City of Powell River councillor Maggie Hathaway has been appointed deputy mayor of the city.
At the Thursday, October 17, City of Powell River council meeting, mayor Dave Formosa announced the appointment, which council supported unanimously in a vote.
Formosa said the idea of the deputy mayor is not replacing the acting mayor appointments. The city has its councillors serve as acting mayor on a rotating basis, chairing committee of the whole meetings and fulfilling other functions.
“What that does is give them practice chairing the meetings, using Robert’s Rules of Order, and it puts them in a position where if they have to chair a council meeting, it is not foreign to them,” said Formosa.
The acting mayors also sign bylaws into law if Formosa is not in the community. Acting mayors have all of the powers of the mayor in the mayor’s absence. The acting mayor assignments will continue.
Formosa said the deputy mayor, in this case, is there to assist him with his office function. He said he needs to meet with the public on a regular basis in his office and at times he is absent.
“When folks come in and have issues, and believe me they do, the deputy mayor will be here,” said Formosa.
He said Hathaway worked for Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons for many years as an assistant and knows her way around a lot of the government and issues that people need help with. She also worked with the legal aid society, he added.
“We felt she has great skills that can add to this job,” said Formosa. “Also, for instance, this past weekend, I had a few obligations that I needed to attend to and in this case I will have help where the deputy mayor could cut a ribbon or make a speech and sub in for myself, or split the weekend up.”
Formosa said he appreciates the help. For example, he will be going on vacation for three weeks and councillor Hathaway will be able to fill in and help people who require assistance while the mayor is away.