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The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION

Crookes looks to give back

By: Grant Burr

Posted: 06/14/2018 6:45 AM

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Steinbach business owner Adam Crookes said this week that a decision to run for council has been in the back of his mind for about two years.

After retiring last November from 19 years of service to the city as a firefighter, Crookes said he has felt called to service on city council as a new way to give back to the community.

"I just feel a tugging on my heart…I feel this is the next chapter, where I’m supposed to head, in an overwhelming way," he said.

He recalls how the community rallied around his single mother when he was boy. Crookes says he is a poster child for the notion that it takes a village to raise a child.

"This community really rallied around my mom…there were amazing men that stepped up at different times in my life to fill that void and they really believed in me and gave me a chance," he said.

Whether it is doing business with customers at his business, SAR, or talking with newcomers to community, he finds similar stories are told.

"We have a pretty cool heritage here that makes this a special place," he said. "I just want to build on our heritage that we have around here that really seems to give people a chance.

He would like to add to the good work previous councils have done in the past and thinks a good core group of people are already a part of council, from what he has observed from council meetings.

With board experience as the Grunthal Motocross Club president and as vice-president of the South-East Sno-Riders, Crookes feels he has some of the board experience necessary to get his start on council.

Crookes said he hopes to bring his skills as business owner and dealmaker to the council table, offering an ability to think outside the box to get things done.

He notes that the current council has had recreation and culture projects as a priority but hasn’t been able to find a way to accomplish projects like an arena or performing arts centre. Crookes said he sees himself as a good moderator, who is able to bring others with opposing views together.

When it comes to large infrastructure projects, Crookes said what is needed is expectations of what a project will look like, something he suggested didn’t happen with the performance arts centre project.

"I know that when they saw that big number it was scrapped. So, I think you need to come up with a plan before."

Private sector involvement will be key too, along with managed expectations.

"Maybe we don’t build a 2,500 seat arena, we build a 1,500 seat arena but it’s going to be full all the time. Maybe we don’t build such a big arts centre but it’s going to be full all the time, right?

"There’s that balance of our heritage and history but we still need to be in the 21st century, its finding that balance of being the voice to both."

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