by Jennifer Lavallee
Morinville News Correspondent
Morinville Councillor Barry Turner has announced he will officially seek the Town’s top job in next fall’s municipal election.
In a press release circulated on June 28, the councillor said, “my campaign will focus on the key planks of service, engagement, and transparency.” Turner has 16-years of service on Council behind him and has been a resident of the Town for nearly three decades.
In an interview with the Morinville News, Turner explained why he believes he’s ready to lead the Town, pairing his years of experience with his ideas on new initiatives and important priorities. “We’re approaching city size, and there are a number of projects that are long overdue for completion,” he said. Traffic and pedestrian safety (especially in ‘downtown’ Morinville), developing a strong Strategic Plan to guide the Town in its decision making, and passing a Budget that is as close to balanced as possible are three topics in particular that Turner made note of.
“I think step number one [for my campaign] is putting my name out there…I’m going to take the summer to talk to residents—do some door knocking—and find out what [people] want to see happen in Morinville,” he said.
To date, Turner is the only standing Council member to officially announce he will be running for Mayor come October; “I’ve been talking with my colleagues all along…and, I’d like to think that I have their support,” remarked the politician.
Turner has served under three different Mayors over his five terms in office. This, he said, is an asset because it gives him perspective on the expectations of a Mayor and where his focus should lie; “Ultimately, the Mayor serves the community and Council,” he said, noting if he were elected as Mayor, transparency would be a number one concern.
“I really want to share more information with the community. I think a lot of [that] only comes out in council meeting minutes and agenda packages. It’s key for the Mayor to get more out there to the larger community,” he stressed, “the Mayor should be a conduit.”
Turner, who is currently employed by the University Hospital Foundation as an Analyst, made it clear that he intends to do an exceptional job as Mayor, should he be the chosen candidate.
“I’ve already discussed this with my employer, and they are extremely supportive,” he stressed, “the bottom line is: residents expect [their Mayor] to be present and to make decisions. Decisions can only happen in Council meetings, and I take attendance there very seriously.” Turner currently has a perfect attendance record for regular Council meetings.
In his press release, the future Mayoral candidate indicated he would communicate more specific initiatives and statements over the course of his campaign, which will officially kick-off on nomination day (September 18).