Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz has shuffled Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck out of his cabinet, replacing her with St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes.
Katz announced in a release Wednesday that Mayes has been appointed to the executive policy committee (EPC) and will chair the mayor's environmental advisory committee.
Havixbeck, who was most recently acting deputy mayor, was not seen on the revised list of EPC councillors.
Mayes told CBC News he was surprised but pleased to get the call from the mayor on Wednesday morning.
"It wasn't something I was expecting. It wasn't something I campaigned for," he said.
"I've always had a good relationship I think with Coun. Havixbeck … and I think she'll be around here for a while, and so will I, so we'll keep working together."
Havixbeck has been at odds with the mayor in recent months. Most recently, she opposed parts of the city's operational and capital budgets, including a property tax hike and an increase in councillors' expense allowances.
Havixbeck voted against both budgets on Tuesday, but they were approved by council.
Other committee changes
North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty has taken over as acting deputy mayor, while still chairing the city's property and development committee.
Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt, who previously held the roles that Mayes has now, remains as deputy mayor, chair of the finance committee, chair of the alternate service delivery committee.
However, he is taking on the added role as the councillor responsible for corporate sponsorship.
In addition to his EPC roles, Mayes will also be the councillor responsible for Assiniboine Park governance.
A New Democrat, Mayes said he isn't worried about joining the predominantly right-leaning committee, noting that he worked closely with people of all political stripes during his time as a school trustee.
"We had a good talk," Mayes said of his conversation with Katz.
"I said that some of my supporters — given that I'm an NDPer — some of my supporters might be upset, and he said some of his supporters might be upset that he was appointing somebody who was an NDP member."
The remaining members of EPC remain unchanged: councillors Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands), Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas) and Dan Vandal (St. Boniface).
The last change to EPC came after St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel left the committee in November.
At the time, Swandel described the mayor's cabinet as "broken, divided" and dysfunctional.
It was following Swandel's departure that Pagtakhan was appointed to EPC.