Turner, council thanked for service - Odessa American: City Of Odessa

Turner, council thanked for service

Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:22 am

Symbolically, it was a passing of the torch. New Mayor Javier Joven praised former Mayor David Turner’s commitment to the City of Odessa and handed Turner a plaque of honor and his longtime gavel as a gift. And then both men shook hands.

More than 50 people attended Tuesday’s city council meeting held at First Odessa Church, where Joven and council members recognized and honored their predecessors, including Turner and former council members Peggy Dean, Dewey Bryant and Michael Shelton Sr.

“Sir, we want to thank you for all your hard work and the passion you’ve shown toward the city for the past eight years,” Joven said, as he stood face-to-face with Turner. “Your leadership took us through some of the most difficult things imaginable. Thank you for your unselfish leadership.”

Turner, who received a long standing ovation from the crowd, acknowledged the past two years as mayor had been difficult. First came the 2019 mass shooting that killed seven people and shook the city to its core, Turner said. The economy crashed and COVID-19 added to the community’s woes.

“First, I want to thank my family for standing beside me through some very tough times,” said Turner, who then addressed his former council members. “You were my dynamic duo. We got through it all with God’s help.”

During a brief ceremony, Joven presented Turner, Bryant, Shelton and Dean each with a plaque and large street signs with their names on them.

Shelton, who was appointed to council in early 2020 after the abrupt resignation of Malcom Hamilton, told the crowd his short tenure representing District 1, was one of the proudest moments of his life.

“I had a wonderful time working with all of you,” Shelton told council and city administrators and staff. “Keep up the great work – it was an honor.”

Joven and the council also thanked Odessa health care workers for their dedication and tireless efforts to take care of the community as it battled COVID-19 during the past year.

“As mayor I’ve been spending a lot of time attending a lot of meetings, talking to people and learning more about COVID,” Joven said. “Your efforts to vaccinate the community have been a massive undertaking. I don’t think anybody in the community realizes what a massive undertaking it is.

“What you’ve done has been commendable.”

The Mayor then vowed that the city would continue working with local hospitals and health care workers to do “whatever we can to get the community through this.”

Medical Center Hospital President and CEO Russell Tippin, who attended the meeting thanked Joven and council for their support. He used the opportunity to praise the city for encouraging residents to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Tippin also thanked the city for providing funding last year to provide free COVID-19 tests.

“We look forward to working with you all,” Tippin said.

Council on Tuesday also approved the purchase of 35 sets of personal protective equipment for the fire department. The total cost of the purchase, which will be paid for through the fire department’s budget, is $79,893.10, according to Odessa Fire Rescue Chief John Alvarez.