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Mandel reflects on his time as Mayor
Breanna Karstens-Smith, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, October 25, 2013 5:01PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, October 25, 2013 7:01PM MDT
On Tuesday outgoing Mayor Stephen Mandel will officially give up his seat on city council after more than a decade in the public eye and he’s sharing his thoughts on his time serving the city including what he’ll miss most.
“My parking pass,” Mandel said Friday laughing.
“My staff, as part of a little package of goodbye stuff they gave me a bag of quarters. I’ve got a big container of quarters at home. I’m going to have to start plugging the metres like everybody else does,” he admitted.
Mandel was first elected as a councillor in 2001. In 2004 he put his name on the ballot against the incumbent Mayor Bill Smith and won.
“First of all, nobody thought I was going to win and then we won by a substantial amount,” Mandel told CTV News.
“It was just a very emotional time and a very, you know almost surreal experience.”
The outgoing Mayor said he still remembers the moment he took the top job.
“You sit there and you look out and there’s all these people in the audience and you’re the Mayor and you kinda go ‘oh, who’s the Mayor here? Is it really me?’ and it was just a wonderful experience.”
It’s a feeling he says he hopes the new Mayor and councilors experience when they are sworn in Tuesday.
“It’s good for the city. It’s good to have new and exciting leaders and we have that and I think Mayor elect Iveson is going to do a great job with wonderful councillors,” Mandel admitted.
Mandel is leaving that council with a large to-do list. They’ll have to complete several projects started under Mandel’s reign including the LRT expansion and arena.
Despite being behind the projects, Mandel told CTV they aren’t the ones he is most proud of. They aren’t even in the top 25 projects he’s most proud of.
Instead, the soon to be retired Mandel said the new rec centre in Abbottsfield and his work with the Nina Haggerty Centre and iHuman are the ones he wants to be remembered for.
“Because I think they impact people’s lives,” Mandel explained.
He’s not the only Mandel to make an impact on the lives of Edmontonians. Earlier this year his wife of 40 years Lynn was honoured for her work and dedication to many city organizations.
“She has been very remarkable and the city’s going to miss her a whole bunch more then they’re going to miss me,” Stephen said.
As he takes a step back from council the Mandels will focus on their family including babysitting his first grandchild 1-year-old Chase.
As for whether he’ll ever take a run at politics again the 34th Mayor of Edmonton isn’t ruling anything out.
“I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll see. Leave it at that,” he stated.
In the meantime, he is giving his successors some advice.
“As long as you don’t put on false heirs people respect you. When you start becoming something that you’re not is when you get into trouble,” Mandel said adding that at 68 years old he’s still a child at heart.
With files from Amanda Anderson