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Mayor shuffles committee deck

Proposed realignment 'big deal' for city

Mayor Brian Bowman.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Mayor Brian Bowman.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/10/2015 (1341 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MAYOR Brian Bowman is proposing a restructuring of city council's committee structure.

In a motion that was not on Wednesday's executive policy committee agenda, Bowman proposed dismantling the downtown development, riverbank and heritage committee and creating a new standing committee.

Bowman told the committee, which consists of the deputy mayor and the chairmen of the five existing committees, the changes are meant to "ensure more focused oversight on important issues."

"The realignment is really intended to strengthen the focus on significant water and waste initiatives," Bowman said.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/10/2015 (1341 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MAYOR Brian Bowman is proposing a restructuring of city council's committee structure.

In a motion that was not on Wednesday's executive policy committee agenda, Bowman proposed dismantling the downtown development, riverbank and heritage committee and creating a new standing committee.

Bowman told the committee, which consists of the deputy mayor and the chairmen of the five existing committees, the changes are meant to "ensure more focused oversight on important issues."

"The realignment is really intended to strengthen the focus on significant water and waste initiatives," Bowman said.

The biggest change is removing the department of water and waste from the jurisdiction of the public works committee and into a new committee that will be known as water and waste, riverbank management and the environment.

Bowman also wants to promote a semi-regular committee — alternative service committee — which meets quarterly, into a regular standing committee that meets on a monthly basis. It's also getting a name change: the innovation committee.

While the proposal was brought to EPC without prior notice, it's clear the changes were discussed privately among Bowman and committee members as it passed without debate.

The proposal still needs to be approved by council next week if it's to take effect in time for the mayor's annual appointment of committee chairmen, which is set for Nov. 4.

Only Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) offered a comment, describing the changes as "a big deal. I don't know if everybody outside city hall will get that, but inside city hall this is good public policy."

Mayes said Bowman's realignment should end the confusion that sometimes occurs when some councillors don't know which committee should be responsible for certain matters.

When it comes to appointing committee chairmen, Bowman conceded he has given up on his campaign promise to let all of council elect the chairmen, explaining it is the city's legal opinion provincial legislation requires him to appoint the chairmen.

Many city hall watchers had been skeptical of that campaign promise, saying the appointment of committee chairmen — who get a salary top-up for that role — is one way for the mayor to exercise control on council votes.

Bowman said his goal was to make council more inclusive, and he's done that in his first year, so allowing council to elect the committee chairmen is no longer necessary.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Aldo Santin

Aldo Santin
Reporter

Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.

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History

Updated on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 1:50 PM CDT: Replaces photo

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