Councillors pay tribute to late CEO

By Jackson Russell

Mitchell Shire Council opened its April ordinary meeting with a series of emotional tributes from councillors to late chief executive David Turnbull following his passing last month.

Immediately upon opening the meeting, councillors suspended standing orders to pay their respects to Mr Turnbull.

Councillors spoke not only of his career, but the person they knew and considered a friend.

Cr Rhonda Sanderson said Mr Turnbull led with ‘humility, integrity, compassion and vision’.

“His expertise has been invaluable to us as a growing council,” she said.

“He was particularly proud of the ‘One Mitchell’ ethos he instilled within the organisation and our fantastic staff.

“I first met David at his job interview and have had the privilege of working in partnership with him while I was mayor during the first two years of the current council.

“His well-considered advice was always valuable, insightful and based on decades of experience.”

Cr Bill Chisholm said Mr Turnbull’s passing was a huge loss for Mitchell Shire Council.

“He was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He treated everyone with respect. Staff, residents, councillors, everybody was treated in the same manner,” he said.

Mayor David Lowe said Mr Turnbull was a thoughtful, intelligent and experienced player in local government.

“He guided us as a new council through our introductions and teething troubles while also steering staff through their trials and tribulations,” he said.

“His professionalism and guidance will be missed by us all.

“We were on a journey together that finished far too quickly and at the wrong destination. We were lucky to have and we will not see the likes of him again.”

The council will soon begin the recruitment of a new chief executive, with a selection panel made up of two councillors from each ward to work alongside council’s people and culture manager and an external agency during the recruitment phase.

Acting chief executive Mary Agostino will continue in the role until September 21 or until such a time a permanent chief executive begins.