Andrew King has said he wouldn't have done anything differently, looking back on his three years as mayor of the city.
Mr King was beaten by Paula Southgate by a margin of more than 3000 votes, a substantial increase from the six-vote win over Mrs Southgate in 2016.
Despite the loss, Mr King told Hamilton News he has no regrets on what he did as mayor.
"It was just fantastically productive what we did over those three years," Mr King said.
"I'm just really pleased to have had a majority of council that supported the direction I wanted to go in."
Mr King said he was proud of bringing a Bible reading back into the opening of the council meetings, which has been an old tradition around the world.
He said after growing up in Hamilton, he had an understanding of what the people wanted, but also what others had been scared to do.
"I have listened to what people have wanted. There was the Peacocke subdivision which has been in the pipeline for over 30 years, and we got that going."
"Peacocke, with its 8000 houses will put Hamilton back into shape again, it will put more of our population around the University, CBD and hospital and keep a nice balance on both sides of the city, along with a new bridge."
He also said his vision to open the city to the river now has a real starting point and he hopes the future council will continue with that vision.
"It changes the city if you can get that water connection with the city, and we now have buildings in the area that we can eventually use to open up the city."
Also under Mr King the city has brought in free buses for those with disabilities and under 18s on weekends, while starting a community land trust.
He defended spending a higher than value price for the CBD properties, saying any riverside property would cost more anywhere in the world.
He said that the 9.7 per cent rates increase would have hurt his chance of re-election, but he needed to do it so the council would be able to run the city without the use of development levies.
Mr King does not plan to return in any form around the council table, but he wishes Ms Southgate all the best with her term as mayor.
"It's all about a united council, and I really hope Paula will be able to get other members to get behind her and work with her. She has said she is not there to rock the boat but continue the direction the city is going.
"I want what is best for Hamilton, and I believe Paula can do that and wants that too. I just want what is best for the city."
Mr King has said he has other options and is working on bringing those together now.
"I have always said I am not a career politician so I'm just working on the other options around me and looking to move on with my life."