Leadership at some of Edmonton’s surrounding communities will look different at the end of October as a handful of long-time mayors are retiring.
The mayors of Beaumont, St. Albert, Leduc and Wetaskiwin are among some of the capital region members who are not seeking re-election.
“It’s time for some new blood and new people to step up to the plate,” said outgoing Beaumont mayor Camille Berube, who’s spent 20 years on council, including 16 years as mayor.
“Beaumont is a very young community with an average age of 32 approximately. So people expect and people demand.”
Beaumont is one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada. The next mayor will have to work out the town’s relationship with Edmonton. Earlier this month, a plan to redevelop land annexed by Beaumont was shot down at the Capital Region Board.
“The boundaries of Beaumont are going to be challenged one more time. The City of Edmonton wants to have a certain amount of land that we annex so obviously there will have to be discussion at that table,” Berube said.
READ MORE: Edmonton blocks Beaumont’s expansion plan
Long-time Beaumontonian Sylvia Cheverie has been a part of Beaumont’s growth. She and her husband opened the restaurant Chartier about a year and a half ago.
Cheverie said in the summer, about 50 per cent of her patrons came from Edmonton.
“Edmonton residents are starting to do more business in Beaumont. So I think it’s really important to watch and understand and recognize what’s happening with your neighbour because it does influence what’s happening in your own backyard,” Cheverie said.
“I think residents are going to be very vocal in their opinions about what they see for the future of Beaumont being neighbours with Edmonton and the annexed land.”
READ MORE: Booming Beaumont considers future as a city
In St. Albert, Nolan Crouse is also retiring following 13 years on council and 10 as mayor. Crouse said St. Albert plays an important role with its bigger neighbour to the north.
“We have 30,000 commuters that are commuting into Edmonton for their livelihood on a daily basis and so that’s important to St. Albertans,” Crouse said. “Edmontonians care (about St. Albert politics) because they need St. Albert’s money. They need St. Albert’s support and St Albert’s spending. So does St. Albert need that. That’s why it’s a symbiotic relationship.
“We need each other.”
Other mayors with many years on council who are retiring include Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke and Wetaskiwin Mayor Bill Elliot. Mayor of Morinville Lisa Holmes also chose to not seek re-election.
“There’s a lot of pressure on meeting the needs of the region,” Berube said. “When you’re looking at regional transportation, regional transit, all the communities are looking at ways of being more efficient with resources, because we’re all taxpayers.”
Here’s a closer look at the candidates running in some of the communities around Edmonton:
- Kerri Bauer
- John Kobly
- Bruce LeCren
- Gil Poitras
- K.C. Sommers
- John Stewart
- Dave Mackenzie
- Donna Tona
- Bob Young
- Cathy Heron
- Cam MacKay
- Malcolm Parker