Today Stephen Mandel gave his annual State of the City address at the Chamber of Commerce event at Shaw Conference Centre. I attended along with Allan Bolstad, EFCL Executive Director.
The two-term Mayor laid out a pretty big vision that seemed centered around Edmonton's Expo Bid. He spoke at length about the "sustainable community" planned for the Airport lands redevelopment.
The Mayor spoke at length about LRT as a focus of transit development and about how it is the focus of creating a modern green city of the future. He even suggested a second ring road may not even be needed if we do an excellent job of transit, and LRT in particular.
He affirmed his commitment to seeing downtown redevelopment as a priority and encouraged business leaders and citizens to look carefully at the major sports facility being proposed for downtown as a possible key to creating a vibrant downtown in Edmonton. The reiterated the City needs to be prudent and fiscally responsible in any deal, but he also seems to favor a big, bold idea for down town.
The Mayor spoke from notes and there was no standing ovation this time. But it seems fairly clear that there was good, strong support for his vision in the room full of business leaders, politicians, plus a healthy dollop of City employees and a few lonely community people!