Kingston mayor plans to share strong mayor powers with city council and CAO

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By Robin MacLennan

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The mayor of Kingston is sharing his strong mayor powers with city council and the CAO.

On July 1, mayors of 26 large and fast-growing municipalities received additional powers and responsibilities from the Province of Ontario, including the Mayor of Kingston who now has the authority to:

  • appoint and dismiss the Chief Administrative Officer as well as the heads of organizational units;
  • determine the administrative structure of the city
  • establish committees of council
  • veto by-laws, to advance a prescribed provincial priorities
  • prepare and present the budget to council, subject to amendments, a mayoral veto, and a council override process

“Our current structure of decision-making and oversight for the city is working,” said Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson. “We have a professional, talented Council and staff team who are committed to addressing the challenges we face on housing, mental health and addictions and keeping life affordable—it only makes sense that much of this new authority go back to where it’s best used.

“I have no interest in politicizing the roles of staff and I look forward to continuing to work with my Council colleagues to tackle these tough issues.”

Mayor Paterson’s first decision under this new legislation is to delegate certain powers back to city council and the CAO, including:

  • the power to determine the organizational structure of the city
  • the power to appoint and dismiss the CAO
  • the power to appoint and dismiss a head of any division or the head of any other part of the organizational structure
  • the power to establish or dissolve committees that consist solely of members of City Council, to appoint chairs and vice-chairs of those committees, and to assign functions to those committees

Additional information regarding strong mayor powers can be found at www.CityofKingston.ca/city-hall/city-council/strong-mayor-powers.

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