St. Albert voters have had their say and we have a new council in waiting, featuring several new faces.
Some members of our last council will not be returning, either by choice or from the election result, but we’d like to thank all four of them for their service to our community. Serving the public is no small task and although we didn’t always agree with all decisions, there is no doubt that these people had the best of the community’s interests in mind at all times.
Our outgoing mayor Nolan Crouse has been no stranger to controversy, but it would be impossible to deny his commitment to St. Albert. He worked long hours and made hundreds of public appearances. His tireless energy will not be forgotten and will hopefully set an example for the next mayor and council.
Coun. Cam MacKay, the frequent rival of Crouse, came up short in his quest for mayor though there is no doubt he had a strong connection with many in the community. MacKay’s devotion to lowering taxes and utilities was his greatest strength on council. He believed strongly in accountability for taxpayers’ dollars, an important trait for any politician.
Though he chose not to run again, Tim Osborne was an important member of the last council. He was one of the most active councillors online and frequently engaged citizens on social media. He served on many committees and volunteer boards and represented the city honourably.
Coun. Bob Russell has been a longtime figure in the political scene in St. Albert and his experience was a valuable addition to council. Russell had a passion for the environment and was focused on both protecting and maintaining the natural areas of the city. Russell was an independent thinker and accomplished a lot in a short time on this last council. He was elected mid-term in a byelection in 2015.
Though the last council was often dysfunctional and had no shortage of controversy, many good things were accomplished as well. Tax increases were lower than past years and with a low per capita debt, St. Albert is in a good position for the future. Our city has maintained its place among the best communities in the country.
Serving on council is a difficult task. One needs to work long hours and be prepared for public scrutiny on every decision. It’s the type of job where one must be “always on.” These four outgoing members of council were always up to the task. We thank them for their service to our community and we wish them the best in the future.