After 19 years on town council, including the last 10 as Mayor, Melodie Stol is moving on.
Stol announced Monday she will not be seeking re-election when Blackfalds voters cast their ballots on Oct. 16.
Calling it a bittersweet decision, Stol says she has accepted a new full-time job in community development, meaning she will no longer have the time needed to serve her town as Mayor.
“I’m just so proud of what a dynamic and fun and energetic place Blackfalds has become,” Stol said Monday afternoon. “When I first got on, it was such a small town, growth was slow and then the ball just started rolling as we as a community started investing in ourselves.”
Asked what she is most proud of from her time in office, Stol cites investing in recreation facilities such as the Abby Centre, bringing an RCMP detachment to Blackfalds, and the opening of two new schools.
She still wants to see a highly sought after high school come to town, along with more health care services.
“I hope people respect the amount of hard work by not only me, but the council team,” she made sure to mention. “The team I’ve had around me and the residents who got involved to make these things happen, it was this perfect storm of positive energy and I’m just so glad I was a part of it.”
It’s well-known that Blackfalds is one of the fastest growing communities in all of Canada, and Stol feels the Town has done a great job handling the pressures associated with that distinction.
“All of these projects and how much work you have to put in to get something like a regional sewer line or an RCMP station -- people don’t realize this is eight or nine years of work. It all starts with relationship building. Some of these projects are completely impossible without the province helping.”
Regardless of who takes over as Mayor following the election, Stol feels Blackfalds is well-positioned for a bright future.
“If you strive to be the best town you can be great things will happen. Ultimately, I want Blackfalds to be successful, regardless if I’m on council or not. Blackfalds is my home and I want it to be the best Blackfalds that it can be.”
Newcomer Gary Smith and current Town Councillor Richard Poole have each announced they are running to replace Stol as Mayor.