CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - For the first time since 2003, Charlottetown has a new mayor.
Philip Brown was officially sworn in on Thursday along with the rest of his council, which includes two new members — Alanna Jankov and Julie McCabe.
Brown’s first order of business was naming Coun. Jason Coady as his deputy mayor.
“Jason brings to his new role two terms on city council representing Highfield (Ward 8). I look forward to working with him,’’ Brown said.
It wasn’t something Coady was expecting.
“My first reaction was shock, to be honest,’’ Coady said. “It’s truly an honour and a privilege and I’m very humbled. I mean, you look around this council table. There’s a wealth of experience (and) there is a wealth of knowledge.’’
Brown didn’t stop there, tackling one of the requirements of the new Municipal Government Act (MGA), which was to name a council advisory committee that will recommend to council what the standing committees will look like and who should chair them.
Brown announced that Coady and Jankov will be the two council members that will sit on the advisory committee. This committee includes the mayor and Peter Kelly, the city’s chief administrative officer, in a non-voting position. Brown said a notice of motion was filed with Kelly to that effect on Thursday.
“I believe (Coady and Jankov) represent the geographic diversity of Charlottetown, gender equality and a combination of new and old,’’ Brown said. “They will bring a new and forward-looking approach to their responsibilities.’’
In the family
Philip Brown is following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, Picton Simon Brown, who served as mayor of Charlottetown from 1916 to 1918.
Jankov represents Ward 1 in Charlottetown, the downtown core.
Council will deal with this issue at its December monthly meeting on Monday.
Brown would like to see the overall number of committees reduced. It currently stands at 11.
While council will have the final say, Brown will be pushing for one specific committee which he called strategic priorities and intergovernmental co-operation, reflecting issues that came up during the municipal election.
“The terms of reference for this committee will be to work with federal, provincial, municipal and First Nation jurisdictions with regard to a number of strategic priorities.’’
These priorities include supporting the expansion of accessible, appropriate and affordable housing, the creation of a development agency to replace or refocus the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC), the integration of the wastewater management system for the entire capital region, infrastructure renewal and fighting for the return to a one-zone employment insurance system on Prince Edward Island.
P.E.I. is one community and should be treated as one EI zone, the mayor said.
Jankov said she is raring to get going.
“It’s going to be a lot of hard work and a lot of excitement,’’ she said. “I’m looking forward to working as a team — do some team building for the betterment of the city.’’
McCabe said being sworn in for the first time was a pretty special feeling.
“It’s now all coming together after all that hard work (in the campaign),’’ McCabe said. “This is what it’s all about.’’