We saw a big change this year on Strathmore's Town Council and we had the chance to chat with former councillor Bob Sobol about his years of service back in August of this year after he announced he would be taking a step back.
The original story below was posted on August 11, 2021
Long Time Councilor Bids Council Goodbye
Written by Allie Ruckman
For almost two decades, Councillor Bob Sobol has had a seat in Strathmore’s council chambers. After a long career, he has decided to leave his chair in the hands of another candidate.
“After considerable thought and discussions with my family, I've decided that I will not be running for a fifth term for Strathmore Municipal Council,” Sobol explained. “I will say that the atmosphere in the present Council has gotten a bit too angry and toxic for me. I've not enjoyed the last two years of this term, and I also want to focus a bit more on travelling and spending more time with my wife.”
Sobol reminisced on the first time he stepped foot in Strathmore. He said he had come here for work but was soon convinced to make it his full-time home.
“I was attracted then by the amenities here, but more so the kindness and the openness of people that I found. I was always impressed with the community as a whole and especially the people. In the last 14 years, I think the town has really established itself and I think now it can hold its own with much larger municipalities.”
In the past 14 years, Sobol said that there are lots of projects that to be proud of. Some of the projects that make the top of the list are the partnership between the development of Edgefield, Wheatland County, Golden Hills School Division and the Town which resulted in the building of the Strathmore Motor Products Sports Centre. He explained that the facility is something that really attracts people to Strathmore.
He also said that the waterline project to bring clean, clear water from Calgary to Strathmore is also on the top of his list. He said that he remembers when the water wasn’t always clear and now, he never doubts what the colour of the water will be when he turns the tap.
Among those major products, he also mentioned the Downtown Revitalization Project and the Town’s new relationship with Siksika Nation. These are two that Sobol believed were important and he is proud of the success the projects have achieved.
Now that he will have some time freed up, Sobol hopes to continue volunteering with the School Fuel Program and the Strathmore Lions.
“I also want to continue working with the Chamber of Commerce, in a non-political position. One of the reasons why is it is my intention now to start a home-based business in Strathmore. I certainly support the Chamber we have at this time. But, I think I won't be signing up for any town council committees for a bit, I think I'm just going to take a break from that.”
While Sobol looks forward to a future of travel and new beginnings, he said that he will cherish the time that he has spent on the council in fond memory.
"This level of government, which is so closely tied to the people of our municipality, has the greatest effect on everyday life in our amazing town.”
When asked if he could give any advice from his many years on council to new council members, his response was, “My three words of advice is to do your research. This is a great job but term after term I saw new councillors say they weren't expecting the number of hours or the amount of reading that's required. It's a great job to go for, but you have to go into it with eyes wide open, so do your research.”
Sobol said that he has no doubt that Strathmore will continue to attract people from across Alberta and become more successful as the years go on.
He said that his favourite part of Strathmore may be a simple one, but it is one that he uses almost every day.
“Our pathways, and that's probably because I'm one of these people that is up at 6:30 a.m. out on our pathways for a nice morning walk. You can do this in the wintertime too, it's 12 months a year which is amazing.”
Thanks to Bob Sobol for serving Strathmore for 14 years!