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Airdrie Deserves Fresh, Transparent, Accountable Leadership

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Airdrie Deserves Fresh, Transparent, Accountable Leadership

I love Airdrie, and I want what’s best for it.

I am campaigning to be Airdrie’s next mayor, so I would like to share my thoughts about the mayor’s leadership role.

Having worked in City Hall for 6 years as a Community Developer, I understand what makes for strong, healthy communities. During that time, I also gained a thorough understanding of the inner workings of council, its functions and its integral relationship with city administrative staff.

What I bring to the mayoral seat is an uncompromising approach toward transparent, accountable leadership, building on collaboration, consensus and creativity.

For the past 25 years, I have been involved in volunteering for a wide range of organizations, causes and events in Airdrie, and I have a deep understanding of our community. If elected, I will bring this knowledge and experience as well as a fresh perspective to council. I have a great desire to grow Airdrie into an even better community for all people – now and into the future.

To succeed, the mayor must be articulate and professional and I believe I am both.

As the leader of council, the mayor sets the tone at the top; the mayor’s leadership sets the example for council and indeed the entire city administration. If elected, I intend to nurture a positive culture and approach, and do away with blame and finger-pointing in the conduct of municipal operations.

The mayor must be prepared to build a strong team by listening respectfully to all members of council.  The mayor must recognize that on any given topic some members of council may have an opinion that is different from theirs. A strong leader ensures that all members of council are given the opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns, and that these are received with respect and an open mind.  A strong leader listens to all available information and ideas and then works to find common ground – to find a solution that all parties find acceptable.

I don’t know everything there is to know on every subject, and I very much respect and appreciate the insights and ideas of others. I truly believe that the best decisions are those that are made after robust and respectful discussion.  Having said that, I also believe a leader’s role is to effectively and efficiently manage meetings. Therefore, while it is important to listen to the point of view of fellow council members, it is also important to ensure the conversations are relevant and succinct. Airdrie City Council is not the place for grandstanding.

I have led several teams – large and small – over the years; as a leader, I strive to maintain the highest standards of integrity. I am a leader that truly believes that I must set the example for the behaviour I wish to see in my team. I also am more than capable of making tough decisions when it is the right thing to do – as all good leaders should.

As the leader of council and the community, the mayor will be privy to information that others on council may not be. If council members are regarded as equals, then the mayor should ensure that all members are equally informed. I also believe that the mayor must allow each member of council to act as the ‘face’ of council at events.

Attending community events on behalf of council and the City is an honor, and one that I believe should be shared amongst council. While there are certainly many occasions where the mayor should be the representative attending an event, other members of Council must also have this opportunity when possible. After all, these are people who care enough about their community to take on this role, and were elected by the residents to represent them. A good leader shouldn’t be concerned with being in the limelight, but with building a strong, cohesive team that feels respected and appreciated.

Council must never put the interests of itself or a specific group ahead of what it perceives to be the best interests of the whole community. This is one of the key elements of good governance. I am fully committed to being accountable for investments made on behalf of taxpayers, and ensuring that the process takes into account the benefits and costs in the short and long-term.

The community must always believe that council is acting in good faith and in the best interests of the community (as determined by the community). Our goal as city council is to provide essential services and to enhance the quality of life in Airdrie.

The mayor is elected by the community to be their representative – as both conscience and spokesperson – and must always consider what is best for the entire community. In the role of advocate, the mayor must have the ability to form trusting and professional relationships with various sectors – residents, groups, media, staff and other levels of government. As the community’s representative, the mayor must understand the community’s vision and key issues, and advocate locally and regionally to enable (rather than hinder) positive outcomes.

Over the past 25 years, I have been working hard to improve the quality of life in and for our community, reaching out to a diverse range of people to make that happen. Together, you and I can innovate and grow Airdrie into a vibrant city that we can all be proud of.

This 16th of October, let’s commit to making Airdrie the best community it can be!

Marie Lauer

Dream it. Plan it. Do it.