Whittlesea council has appointed former Geelong council boss Kelvin Spiller as its acting chief executive.

A special council meeting – which was closed to the public – was held on Saturday morning, with councillors voting to appoint Mr Spiller to the council’s top job while chief executive Simon Overland is on leave.

Last week, Mr Overland announced he was taking indefinite leave from council, citing concerns for his health and safety.

He blamed the behaviour of some councillors for his decision.

“…In many respects the behaviours of some councillors have deteriorated, therefore increasing the risks to health and wellbeing,” he said in a statement released by the council.

“The situation has been very difficult now for two years, but with recent changes on council, I now regrettably find my own health and safety significantly affected.”

In a statement published on the council’s website on Saturday, mayor Emilia Lisa Sterjova said councillors appointed Mr Spiller because he has a “long and distinguished” career in local government.

Mr Spiller has held eight chief executive roles, six of which have been in local government. He most recently led Wangaratta, Geelong and Mornington Peninsula councils.

“Kelvin is looking forward to meeting with members of the community in the days ahead and I hope everyone will warmly welcome him to Whittlesea,” Cr Sterjova said.

Cr Sterjova said Mr Spiller has been asked to review the concerns raised by Mr Overland.

“Council wishes Mr Overland well and hopes that he makes a full recovery,” she said.

Mr Spiller will start as the acting chief executive today.