Would-be mayors offer their resumes
Biermanski and Crouse both quote managerial experience as key qualifier
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 06:00 am
Both candidates for mayor have significant management experience they’re hoping to apply to leading St. Albert.
Challenger Shelley Biermanski and incumbent Nolan Crouse offered their education and work resume and how those skills and experiences make them the best person to take on the mayor’s chair.
“I have 30 years of managerial experience. I’ve worked with a number of businesses, I’ve done fleet accounts for a number of businesses, I’ve negotiated with unions, I’ve studied psychology, I’ve studied real estate, I have a very well-rounded career,” said Biermanski. “I have a lot of contacts in the community.”
Her biggest asset gained through those experiences is her nature as a people person, she said, adding she thinks working with people is something that’s lacking in the position currently.
As part of her experience she’s hired and trained employees and worked with various charities, as well as implementing programs. She also has run her own small business, including creating one of the first home staging companies.
“I understand the side of small business, as sales, as marketing, as people and just working with the community overall,” Biermanski said.
“Running a business has a big factor to understand how a little bit of waste here, a little bit of spending here can amount to big amounts,” she said. “I think the city needs to be run like a business and I’ve done lots of that.”
Running the city is also about relationships, she said.
“Because I work in such a people industry and always have, it’s relations with our neighbours and the neighbouring communities are very important because you have to work as a collective,” Biermanski said.
Her real estate experience allows her to understand the community’s assets and will aid her when it comes to municipal development planning, which she noted requires a basic understanding of real estate.
Psychology requires compassion, listening and understanding of what people need, she said.
“People is a very important part of being mayor, that’s what a mayor is, a representative of the people,” she said, adding if a mayor is representing outside interests they’ve failed in their role.
“I just believe I’ll do a much better job. I’m a stronger individual, I’m a stronger representative of the people and I can get the business needs in order,” Biermanski concluded.
Crouse said he’s been in managerial roles since he was 24 years old.
“My whole career has been about managing operations and businesses,” he said. He’s also run his own small manufacturing business, on top of experiences like managing upwards of 500 employees.
“All of those work experiences are fundamental,” he said.
Of course, he’s also the incumbent.
“Let’s not forget the fact that I’ve been on council for nine years and mayor for six and that is significant managerial leadership ability,” Crouse said. “That’s demonstrated and proven and people know me.
“I know how to lead through budgets, I know how to lead through tough situations,” he said, adding his experience means he knows how to discipline and praise employees.
His role of Capital Region Board chair is a significant role as well, he said, adding he was retained as chair by a 22-2 vote. Crouse said he also is trusted by both Capital Region Board and provincial government people.
Education-wise, Crouse thinks his MBA in community economic development from Cape Breton University is a key aspect that makes him a good candidate.
“There’s a significant amount of knowledge that’s important when it comes to reading and understanding complex matters whether it be financial statements or offsite levies,” Crouse said.
He’s done additional university-type courses in finance over the years, and took a course in Robert’s Rules of Order that helped him understand how to run meetings.
“Municipal finance is very, very complex. Being able to run meetings is very complex,” Crouse said, adding the mayor has a responsibility to run good meetings and understand finance.
Crouse said he’s an accomplished speaker as well.
“I can give speeches, I can present myself to the community or to the region or to the province or to whoever, I can represent our community to the outside as well I can represent the outside to our city,” he said. “You’re really trying to create some two-way dialogue where you’re also representing your community.”