Councillor Steve Payne is set to become the new deputy mayor of Yellowknife, saying he looks forward to taking on a bigger role at City Hall.
At a meeting on Monday, Payne said: “I’ve always wanted to do things to help out the people of Yellowknife. I love this place and it would be an honour to be deputy mayor for the year term.”
Under the council procedures bylaw, a deputy mayor is appointed for Yellowknife at the first meeting of council following a general election. The role is then reviewed every year.
Since the election of the current mayor and council in October 2018, Shauna Morgan and Niels Konge have both served as deputy mayor.
Mayor Rebecca Alty told Cabin Radio the city’s governance and priorities committee recommended Payne take on the role for 2021. The committee wants to give as many councillors as possible the opportunity to have that experience.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for councillors to learn more about the role of mayor, and filling in for me and chairing meetings,” she said. “I know Steve’s excited for the opportunity and will work hard in it.”
Alty said the deputy mayor has had fewer responsibilities during the Covid-19 pandemic, due to things like travel restrictions, but the role may take on additional responsibility in 2021.
She said one recommendation during a governance review was that the deputy mayor be part of the weekly agenda-setting meeting with the mayor and senior administrative officer.
Mayor and council will vote to select a new deputy mayor at their next regular council meeting on January 25.