Past and present mayors of the Shoalhaven City Council spoke about future challenges for the area and what they wished they'd accomplished in office.
They gathered on Thursday, August 1 for the 40th anniversary of Shoalhaven City, after in 1979 the Shoalhaven Shire was approved to become a city.
Paul Green said he wished his push for green bins had been successful.
"Environmental issues are very important to our area I think we need to be able to do more to get our green waste in our green bin. Of course we lost that vote," he said.
"I think it would've been able to deliver very clean waste streams.
"I would have liked to have won the green bin debate and that's probably my biggest regret in terms of being mayor."
Former Shoalhaven mayor Cr Gash said her biggest disappointment was not being re-elected.
"I did get first past the post and I lost on preferences and that was my biggest disappointment," she said.
"I wanted to give more time to Shoalhaven city, that was why I left federal politics to come here.
"The merger decision was very difficult at the time because if there was anything in it for the Shoalhaven I would have looked at it more closely."
The current Mayor Cr Findley said her biggest challenge so far had been on the affordable housing front.
"I think one of my biggest bugbears has been around affordable housing," she said.
"I'd really like to see more of that started before my terms ends."
Over their time in office and time living in the Shoalhaven, the former majors have seen the city change dramatically.
"I've seen it change enormously, I've seen the people change, I've seen the infrastructure change," Cr Gash said.
"It's been phenomenal."
"When I came down here a lot of infrastructure wasn't in place, shopping centres were few a far between," Mr Green said.
"A lot of work has gone into infrastructure - it's gone from just ordinary to extraordinary services."
Long-serving former major Cr Greg Watson had seen the population grow but also industry decline.
"We've lost a lot of manufacturing jobs unfortunately which is a result of powers beyond our level," he said.
When asked what the Shoalhaven would be like in 40 years all of the mayors had different answers although most of them saw a challenge of managing a growing population.
"Sadly I see it being absolutely populated... the sad thing with that is you need to build more houses, more units," Mr Green said.
"People are coming here and they want to call here home and they have a right to - the challenge is, we're landlocked.
"We need to make sure that it doesn't get away and we need to keep on top of our growth strategy."
"Come on... I won't be around..." Cr Gash said.
"We certainly need more places for our people to live, we definitely need more infrastructure if tourism is going to continue which it will."