Brenton Lewis farewelled at his last Murray Bridge council meeting
The mayor’s eight years in office are drawing to a close, but not before a bit of thanksgiving and reflection.
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Outgoing Mayor Brenton Lewis has been thanked for eight years of service at his last Murray Bridge council meeting.
Councillor Karen Eckermann led a chorus of thankyous for Mr Lewis’ dedication, consistency, hard work and professionalism.
The council had undergone a serious transformation thanks to his “proud, safe, progressive” mantra, she said.
Outgoing Deputy Mayor Wayne Thorley - who will either succeed Mr Lewis in the top job or be off the council entirely - thanked the council’s staff for the work they had done during the past four years, too.
Mr Lewis said he felt the love in the council chamber.
“I made one request eight years ago: respect each other, respect our staff,” he said.
“You as a group of people, and the previous council, have stuck by that (and) you can see the benefit.
“In the eight years that I’ve been here, we have done a hell of a lot.”
The council’s achievements during Mr Lewis’ time in office included:
the formation of a town pride committee, which in turn pushed for upgrades of Adelaide Road, Swanport Road and Sixth Street, among other projects
the establishment of Murray Bridge Safe, a cross-agency collaboration which works to address social issues such as domestic violence and drug abuse
overseeing a rebranding campaign which gave the district its “thriving communities” and “make it yours” slogans
leading the council through the Thomas Foods International fire and COVID-19 pandemic
Mr Lewis had previously been chief executive of Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland, the culmination of a long and successful business career.
He announced his retirement from the mayoralty in April in the face of ongoing health problems.
Seven of Murray Bridge's nine councillors are seeking re-election to the council, though another eight candidates will hope to unseat at least some of them.
It is with much sadness that we say goodbye to our Mayor Brenton Lewis, who has been forced to retire from the office due to health reasons, after 8 years of leadership of our Community.
His motivation, respect and vision for the future growth and development of our City and its surrounds was second to none which, I believe, has a lot to do with the fact that Murray Bridge has been his life long home town and he was destined to be our longest serving Mayor until Health interfered.
His promotion of a "Proud, Safe and Progressive" society and his leadership to achieve many improvements throughout our community will be long remembered.
We wish you well in your retirement Brenton and trust that it will be long and happy.