SHETLAND Islands Council chief executive Mark Boden is set to retire after more than five years in the role.
Boden, who will leave his job at the end of January, said he has been “extremely fortunate” to work and live in Shetland.
The process to appoint a new chief executive will begin immediately and an appointment is expected to be made in the new year.
The 60 year old joined the SIC in 2012 following a career in local government which had already spanned 32 years, including a decade as chief executive of Kennet District Council in Wiltshire.
“I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of the great team at Shetland Islands Council and live in the special place that is Shetland,” he said.
“During my time at the council we have seized several opportunities and overcome many challenges. The council is now in a strong financial position with an excellent team of officers. Operational and financial management are first class.
“The council is in a great position to take advantage of the opportunities and meet the challenges of the future.”
SIC convenor Malcolm Bell said Boden helped oversee the council as it rallied through its previous financial difficulties to become more responsible spenders.
His time as chief has not been without its difficulties, however, with the council still to re-open its North Ness headquarters to staff after being shut last year on safety grounds.
“When Mark joined us in 2012, the organisation was just coming out of one of the most turbulent periods in its history,” Bell said.
“Since then we’ve made a number of breakthroughs thanks to the teamwork between councillors and council officials led by Mark.
“Our financial management has improved significantly, with the council becoming financially sustainable in 2015/16 for the first time in 12 years.
“Our reserves and investments have stabilised after years of depletion, and our governance processes are much more focussed which has led to better performance in many areas, despite ongoing financial pressures.
“We have built close partnerships with other public bodies in Shetland, and successfully created one of the best-performing integrated bodies for delivering community health and social care in Scotland.
“We’ve developed our relationship with the Scottish and UK governments to the extent that we’re close to finalising new legislation to protect the isles’ interests at the highest levels.
“And after many years of failed attempts, we’ve also just seen occupation of a new Anderson High School, which was the top priority in the council’s corporate plan.
“Mark has been an outstanding public servant for over 37 years. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for that work and in particular his service to Shetland over the past five years. We wish him well for a long and happy retirement.”