic ‘‘showdown’’ with mayor Kent Johns.

Mr Rayner was ‘‘saved’’ after the last-minute intervention of the shire’s senior Liberal, Michael Tynan, and a decision by deputy mayor Kevin Schreiber to change his vote.

At the time, Cr Johns said that a major responsibility for the general manager would be to ensure that the council’s new structure was put in place and align day-to-day operations with its strategic direction.

In January 2012, then-mayor Carol Provan praised Mr Rayner's 30 years of service, officially recording appreciation in a mayoral minute.

Mr Rayner said he would remain a shire resident and enjoy its lifestyle.

‘‘I’m looking forward to playing golf, surfing and keeping fit and perhaps dong a bit of charity work and seeing what opportunities come my way,’’ he said.

What do you think of John Rayner’s decision to retire as general manager of Sutherland Shire Council?

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