Deputy mayor Lawrence sets sights on top job

ADELAIDE Plains councillor Mel Lawrence was re-elected as deputy mayor on Monday night, but says his eyes are set on taking on the role of mayor when next year’s local government elections are held.

Cr Lawrence was re-elected as deputy mayor after beating the chamber’s newest councillor, and surprise candidate, Margherita Panella six votes to three.

Cr Lawrence said he knew he had the support of his fellow elected members and has every intention to use his position to springboard himself into the top job – currently occupied by Mayor Tony Flaherty – at next November’s elections.

“I was pretty confident going in, but I didn’t realise I had as many numbers as I had,” he said.

“I’m happy to go for another year and then push on for the mayor’s job at the next election, because the top spot is what I want.”

Cr Lawrence said he has been “fully committed” to council ever since his election three years ago, and is eager to work with both council staff and ratepayers to improve the Adelaide Plains region.

“Our ratepayers are our number one, they’re our main priority,” he said.

“We have to work for them first and work for us second; that’s the way I see it.

“All members of council need to work with the ratepayers to make a better future, for the council and for the area.”

Cr Lawrence said his two-year experience as deputy mayor will hold him in good stead on the campaign trail next year.

“I’m going to put in a fair budget, probably the biggest budget ever put into a campaign from a mayor in this district,” he said.

“I’m very dedicated and I’m on more committees than any other person currently on council.

“I’ve worked so hard for this community and it feels good to be deputy mayor, but this is just the start.”

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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