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No women in Katz cabinet -- again

Swandel, Nordman appointed to executive policy committee

An old face and a familiar face have joined the mayor's cabinet.

Mayor Sam Katz appointed Couns. Justin Swandel and Grant Nordman to executive policy committee Monday.

'People are tired of the  perceived boys club' -- Coun. Paula Havixbeck

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

'People are tired of the perceived boys club' -- Coun. Paula Havixbeck Photo Store

FROM LEFT: Jeff Browaty, Brian Mayes, Grant Nordman, Mayor Sam Katz, Mike Pagtakhan, Justin Swandel and Russ Wyatt are members of the executive policy committee, the mayor's cabinet.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

FROM LEFT: Jeff Browaty, Brian Mayes, Grant Nordman, Mayor Sam Katz, Mike Pagtakhan, Justin Swandel and Russ Wyatt are members of the executive policy committee, the mayor's cabinet. Photo Store

"I picked these two because I think they can be valuable assets," Katz said.

Swandel (St. Norbert), once believed to be Katz's most trusted ally and supporter who quit EPC a year ago claiming it was broken, rejoins the powerful group as chairman of infrastructure renewal and public works.

Nordman (St. Charles), who had been speaker, joins EPC as a non-committee chair with responsibilities.

"The team before you is focused on the priorities of Winnipeg," Katz said as he introduced his six-member cabinet.

The changes were prompted after Dan Vandal (St. Boniface) and Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands) quit late last month: Vandal said he wanted to concentrate on his bid to run federally for the Liberals; Fielding said he was upset with pending property-tax increases, the fire-hall scandal and increased cost overrun with the police headquarters. He's also considering a run for mayor next year.

Swandel said he agreed to return to EPC because he thinks he can make a valuable contribution.

"I think there is a great need for stability in the city right now," he said.

Swandel was named deputy mayor and he replaces Vandal as chairman of public works.

Nordman said he's been a councillor for seven years and spent the past 31/2 years as speaker: "It's a natural progression for me... . I think it's my turn. I think I can do more on the inside than the outside."

Katz said he considered appointing a woman to EPC but decided against it, adding he didn't approach anyone who turned him down.

Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) was the last woman on EPC -- booted off by Katz in January because she was seen as too independent -- and said she's concerned with the new makeup of the group.

"People are tired of the perceived boys club at city hall making all the decisions," Havixbeck said.

Brian Mayes (St. Vital) who had been the non-committee chair member of EPC, takes over Fielding's old post as chairman of protection and community services.

The three remaining EPC members retain their positions: Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), chairman of property and development; Russ Wyatt (Transcona), holds onto finance; and Mike Pagtakhan, chairman of downtown development, heritage and riverbank management.

With Nordman joining EPC, councillors will choose a new speaker during Wednesday's meeting.

Wyatt was given a new secretarial portfolio, economic development, but lost his post as deputy mayor.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 5, 2013 0

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Updated on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 7:30 AM CST: Adds video

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