Mayor Brian Bowman has pledged to allow council to elect the members of the powerful executive policy committee, which functions like the mayor’s cabinet. Members of EPC also chair council’s standing committees, which gives those chairs considerable sway.
But for now, city rules require him to appoint his first EPC. The following appointments were announced Tuesday evening – and it’s not clear how long they will last:
Coun. Marty Morantz (Charleswood-Tuxedo)
Background: The Conservative lawyer has a background in property investment and financial services but he is a rookie on council. He ran for the provincial Tories in River Heights in the last election but won a squeaker in Charleswood-Tuxedo.
Responsibility: Finance chair.
Role: All the money stuff: budget development, fiscal reporting, capital project recommendations and investment policies.
Coun. Janice Lukes (St. Norbert)
Background: A rookie councillor who knows her way around city hall. For years, she appeared regularly to lobby councillors as the coordinator of the Winnipeg Trails Association and she most recently served as a the assistant to former St. Norbert councillor Justin Swandel. She says she has never been a member of any political party but she is widely seen as a centrist.
Responsibility: Infrastructure renewal and public works chair, acting deputy mayor
Role: Oversees so-called hard services, such as garbage and recycling collection, transit, traffic planning, road work, water distribution and sewage treatment.
Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan)
Background: Now starting his third term on council, Browaty served on Mayor Sam Katz’s EPC for four years, most recently as chair of the property and development committee. He was among Katz’s most loyal allies and is a Conservative.
Responsibility: Protection and community services chair
Role: Oversees “soft” services such as bylaw enforcement, libraries, pools, parks, fire and paramedics and recreation.
Coun. John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry)
Background: On council since 2009, Orlikow was a member of Katz’s opposition and never served on EPC. He is a left-leaning Liberal.
Responsibility: Property and development chair
Role: Oversees development proposal evaluation, city planning, building inspections and city facilities.
Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital)
Background: The cerebral councillor was named to Katz’s EPC in early 2013 and chaired the protection and community services committee for the last year. He leans centre-left, and does not represent a downtown ward.
Responsibility: Downtown development, heritage and riverbank management chair
Role: Handles all downtown planning issues, heritage issues and riverbank proposals.
Coun. Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas)
Background: On council for more than a decade, he has served in both Katz’s and former Mayor Glen Murray’s EPC, largely as deputy or acting deputy mayor. He is seen as a centrist and typically voted with Katz.
Responsibility: Deputy mayor
Role: Largely ceremonial.