Councillor Steve Payne is set to become the new deputy mayor of Yellowknife.
A new deputy mayor is chosen at the first council meeting of every year.
Payne has not been voted in, but during an in-camera session city councillors recommended he be given the job during a governance and committee meeting on Monday, according to Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty.
Councillor Shauna Morgan had also expressed interest in the role, but she held it previously. Since the election of the current mayor and council in October 2018, Morgan and Niels Konge have both served as deputy mayor.
Alty said the appointment was a good opportunity to make sure as many people as possible got to experience the role and “grow their governance experience.”
“Pre-COVID, I think there was also perhaps more that the deputy mayor did and that if there were two events or meetings that the mayor was invited to, at the same time, the deputy mayor would go in my place — that’s less frequent with COVID since there’s not as many events.”
The deputy mayor will also be included in council agenda setting meetings starting this year — which normally only involve the mayor, the senior administrative officer and the city clerk — after it was recommended in a governance review.
“Being up here for the last twenty five years, I’ve always wanted to do things to help out the people of Yellowknife, and that’s been first and foremost the thing I’ve wanted to do,” said Payne during a governance and committee meeting on January 18.
“It would be nice to see the inner workings of what the mayor does,” he added. “I love this place and it would be an honour.”
Mayor and council will vote to select a new deputy mayor at their next regular council meeting on January 25.