City councillor Jackie Clayton has been appointed the Mayor and Chief Elected Official for the remainder of the City of Grande Prairie council term. Clayton is the first woman in the history of the municipality to hold the title of mayor.
The motion at the special meeting of council held Monday was tabled by fellow councillor Kevin O’Toole, passed unanimously. Mayor Clayton says she looks forward to continuing the work done by council thus far this term, adding she appreciates the faith placed in her by her fellow members of council.
“It’s a great honour, there have been many great female leaders within our community over the years, and it’s been an honour to work with a great female council in this term and last,” she says. “But to be interim mayor is really a great honour,” she adds.
Clayton will take over the roles and responsibilities left by former City of Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given, who resigned to take on the job of Chief Administrative Officer in the Town of Jasper. She adds it is bittersweet as, to get the opportunity, they had to say goodbye to a long time colleague.
“Mayor Given was a great representative of our community, and he will be very hard to replace,” she says. “I look forward to, if I need to call him in Jasper he will pick up the phone, because I know he still truly cares about our community, and about our council.”
It’s noted that the decision to appoint an interim mayor with 10 months until the general election rather than hold a byelection is largely a financial one, as it would cost between $150,000 and $200,000 and not be concluded until March.
“We were fortunate that Mayor Given signalled his intention early to allow Council time to have substantive and robust discussions over the past month to decide how our council can best deliver on our priorities,” a statement from council reads.
The term for the Chief Elected Official, like the rest of council, will come to an end on October 18, 2021, the date of the municipal election.