One of council's longest-serving managers has called it quits in a move that has caught staff by surprise.
The most powerful executive at Cairns Regional Council announced his resignation in a late afternoon email to staff earlier today.
Peter Tabulo emailed all staff at about 4:30pm with the surprise announcement, stating he would not be returning from his current stint of long service leave.
He was due to return to the Spence St council chambers next month.
Instead, he will move back to Caboolture for what he described as "family reasons", where he spent nine years as as Planning Manager for Caboolture Shire Council in the nineties.
TropicNow understands council's current Chief Financial Officer John Andrejic will be made acting CEO while a formal search for Mr Tabulo's replacement is launched.
Mr Tabulo has served as council's chief executive since June 2012, when he took an acting role until being formally appointed six months later in early 2013.
He has sat atop council's executive tree ever since - only second in terms of power and influence to Mayor Bob Manning - managing 1400 employees who deliver more than 400 different services and functions.
In the email to staff late this afternoon, Mr Tabulo called his four-year stint as Cairns Regional Council CEO a "true highlight" of his 30+ year career in local government.
He thanked his staff and colleagues, and urged them to remember a council motto of "providing for today while planning for the future".
Mr Tabulo began his career as a planning consultant here in the Tropical North before starting in local government with short stints at Mulgrave and Cairns Councils in the 1980s.
He went on to work as Deputy City Planner with Toowoomba City Council and Planning Manager with Caboolture Shire Council before returning to Cairns to work for the council in 2000.
Due to the late news of Mr Tabulo's resignation, TropicNow was unable to contact council for comment for this story.