Mayor Sam Katz has named Couns. Grant Nordman and Justin Swandel as the two newest members of his inner cabinet, the executive policy committee.
“This new team is focused on the priorities of Winnipeggers — fixing our streets and providing quality recreation and community facilities for families to enjoy,” said Katz.
To that end, Katz has created a new portfolio, secretary of economic development, which will be headed by Coun. Russ Wyatt.
“The City of Winnipeg is experiencing an intense period of growth, which presents both opportunities and challenges” said Katz.
“The secretary of economic development will ensure that the City of Winnipeg takes a city-wide approach to economic development, with a fully integrated economic development strategy.”
Wyatt's former role as deputy mayor will be filled by Swandel, who quit EPC in almost a year ago to the day, calling it broken, divided and dysfunctional.
'Congrats to the new EPC members. Enjoy your prime deckchair seating on the Titanic!'- Coun. Jenny Gerbasi posting on Twitter
Swandel said on Monday that the only thing changed between now and last year is "time." He said he re-joined EPC to try and help the city get some needed "stability."
"We're at a sort of a time with the city where we need some solid ground to walk on. We need some stability. We've got a year before the next election," he said.
Katz had vacancies to fill after EPC took a hit last month when Couns. Scott Fielding and Dan Vandal quit.
Vandal has said he wants to spend more time in his ward in advance of a run in federal politics.
Fielding left over what he calls concerns with an upcoming city budget and possible tax increases.
EPC will be facing some major upcoming challenges, including hiring a new chief administration officer after Phil Sheegl quit last month just ahead of a scathing audit on the controversial fire hall land swap deal.
The committee will also have to deal with the fallout of that audit, which calls for major changes at city hall, as well as the growing cost overruns on the renovations to the new police headquarters.
Following the announcement of the new EPC members, Coun. Jenny Gerbasi tweeted the following message:
"Congrats to the new EPC members. Enjoy your prime deckchair seating on the Titanic!"
Members of EPC
Mayor Sam Katz – chair of EPC, secretary of urban aboriginal opportunities
Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) – chair of property and development
Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) – chair of protection and community services, chair of the mayor’s environmental advisory committee
Coun. Grant Nordman (St. Charles) – acting deputy mayor, chair of the mayor’s age-friendly and seniors advisory committee, councillor responsible for Assiniboine Park governance, councillor responsible for corporate sponsorship
Coun. Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas) – chair of downtown development, heritage and riverbank management
Coun. Justin Swandel (St. Norbert) – deputy mayor, chair of infrastructure renewal and public works
Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) – chair of finance, chair of alternate service delivery, secretary of economic development