Mayor-elect Barry Turner outlines vision before debate

by Lucie Roy
Morinville News Correspondent

Mayor-Elect Barry Turner who was acclaimed Morinville’s next mayor Sept. 18 offered his vision for the next four years prior to Wednesday night’s Chamber forum.

“I want to start out with a heartfelt thank you for the tremendous honour and opportunity given to me. Without your past support, I would not be standing here this evening,” Turner told an audience of about 40. “I pledge to work hard every day to be the mayor that this community deserves.”

Turner went on to say he sees many great things coming to Morinville, and expressed thanks for being allowed to be part of it.

The mayor-elect said had he ran a campaign his three planks were going to be Responsible, Engaged and Leadership.

“When I speak about responsibility I am talking about money. Construction of the new regional recreation facility has begun. I am excited about new opportunities the facility will bring. I am also aware of the new debt that comes with it,” Turner said. “While this debt is being paid down, Council will need to carefully manage new capital projects to ensure that the priority stays on critical infrastructure and uses existing funding, grant funding or maintains debt at sustainable levels.”

Responsible budgeting was also a topic of Turner’s speech, and the mayor-elect said over the last number of years, through good financial stewardship, expenses have been consistently and significantly under budget.

“This is a great thing. I believe that this term we need to do a better job at sharpening our pencils when projecting expenditures and ensure that we continue to collect only the taxes we need,” Turner said.

Engament, another of his planks was described as connecting more with our local community groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Midstream [Support] Society, the Food Bank, Festival Society, Rotary Club, Lions Club and other local groups that Turner believes make this community a great place to live.

“You are the heart of our community,” he said. “I believe that we can do more to support your events and initiatives. Right now the new Community Services Advisory Committee is moving on some tremendously important initiatives to get us all better connected, to partner more and to work together.

“This is not a big budget change, just a change in mindset that means more community-based projects that involve and support all of our amazing volunteers.

Turner closed by saying his vision of leadership involves service.

“A leader works for you, not the other way around,” Turner said. “As mayor, I will work for residents by meeting with local groups, supporting your events with you, learning what you want to achieve and helping us achieve it.”

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