Pending a final vote by full Council, London will no longer have two deputy mayors.
During Monday’s meeting of the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee, Councillors voted in favour of scrapping the second position left vacant by Councillor Maureen Cassidy in the wake of her affair with Mayor Matt Brown.
City Council started this term with two deputy mayors.
Mayor Brown chose Councillor Paul Hubert to fill one spot for the entire term while Council voted Cassidy to the second position.
A staff report outlined three options for consideration. Council could keep the two deputy mayor model and appoint another Councillor, Mayor Brown can select a second deputy, or the second position can be cut altogether.
Councillor Phil Squire put forward a motion on Monday calling for the second position to be cut, saying he felt there really wasn’t a need for it.
“The second deputy mayor position, I’m sorry, I’ve just never understood it, and frankly I think we’re ready to move forward, get work done,” he said. “Each of us absolutely has the ability to do what we need to do in terms of liasoning with the Mayor, representing the Mayor at events.”
Squire also argued it unnecessarily elevated someone above other members of Council.
Cassidy responded to the assertion.
“I certainly never felt above any of my colleagues, I always feel like we are a team, sometimes we’re not a very good team,” Cassidy chuckled. “Sometimes there is an ‘i’ in team around here, but that’s okay, it’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Councillor Jesse Helmer voiced his support for keeping the second position.
“I’m not persuaded that we need to eliminate the second position, we only had it going for 18 months, and I certainly haven’t seen anything that leads me to say that it needs to be taken away,” he said.
The motion to eliminate the second deputy mayor position passed by a vote of 9 to 3.