Bowman appoints three council rookies to his EPC inner circle

Mayor Brian Bowman announced the makeup of his inner circle Monday, making room for three newly-elected councillors along with the returning officials.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/11/2018 (1487 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Mayor Brian Bowman announced the makeup of his inner circle Monday, making room for three newly-elected councillors along with the returning officials.

Returning to executive policy committee, considered the mayor’s cabinet or inner circle, are councillors Cindy Gilroy, Scott Gillingham, Matt Allard, Brian Mayes and John Orlikow.

Joining that group is Sherri Rollins, the outgoing chairwoman of the Winnipeg School Division.

Bowman also appointed newcomers Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River) as deputy mayor and Vivian Santos (Point Douglas) as acting deputy mayor.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Mayor Brian Bowman announces his appointments to the executive policy committee, and his selections for Deputy Mayor and Acting Deputy Mayor at City Hall Monday afternoon.

“A critical part of being an effective EPC member is being willing to build a unified city rather than focusing on regional divisions and differences,” Bowman told reporters during a news conference outside his office, adding he met individually with each of the councillors before making his appointments.

Gillingham (St. James) retains his portfolio as chairman of council’s finance committee and Allard (St. Boniface) returns as chairman of public works, a post he was assigned to only in the spring.

Bowman shuffled the other EPC members: Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre), moves from innovation to water and waste, riverbank management and the environment; Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) moves from property and development to innovation; and Mayes (St. Vital) moves from the environment committee to property and development.

Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) was appointed chair of protection, community services and parks, replacing Mike Pagtakhan, who did not seek re-election.

Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) was appointed chair of protection, community services and parks, replacing Mike Pagtakhan, who did not seek re-election.

The post of deputy mayor and acting deputy mayor are not part of EPC but Bowman said he would continue the controversial practise of inviting those to two individuals to attend closed-door briefings by the senior administration to EPC – a move questioned previously by the non-EPC members, who dismissed it as a blatant attempt to secure a majority of votes on the 16-member council.

A councillor’s regular salary is currently $93,895.63. Members of EPC and the deputy mayor have their salaries topped up to $106,307.47.

While the role of deputy mayor and acting deputy mayor has traditionally been viewed as essentially ceremonial (attending functions the mayor is unable or unwilling to attend), Bowman said it was important they be regularly briefed on issues in the event he was unable to carry out his duties.

Bowman said he was comfortable in appointing Rollins to EPC, pointing out that she had been chairwoman of the Winnipeg School Division but also added that she had been supportive and helpful in his reconciliation moves with the city’s Indigenous community.

“She was one of the strongest promoters of inclusion and reconciliation over the last four years,” Bowman said. “She demonstrated to me she has the capacity to lead and collaborate.”

Rollins is one of five labour-endorsed candidates elected to city hall; three of them (including Allard and Mayes) are part of Bowman’s inner circle.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Three new council members, Sherri Rollins, Vivian Santos and Markus Chambers pose for photo at City Hall Monday afternoon after mayor Brian Bowman announces EPC members.

Chambers, who was a  senior manager with the provincial government, said he believes he is the first black Manitoban elected to city council, the legislature or to the House of Commons.

“It’s about working with everyone,” Chambers said, adding he hopes he can play a role helping the city’s black community move the city in a progressive fashion.

Santos, a Chinese-Canadian, said the colour of a person’s skin shouldn’t be a factor in politics, adding her appointment, along with Chambers and Rollins, who identifies with the Indigenous community, reflects the diverse makeup of the city.

“It shows that our young citizens can aspire to be whatever they want to be when they grow up,” she said.

Santos is no stranger to city hall — she had been Pagtakhan’s executive assistant and worked briefly before that in Bowman’s office immediately following the 2014 election.

Chambers said he was surprised to be appointed deputy mayor.

“My interest was just to work with the residents who elected me to city hall,” he told reporters. “I’m completely honoured by the mayor’s appointment.”

Rollins said she believes she’s qualified to be on EPC, explaining that in addition to being chairwoman of the city’s largest school board, she had spent 20 years as a senior policy analyst, most recently with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“I’m really humbled to be on EPC,” she said. “I ran to be a protective ward voice but also to play that citywide role. I’m really honoured to a member of this team.”

The official swearing in of all members of council elected Oct. 24 takes place Tuesday night in council chambers.

Bowman said his appointments to civic boards and council liaison positions would be announced at the Nov. 14 organizational meeting of council, when the makeup of all committees will also be announced.


Updated on Monday, November 5, 2018 4:03 PM CST: Adds video

Updated on Monday, November 5, 2018 5:26 PM CST: Updates story, adds video, images

Updated on Monday, November 5, 2018 5:38 PM CST: Updates headline

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