Engineering his third consecutive mayoral victory and leading the way for Edmonton for much of the past decade, Stephen Mandel was named our 2010 newsmaker of the year.
In the opinion of Metro readers, Mandel’s vision for building the city of Edmonton was worthy of the nod for this year’s top newsmaker.
Since first being elected as a councillor in Ward 1 in 2001, then as mayor in 2004, Mandel, our readers believe, has been instrumental in helping to create a more vibrant city, along with fighting to build the infrastructure the city needs to foster more growth.
While several events over the course of 2010 may have earned Mandel the nomination as the city’s top newsmaker, it was likely the fact he won his third consecutive term as mayor, with a convincing 55 per cent of the vote.
But the past year wasn’t without its share of challenges for the mayor.
Expansion of the light-rail transit system has been on the minds of Edmontonians, as the city attempts to lay tracks for future transit growth, an initiative that has come under scrutiny in recent years.
Only in the latter half of the year did the public become actively engaged in the process for determining the best route for the southeast and west portions of the LRT system.
The Edmonton Oilers are always news in the capital city, and a new arena deal for the downtown area has been on the radar for several years. Mandel has helped the city navigate the perilous path of committing public money for a private project – and though a deal is not imminent – our readers believe Mandel has played a large part in moving the project along, thus protecting the hockey legacy in this city.
Mandel and the city narrowly avoided losing the Indy race that has been an economic boon to Edmonton, after the city initially decided it did not want to move forward because of the annual cost to the city. A deal was struck in early December to keep the race here.
Expo 2017 – that was a different story altogether. After fending off a competitive bid from our southern neighbours in Calgary, city officials felt they had an ironclad bid. When the decision came down that the federal government wouldn’t support Edmonton’s bid, there was no one more vocal than Mandel.
He called out city MP Rona Ambrose for not fighting for the bid funding and was visibly emotional when speaking with reporters after the news came down.
But 2011 is a new year – another where mayor Stephen Mandel will likely garner his fair share of headlines. It’s a long year, however, and there’s liable to be others who break out to be newsmaker of the year for 2011.