Melton mayor: Bob Turner a beacon for battlers

Youth issues, advocating for elderly residents and being a voice for people in need are among the main priorities for Melton’s 94th mayor, Bob Turner.

Cr Turner, who was first elected to council in 2008 and was deputy mayor in 2012-13, won a unanimous vote on October 29. Cr Sophie Ramsey was elected deputy mayor, also unanimously.

Cr Turner, who with wife Val co-founded The Gap drop-in centre for youth, said he was humbled to be given the opportunity to lead the city. “The reality is that I’ve never really seen myself as a politician but rather as a community member in a position to advocate for youth, the elderly and others who otherwise may not be heard,” he said. ‘‘I look forward to leading Melton City Council over the next 12 months so we may capitalise on the many opportunities we are presented with, and take on new challenges and projects that will cement the City of Melton as one of the most beautiful, progressive and safe municipalities in Australia.’’

Cr Turner said challenges would include dealing with a group of dissatisfied residents who had interrupted a number of council meetings this year.

He said he would deal with disruptions if and when they occurred.

“If people want to disrupt, we’ll deal with it as it comes,” he said. “At the end of the day I hope they can be respectful in the chamber.

‘‘They have their issues and, hopefully, we can deal with their issues and talk to them about it.

‘‘We don’t need that friction; we’re here to help the community.”

Cr Ramsey thanked outgoing mayor Cr Kathy Majdlik and said she looked forward to working with Cr Turner. “It will be an absolute privilege to serve under Cr Turner, who is a lifelong friend,” she said.