Newly-elected Whittlesea mayor Kris Pavlidis has pledged to strengthen the council’s relationships with local MPs to achieve better outcomes for residents.
The South-west Ward councillor was elected to the council’s top job on Thursday night, ahead of fellow ward councillor Caz Monteleone.
This will be Cr Pavlidis’ second stint as mayor, having held the position 10 years ago.
Whittlesea’s youngest-ever councillor, Emilia-Lisa Sterjova was elected as deputy mayor.
Cr Pavlidis said it was essential the council partnered with local MPs to deliver key projects such as the extension of Edgars Road and the duplication of Plenty Road to Bridge Inn Road.
“In many aspects we are playing catch up,” she said.
“Why should a 15-minute school trip take 45 minutes? That is what our community is facing. Why should schools like Epping Views Primary School struggle at 300 per cent capacity? Why should more that 50 per cent of residents travel outside Whittlesea for work?”
Cr Pavlidis , who is in her fourth term on council having been first elected in 2005, urged her fellow councillors to ensure they listened to residents.
She said it was important the council took direction from the community.
Cr Pavlidis said Whittlesea had changed a lot in the past 10 years, when the city welcomed just 80 new residents a week and the biggest concern was the impending drought.
Now, 131 people were moving to the municipality each week, she said.
Cr Sam Alessi, who nominated Cr Pavlidis for the role, said she was a passionate community advocate, with vision and strong leadership qualities.