By VINNIE RODI

LONG-time Mildura Rural City Councillor Mark Eckel, PICTURED, has been elected Mildura Mayor for the next 12 months, ousting former Mayor, Cr Glenn Milne, five votes to four.

Cr Ali Cupper will serve as Deputy Mayor, beating Cr Min Poole for the position five votes to four.

The result marks the first time in Cr Eckel’s 16 years on Mildura Council that he will serve as Mayor.

An emotional Cr Eckel thanked his supporters and family, while also congratulating Cr Milne on his efforts in the top position over the past 12 months.

“We have a fabulous Council, and I could list why each and every Councillor is passionate to be here,” he said.

Cr Eckel highlighted the region’s social issues and high family violence rate as challenges going forward, while also highlighting the continued work needed to see Council’s bold Mildura Future Ready Plan come to fruition.

While acknowledging that the result was still “yet to sink in,” Cr Eckel said he was looking forward to the challenges the role would bring.

See next week’s Mildura Weekly for an in depth interview with Cr Eckel.