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New Edmonton mayor thanks for mandate and great team

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Photo taken from Don Iveson for Mayor FB.

 

THANKS FOR THE MANDATE AND THE GREAT TEAM, EDMONTON!

October 24th, 2013 in 2013 Campaign, 2013-2017 Term
By Don Iveson, Mayor, City of Edmonton

Thank you so much, Edmonton! I am humbled to have been entrusted to lead by so many of you.

The strong mandate shows that the ideas we talked about in the election have strong support in our City. We talked about fiscal responsibility and renewing our roads and pipes; about LRT completion and supporting infill; about working with the region, and from improving the climate for business and innovation; and about commitment to reducing homelessness and poverty, and the arts.

This confirms for me that the vision held by Edmontonians, the one we largely share, of an Edmonton that is increasingly globally competitive.

It’s barely been 48 hours since I got the keys to this office and things have moved very quickly. So I wanted to give a brief update and then dive back in.

I met with Mayor Mandel on Tuesday morning for a quick debrief on the election and some private words of advice, and I thanked him again personally for his leadership and dedicated service to our City.

I also spoke to most every media outlet in the City, plus a number of national media outlets that took interest in the results: Globe and Mail, which also called Mayor Nenshi and I a ‘dynamic duo‘; the National Post took notice; and I did my best to keep up with Carol Off on CBC’s As it Happens — all noteworthy coverage for Edmonton which helps change Canadian perceptions about our rising city.

I’ve received lovely calls from Premier Alison Redford and Minister of Municipal Affairs, Doug Griffiths; from Danielle Smith, Leader of the Official Opposition in Alberta; from Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver and Chair of the Federation of Municipalities’ Big City Mayors Caucus; and from Minister Rona Ambrose in Ottawa as well as Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Official Opposition in Ottawa; and while I haven’t actually spoken to my friend Mayor Nenshi, we’ve been texting up a storm since Monday and will be meeting soon. I’ve also communicated with some of the Mayors in our region and will be reaching out to all of them shortly.

Mainly I’ve been busy focused on meeting the new Councillors and on getting my office up an running, plus trying to stay on top of the very generous inundation of congratulatory emails, tweets, FB messages, cards, etc, for which I am grateful. Having had a chance to meet with every councillor individually and also enjoy a quick lunch together as a group yesterday, I am confident that our City has elected a group of 12 very thoughtful and committed councillors. Their skills and experience and interests complement each other remarkably well. There is a shared focus on the future, and I expect to be able to work closely together with each and every one of them.

We’re not going to agree on everything, but that’s not what we’re here to do. Politics exists to resolve hard decisions that don’t have simple answers, and to balance off competing interests. Often there there will be dissenting views. That’s the spice of democracy! So we’re going to get better at listening to each other and to affected parties, and we’re going to debate our decisions thoughtfully and in the best interests of the people of the city, mindful of the near- and long-term economic, social, cultural and environmental implications of our decisions. Easier said than done, I realize, but to the last this is a group of committed public servant leaders who is up to the task, and ready to work together to keep on building Edmonton.

Finally, I will always be grateful to my team, who even now are still now dialing back one of the most extraordinary and energetic political machines that’s ever been assembled in Edmonton. But it will be ready to go in four years.(doniveson.ca)

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