Jen Henderson is a journalist breaking news in the capital region. She is a staff reporter at the St. Albert Gazette and  covers provincial and federal politics, crime and court. 

Mayor Crouse will not seek re-election

Mayor Crouse will not seek re-election

St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse announced today he will not run for re-election in the 2017 municipal election in October.

In an online post this morning Crouse called being the mayor of St. Albert as “one of life's greatest gifts beyond parenting a child.”

Crouse said the deciding factor in his decision was that he still wants to have one last career stint before retirement. If the 63-year-old were to run again he wouldn't be able to transition to a new career until he was 67, which he believes may be too late to start something new.

“I'm feeling good that I've made the right decision,” Crouse said. “I think now is the time.”

After having serving 13 years as both a city councillor and mayor, Crouse said he think it is time for the city's leadership to turn over.

“The community is in good shape,” Crouse said. “The corporation is in good shape. There is nothing where I feel I have to stay because of unfinished business.”

Crouse said that he is particularly happy with the development of Servus Place, Ray Gibbon Drive and Riel Park during his tenure as mayor.

“They didn't exist when I got involved,” Crouse said. “Those are large assets today that the community has and we are lucky we have.”

Thirteen years ago Crouse campaigned on a strong economic development focus and he said he now is very happy with where the city is fiscally and financially.

He also says he is proud that the customer service in city hall is second to none.

“The corporation is very responsive to community needs wherever we turn,” Crouse said. “It doesn't matter if its an email or a request for information for a developer to fixing a pothole to picking up a garbage bag. This corporation is in a very good spot and a I feel very good about that.”

In his remaining months as mayor, Crouse still has a few things he wants to accomplish. He said he wants to get the land deal done for the park and ride that has been several years in the making. He also mentioned he wants to get the land strategy in place for all of the city's future public needs, such as the next arena, library and fire hall.

Crouse also wants to see a plan before the next election to add a new aquatics and arena facility. He would also like to see the continuation of the conversation about a boundary adjustment with Sturgeon County before he leaves office.

As for what is next for the mayor, he still hasn't decided yet. The mayor said he is still mulling over his options but still has interest in politics and the private sector.

Crouse said in the past few weeks he has reached out to members of the private sector to see what his job prospects may look like and what opportunities there may be for him on boards.

The mayor said he wanted to make the announcement that he wouldn't seek re-election so he wasn't hiding his job search.

The mayor said that he announced his intentions to not seek re-election early because he wants the community to be able to weigh in on their future mayor.

“The sooner people know who might be interested the better,” Crouse said.

So far he said he has had three, or possibly four, people who have told the mayor they might possibly be interested in his job once he leaves office.

“I'm the outgoing mayor now and I can say that openly,” Crouse said.

Despite the fact that he will no longer be the Botanical Arts City mayor, he will still be a proud member of the St. Albert community.

“Oh I'm not leaving,” Crouse said. “We will not be leaving. There is no movement out of this community. Period.”

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