Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Katz throws Havixbeck out

Replaces her on EPC; cites flip-flops

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The mayor has turfed a former ally from council's most powerful committee.

On Wednesday, Mayor Sam Katz announced he decided to remove Coun. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) from executive policy committee after she flip-flopped over the operational review of the Winnipeg Police Service and an increase to councillors' ward budgets.

The move comes three months after the last EPC shuffle, when Havixbeck was removed from the post of chairwoman of council's protection and community services committee.

Recently, Havixbeck has criticized the city's budget process and opposed the property-tax hike and a plan to increase councillors' discretionary ward budgets. EPC recently shot down four motions Havixbeck introduced, including a call to restore full funding to museums, cancel the operational review of the police service and cancel funding for an EPC policy office and additional spending on ward budgets.

On Tuesday, Havixbeck voted against both the capital and operating budgets.

Katz denied Havixbeck's removal from the committee had anything to do with her recent criticism or opposition. He said it became difficult for members of the committee to work with someone who had a change of heart on a number of files.

Katz said Havixbeck initially championed the operational review of the police service and a proposal to increase councillors' discretionary budgets by $40,000 -- and then lobbied against the ideas in public. Katz said everybody has a right to change their mind, but "it doesn't wash" in situations where she was the leader of a cause.

"It makes for a difficult working relationship," Katz said. "I'm not going to pretend that members of EPC didn't say, 'Do something' a long time ago."'

Katz said he thought long and hard about a shuffle and recently had a one-on-one meeting with Havixbeck. He said he was hoping to have a meeting with her on Wednesday, but she had already left city hall. Katz said he reached her by phone to deliver the news.

Havixbeck said she has no regrets about voting against the budget.

"I felt if I had a choice to make between a principled decision or being on EPC, I'd make the principled decision," she said, referring to her opposition to the ward spending increases. "That's the first thing you cut, not something like arts and museums."

She denied Katz's characterization as a flip-flopper, noting her initial support for ward increases was dependent on the cash being available only for executive-assistant salaries, not discretionary spending.

Havixbeck is the second councillor to leave EPC in three months.

In November, St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel quit EPC and called it "dysfunctional, broken and divided." Both Swandel and Havixbeck have previously suggested they may run for mayor if Katz does not seek a fourth term in office.

Katz said in Havixbeck's place, he appointed St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes, because he listens, does lots of due diligence and sticks by his decisions.

 

jen.skerritt @freepress.mb.ca

THE BOSS

Sam Katz

Duties: mayor, EPC chairman.

Political orientation: No party membership. Ran for office as small-c conservative. Tends to hire Tories to serve as chiefs of staff.

 

 

 

 

 

WHO'S OUT

Coun. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo): Havixbeck was appointed to EPC as a rookie councillor in 2010. She was named protection chairwoman in 2011 and Katz stripped her of that job in November 2012.

Political orientation: Progressive Conservative.

 

WHO'S IN

Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital): Mayes said he plans to raise transit safety and the future of city arenas as a new member of EPC. He's now chairman of the mayor's environmental advisory committee and the councillor in charge of Assiniboine Park governance.

Political orientation: NDP.

NEW DUTIES

Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan): Assumes the role of acting deputy mayor in addition to his role as chairman of council's property committee.

Political orientation: Progressive Conservative.

 

 

 

 

Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona): Assumes the role of corporate sponsorship in addition to his duties as deputy mayor and chairman of council's finance and alternate-service-delivery committees.

Political orientation: Former provincial NDP member; unofficial federal Tory supporter. Check the barometric pressure for latest reading.

NO CHANGE IN DUTIES

Coun. Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands): Remains the chairman of protection and community services and the councillor responsible for economic partnerships.

Political orientation: Progressive Conservative.

Coun. Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas): Remains the chairman of council's downtown, heritage and riverbank committee.

Political orientation: Liberal.

Coun. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface): Remains the chairman of council's public works committee.

Party membership: NDP, historically.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 31, 2013 B1

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