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Mayer wants one more term to complete projects

By Josh Aldrich, Camrose Canadian

City of Camrose Mayor Norm Mayer.

City of Camrose Mayor Norm Mayer.

Mayor Norm Mayer has unfinished business. 

The man who has captained the Rose City for longer than any other person says he wants another four years in the post to see the completion of four major projects before he is finished: the aquatics centre, the 48th Avenue bridge replacement, the waste water treatment plant, and a new public works facility. 

“There’s several items still on the agenda I would like to see through, if possible,” said Mayer. 

He says the projects have nothing to do with leaving a legacy, saying the projects are constructed by the city. He does want the city to be positioned well for whatever the future has in store for it. 

Mayer was first elected as an alderman in 1977, serving until 1986. In 1989 he was elected mayor for the first time and remained in office until 2004.

In 2013 he made a triumphant return to the civic political scene and was elected as mayor again. 

He has long been involved in the community outside of politics and in 2005 received the Alberta Centennial Medal and a Golden Jubilee Medal in 2013. He is currently serving on six committees including the Battle River Community Foundation, Camrose Intermunicipal Committee, Emergency Management Committee, Municipal Service Level Assessment Committee, Policy Development Committee, and Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. 

It is that involvement and passion for the community that brought him back to office in 2013. His wife Betty required some convincing then, but Mayer says she is behind him again. 

“I have a passion for the community and I have a feeling that a city should be here for the citizens and to provide service at the best level possible,” he said. “I just felt that was not happening and decided that the only way it was going to happen was to get back on council and try to direct the overall operation to move in a consumer friendly philosophy for developers, for citizens for whatever reason, they are the people that we have to be accountable to. I feel we are pretty well there now. We have a pretty good bunch of people here. Service is what my life has been about in my own business and I feel that service is equally important here as in any other business.” 

Mayer started Central Agencies in 1963, offering insurance and real estate services, and now has three generations involved in its operation. 

Looking forward to potentially another four years, the biggest issue facing the city remains the economy, he says. Though Camrose is shielded a little bit from the downturn in oil, the agriculture sector took a hit in the last year due to the weather. 

Council will remain to be cognizant of the economy as they push ahead with their $3 million a year roads and sidewalk program over the next 10 years. 

“We’re hoping to live with that type of commitment and continue improving roadways,” he said. 

A big positive for Mayer is watching as Camrose is turning into a destination for young families and entrepreneurs, making the transition from the retirement community reputation.

Much of that is due to the development of the healthcare and educational systems in the city. Key to that was the amalgamation of Augustana with the University of Alberta in 2004 that not only ensured its viability but helped it develop into a top, progressive institution.  

He would like to see Camrose continue to develop as a professional business city, particularly in the communications industry. 

“There is a change in the philosophy of a lot of young folks, a lot of them have left Camrose over the years to go to brighter lights and have wound up coming back here established in a business or operating a business of their own,” said Mayer.

“The more we see of that the better because the older regime is starting to move on or retire.” 

The election is slated for Oct. 16, and he has two challengers, councillor Bill Sears and Wayne Massick. 

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