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Thompson’s mayor, deputy mayor filling leadership roles with municipalities association

Mayor Colleen Smook will continue as chair of the cities caucus while deputy mayor Kathy Valentino is one of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities’ two vice-presidents.

Two members of Thompson’s council will hold leadership roles with Manitoba's municipalities association over the next couple of years.

Mayor Colleen Smook, the incumbent chair of the cities caucus, was re-elected for another two-year term at the opening of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities convention in Winnipeg on Nov. 21.

The caucus includes the mayors of Manitoba’s 10 largest cities, six of which elected new mayors during municipal elections in October.

“The AMM is a strong association, and I am honoured to continue this role on behalf of Manitoba’s cities,” said Smook in a press release. “I am committed to assisting with AMM advocacy efforts to benefit all Manitoba municipalities.”

Chief among concerns the caucus members discussed at the AMM convention are the impacts of inflation on municipalities as well as the need for the provincial government to quickly end its seven-year freeze on municipal operating funding.

“All Manitoba municipalities are feeling the cost of high inflation,” said AMM president Kam Blight. “Local governments face huge challenges in maintaining current infrastructure — and this is not to mention growing needs. We urge the province to end the operating spending freeze in its next budget.”

Thompson deputy mayor Kathy Valentino was elected as one of two AMM vice-presidents on Nov. 23, alongside Rural Municipality of Brokenhead Reeve Bad Saluk.

“Both Kathy and Brad are passionate and dedicated municipal leaders,” said Blight. “We are excited to get to work and serve all AMM members while advocating for new resources and policy changes to support municipalities throughout Manitoba.”

Blight did not have any challengers for the president’s position and was acclaimed for another term in the job.

“Representing Manitoba’s 137 municipalities is a great responsibility and I do not take it lightly,” said Blight, reeve of the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie. “I am truly honoured to lead this strong association with the support of municipal officials from across the province. I look forward to further strengthening our existing partnerships and forging new ones over the next two years.”

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