St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes was not expecting his recent appointment to a top council committee after the latest city hall shuffle.
Mayes was recently appointed to city council’s executive policy committee and is now chair of the mayor’s environment advisory committee and the councillor responsible for Assiniboine Park governance. The positions were previously held by Deputy Mayor Russ Wyatt.
"I was surprised to be appointed to EPC in my first term, as it was not something I was campaigning for or expected," said Mayes, who won a 10-candidate ward byelection in November 2011 after the resignation of long-time councillor Gord Steeves.
"I think it gives me the opportunity to play a significant role in setting policy for the city and certainly gives me a platform to raise concerns from the St. Vital ward."
The former school trustee believes his appointment is a reflection of both his application and his approach.
"I think it’s a validation of the hard work that I have been putting in since I was elected," he said, noting it has been a "whirlwind getting up to speed" on his new responsibilities.
"I have tried to take a measured approach — e.g. I voted against the water park proposal at The Forks, but I voted in favour of this year’s budget — and be respectful towards the other councillors and the mayor."
Mayes said he will continue to serve St. Vital with "all the energy I have" in light of his recent appointment.
"I knocked on about 4,000 doors in the ward last summer and fall and I certainly expect to hit that many, or more, this year. I also have an excellent assistant, Christa Ragoonath, who grew up in St. Vital and understands the ward," he said.
"I said on the night I was elected that I finally got my dream job and I still feel very much that way. Since then, the big surprise to me has been the need to think about how to maintain our city assets — we all want to open new projects, but we have to remember the challenges of maintaining these projects."
Mayes joins Mayor Sam Katz and Couns. Jeff Browaty, Scott Fielding, Mike Pagtakhan, Dan Vandal and Russ Wyatt on EPC and replaces Coun. Paula Havixbeck.
"(Havixbeck) sent me a congratulatory email on the night I was appointed, which was very gracious of her," he said.