Rob Steel, who has been mayor of Claresholm 10 of the last 13 years, has announced his retirement from municipal politics and will not be running in the election in October. Photo submitted
Mayor will not run in upcoming municipal election
By Rob Vogt
Local Press Writer

Claresholm will have a new mayor after the municipal election in October are held.
That’s because Mayor Rob Steel is retiring from municipal politics.
Steel stated on July 23 he will not seek re-election in the municipal election this fall.
“I think 10 years as Mayor is plenty,” he said. “It’s time for some fresh, new ideas at the head of the council table”.
Steel was mayor for six years from 2004 to 2010, and again from 2013 to now. He also served a term as councillor from 2001 to 2004.
“It really has been my privilege to serve this great community, I will miss being on council,” he said.
Steel said the last council term has been very rewarding, and credited his council colleagues for creating a governance environment that always fostered healthy, respectful debate.
He cited a number of things completed boding well for the town’s future: the $5.3 million first phase of the town’s stormwater management project now under construction; the acquisition of the old elementary school that will someday house town administrative services, Family and Community Support Services, playschool and day care; undertaking a plan that has improved traffic safety in town through enhanced education and enforcement initiatives; the annexation of land for future industrial and commercial growth; creating operational efficiencies that have improved services while maintaining an average yearly tax increase of one per cent; and, a new emphasis on economic development.
Steel said he hopes the community can be supportive of the new economic development initiatives on the way. In order to remain competitive in an ever-changing economy, Claresholm has to be receptive to change and welcoming of new ideas to brand and market the town, he said.
“I’m confident all the work that has been done on economic development by council, staff and volunteer board members will really bear fruit over the next couple of years,” he said. “Being positive and working together is the key to success”.
Steel said the main job of council has always been to create an environment where people can be successful, and then get out of their way. The real successes in town are facilitated by the work community volunteers do each and every day.
“In every corner of town you can see people volunteering their time for what they are passionate about,” he said. “They are the folks that make Claresholm the great town that it is”.
Steel, 53, will continue his work as a fire captain with the City of Calgary where he is in his 17th year. He looks forward to staying involved in the Claresholm community, albeit in a different capacity.
“Maybe I’ll start golfing and curling again,” he laughed.
Steel retires as the third longest serving mayor in the history of the Town of Claresholm, behind Ernie Patterson and George Ringrose.

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