Mayor Stuart Houston looking for another term.
Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston is looking for a fourth term as mayor in this fall's municipal election, officially launching his campaign in the last few days.
"I think everybody knows my passion for Spruce Grove, I've been very involved in the community for the better part of my life," Houston, a 40-year resident of Spruce Grove, tells One News. "I've so enjoyed working on council and having the opportunity to be a positive influence in the community."
Houston's platform contains mainstays of causes he consistently speaks to during council meets, particularly community safety & crime reduction, a comprehensive review of automated traffic enforcement, balanced taxation and regional collaboration.
"I have to say that we need to work closer with our regional partners and build the amenities and services that are going to serve the needs," says Mayor Houston on regional collaboration with Parkland County and Stony Plain. "I want to be seen as a region without borders."
When it comes to a key electoral issue, the proposed $79 million dollar multi-use sport and event centre built on the Westwind lands, Houston stays very clear on what stage the project is currently in.
"It's only a proposal- it's only a computer generated model. The city hasn't said what we're doing one way or the other," explains Houston. "There's a lot of work to be done on it and this is absolutely- by no means- a done deal. We haven't committed to anything other than talking about the potential of doing it and how does it benefit the whole region."
Houston adds the proposal is all about creating the conversation at this time, while also trying to create potential partnerships. Another top election top is the city's beloved and bemoaned automated traffic enforcement program and it was Mayor Houston who motioned for a review of the program earlier this year, which has since been presented to council.
"I think what we're going to do is have a further review on this, I'm open to the conversation about improving the way we provide it," reflects Houston. "We're going to have a serious look at automated enforcement."
In his time of Mayor, Houston has seen the city grow at an average annual rate of 5.2% with the population hovering well above 30,000 people and set to hit 40,000 in the short term future. This continued growth presents unique issues in both the near and distant future, and should he be re-elected as mayor, Houston hopes to continue leading Spruce Grove to solutions.
"Right after the election, we're going to be sitting down at the table and negotiating with our regional partners with regards to annexation," says Houston, referencing the 2017 Growth Study which sees annexation proposals for land from Stony Plain and Parkland County.
"The current land supply that we have is not adequate to take us 25, 50 years into the future," continues Houston. "So we have to look at how do we grow responsibly and how do we improve on transportation. I want to talk about our transportation master plan."
To hear the full, unedited interview between One News and Mayor Stuart Houston, click here or click play on the file below: