Familiar faces return to Spruce Grove council

Councillor Acker, City Manager Farbrother back at Monday meeting

Spruce Grove council's meeting on Monday featured the return of some familiar faces.

Former alderman Jeff Acker was officially sworn in with his family by his side, as well as former councillor and current MLA Searle Turton.

Councillor Erin Stevenson says Acker brings intelligence and competence to the position, and that his familiarity will help.

"Because he's been on council before, he's not starting from ground zero. He's starting from a very knowledged type of position, where he understands how council works. So I'm very excited to have his voice at the table, and I think it's a good complement to the makeup of this current council," she said.

Mayor Stuart Houston served on council with Acker for six years starting in 2007, and says it's made him familiar with his skill set.

"He's very versatile in the ability to think at a regional level. I used Jeff a lot with the Edmonton Metropolitan Region board, he has experience with that, as well as Economic Development in the city, and a lot of the things that go along with driving the conversation for a dynamic city like Spruce Grove," he said.

Also at the meeting was Simon Farbrother, who took over the position of City Manager on July 8.

After holding the same job in Spruce Grove between 1997 and 2004, Farbrother eventually became Edmonton's City Manager.

After being fired by that city council in 2015, some questioned Spruce Grove for bringing him back on. 

Houston says it's unfair for people to judge him solely on that.

"We had a very tough competition for the City Manager's position, we had some incredible candidates that we interviewed, and Simon won it. It didn't just get handed to him. He demonstrated that he's the one to lead this city, and we're very excited to have him on board," he said.

"I would just say to everyone, let's have an open mind and an honest chance for somebody who's going to be a huge benefit, and bring a wealth of experience to us."

The meeting also featured an appearance by recent Spruce Grove Awards of Excellence winner Steve Arsenault, who autographed a Team Canada jersey for council.

He wore the jersey while winning a silver medal in sledge hockey at the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea.

Finally, council honoured local citizen Alicia Plosz, who was named Mrs. Globe International in Palm Springs earlier this year.

She's the first Canadian to win in the pageant's 23-year history.

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