Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Vote's over; it's back to work for Katz

It's mayor's final term in office... well, maybe

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On the first day of this third and supposedly final term in office, Mayor Sam Katz left the door open just a crack for a fourth.

Since 2006, Katz has said he would not seek more than two full terms in office. Taking part in a third election campaign this year did not violate that policy, as the mayor first took office by winning a mid-term byelection.

On Thursday, however, Katz mused he could run for office a fourth time if the public still supports him in 2014.

"I have told you I have always supported term limits," said Katz, confirming that right now he intends the new session of council to be his final term, but "we'll see" whether that might change.

"I think most people know where I'm at in my heart, but anything can happen to have an impact one way or another."

Katz said he would not have run for re-election this year if he were not convinced he enjoyed the support of the general public. On Wednesday, when Winnipeggers went to the polls, Katz won 55 per cent of the mayoral vote.

Back in office on Thursday morning, Katz started figuring out who will join him on executive policy committee. He also spoke to Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, who congratulated him on his third election victory.

Katz said he and Selinger are eagerly waiting to hear new estimates about the cost of the new football stadium planned for the University of Manitoba. He said he does not have any new information from Creswin Properties just yet.

Katz also said he also plans to meet with chief financial officer and acting chief administrator Mike Ruta to see how close the city's spending and revenue estimates are to operating budget projections for the end of June.

A financial status report routinely issued in September was not issued this year. It is customary for the city to project a modest year-end deficit in the fall but wind up in a surplus position when the actual year-end numbers are reviewed.

"I don't think it will be any different than any numbers we've had in the past," he said.

This year, however, the city is counting on receiving $10.6 million from the settlement of a lawsuit against Manitoba Hydro to balance its operating budget. The lawsuit has yet to make it to court. Katz also said he is meeting with public works officials to smooth out another wrinkle in the city's $20.4-million active transportation upgrade. A property-access issue has complicated a path alongside Lagimodiere Boulevard, said the mayor, noting the issue has nothing to do with public consultation this time.

Also on Thursday, all four of the city's new councillors met each other in the foyer outside the mayor's office. Future councillors Ross Eadie (Mynarski), Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo), Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) and Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan) spent most of their first day as elected officials conducting media interviews. The new councillors, who range in age from 38 to 50, will be sworn in Tuesday night at an inaugural meeting of Winnipeg's 13th city council since the creation of Unicity in 1971.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2010 B2

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