Liverpool's top man resigns

Off to greener pastures: Farooq Portelli has moved on from his role as Liverpool Council's chief executive.
Off to greener pastures: Farooq Portelli has moved on from his role as Liverpool Council's chief executive.

AFTER almost a decade of service Liverpool Council's chief executive Farooq Portelli has started a new chapter in his professional life.

The announcement that Mr Portelli was resigning was made after the council went into closed session at the end of its meeting last Tuesday night to hear a confidential mayoral minute.

Mayor Ned Mannoun told the council that the minute was about a staffing matter, therefore had to be heard in closed session.

After the public portion of the meeting resumed Cr Mannoun announced that Mr Portelli would be leaving the council and his final day would be March 28, but he would be paid until July 1.

He said Rob Noble, who had previously been a general manager at councils including Rockhampton and Caboolture, would be acting chief executive until the position was filled.

Cr Mannoun said the new chief executive would be chosen by a panel which would include himself and councillors Mazhar Hadid, Peter Ristevski and Wendy Waller.

Mr Portelli said that after 9½ years of working with the council he was now ready to seek new challenges.

He said he was sorry to leave a job that he loved and was grateful for the kind sentiments expressed by councillors and his staff.

"Liverpool has come such a long way in the past decade," Mr Portelli said.

"We are now a thriving city with both sound finances and a bright future.

"I have been proud to have been part of this transformation and I leave with goodwill for the mayor and the council and wish them all the best for the exciting future plans they have for the city."

Cr Mannoun said he hoped Mr Portelli would remember the good times between them and not the more difficult times they had experienced recently.

"Every journey goes in waves, so there were ups and downs," Cr Mannoun said.

He said Mr Portelli's service was defined by major challenges including the 2010 fire that destroyed the council's administration building where he was instrumental in leading the organisation through the recovery and relocation process.

Cr Tony Hadchiti said he would like to see someone with a fresh perspective appointed to the role.

"I don't think it should necessarily be someone from a local government background," Cr Hadchiti said.

"We need someone fresh — someone from the outside, maybe from business or industry."