First on mayor's agenda: team building with new council
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 06:00 am
In the aftermath of Monday’s election, the first tasks on St. Albert’s newly re-elected mayor’s plate seem simple: get the new team through orientation and ready to start the budget deliberation process.
“My highest priority is to make sure the orientation, the budget, team building is going on,” said Nolan Crouse.
Those needs outweigh any attempts to start moving forward on his own platform items, he said. Instead, Crouse said the council, which is made up of the incumbent mayor, three incumbent councillors and three rookies, will meet on Nov. 8 to share their platforms and priorities.
“What we need to do is get the big list out,” Crouse said. They’ll spend time figuring out a list and prioritizing it – a process that will take some time, including a planning session in January.
Crouse said if he started trying to move forward on his platform items now, it probably wouldn’t be fair to those who are just learning the council role.
So a mentoring offer is out there and council’s got the opportunity to get some budget tutoring from administration, Crouse said.
“I’m really looking at this as a time to build and listen,” Crouse said.
Some might be anticipating that this council won’t get along, Crouse said. “I think what the residents are going to hear is this council is working well together and we’re moving the agenda forward. We’ve got four years, we’re going to spend a lot of time together.”
People are hoping there will be resolution to the issues of the campaigns, Crouse said, including differences in ideology and opinions on utility models.
“There will be. We’ll get past all those differences that we had during the election campaign,” Crouse said. Those differences “will eventually get translated into decisions instead of emotions.”
Crouse was undergoing council orientation along with several other members of council on Wednesday and Thursday, calling Wednesday morning’s session a “data dump.”
“What this offers is an opportunity to build a positive relationship with everyone,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to me to listen to the newness and reshape some of the things we might want to do.”
As mayor, it’s part of his responsibility to set the tone, Crouse said, and spearhead the respectful way council will interact with each other, staff, the public and other stakeholders and partners, like Sturgeon County.
The first few weeks of the council-elect’s terms will be busy with budget. The first budget presentation to council is Nov. 12.
“It’s a terrible tough time,” Crouse said. “November’s always a difficult month.”
St. Albert’s new council will probably start regular council business other than the budget on Nov. 25, Crouse said.