Mayor Nolan Crouse is a bit skeptical of the Metro Mayors Alliance.
The group of nine mayors in the region signed a memorandum of understanding to move forward and work together to make the region globally competitive.
But Mayor Crouse thinks the group’s mandate overlaps too much with the Capital Region Board and is skeptical of devoting any capital to the cause.
“At this time the costs are minimal, but I’m not going to be supportive of something that is duplicating costs and mandate with the Capital Region Board,” Crouse said. “I have some concerns, but I want to be on the inside not the outside looking in.”
The group of nine mayors has assembled in a response to the release of the Be Ready or Be Left Behind report put forward by an expert panel that suggested that the Edmonton region’s current fractured and competitive state is costing opportunities. The report called for the optimization of the region’s economic development, public transit and land use and infrastructure.
“The report that was issued by the panel is basically the same mandate that the capital region board is already working on,” Crouse said. “What the panel did was basically endorsed that the Capital Region Board is doing the right things.”
The Capital Region Board was established in 2008 and is made up of 24 municipalities across the region. The group, which is chaired by Crouse, has five standing committees and an internal governance structure. The board lists land use, transit and employment forecast as the current priorities.
The Metro Mayors Alliance is made up of mayors representing nine municipalities, who are all on the Capital Region Board.
Crouse said there was no downside to signing the memorandum of understanding, as there was no financial cost, but moving forward he will be skeptical of entering into any binding agreements with the Metro Mayors Alliance.
“The next steps are group of nine agreements that are more binding and that’s where it will cost money,” Crouse said. “I’m being critical because we’ve got a good amount of work going forward with the capital region board. I’m a little bit concerned about where it is heading.”
Crouse says there may be some groupthink happening that suggests that the group of nine can “move forward in a more nimble way than the capital region board.” He said that the Capital Region Board has a governance structure while the smaller Metro Mayors Alliance has no governance structure.
Nonetheless, Crouse will stick with the smaller alliance to see what may come of it, but will not be dedicating any funds to projects that are already being tackled by the Capital Region Board.