Meet your mayoral candidates: Paula Havixbeck

will do more than clean house

Just like Peter Warren, Paula Havixbeck gets right down to business. It’s a trait she carries with her through the corridors of City Hall and the stairwells of
her homestead. 

 “Clean your room! And take a shower!” are two phrases Havixbeck’s 12-year-old son Nick says he hears from his mom all too often.

Havixbeck is likely justified in asking her children to maintain good hygiene, but she also makes a point to criticize the condition city business is left in by
her colleagues.

Speaking to The Uniter in the minutes before the mayoral candidate debate on food security at the University of Winnipeg she came out swinging.

“(My) biggest surprise [as a city councillor],” she says, “(was) how many things were wrong about the way we did things, the relationships among the business people and elected officials.”

Havixbeck has served as Councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo Ward since 2010. During her time at City Hall she championed reimbursement for citizens with frozen water lines and an audit of the new police headquarters. In 2010, she told reporters a business improvement zone was part of the plan for her ward. Havixbeck also served on numerous committees including Mayor Sam Katz’s Executive Policy Committee (EPC) before
she was removed.

“I would scrap it completely,” Havixbeck says of EPC, “and replace it with more Council seminars and meetings.” Currently, the Council seminars are ad hoc and primarily for information purposes.

Those weekly seminars would be open to the public who would have input
on the agenda.

“The agenda shouldn’t be driven from what the Mayor wants to see,” she explains.  “It should be a collective effort.”

“My focus is that our council be more citizen directed and focused,” Havixbeck says, stressing the importance of getting young people engaged - young people such as her sons, though they are nowhere near voting age. 

“We always talk about politics,” Nick says. “Sometimes we disagree but she always makes me see a different side
of something.”

Outside of Council and City Hall, Havixbeck, a hot yoga enthusiast and 3 Doors Down fan, says she keeps
things quiet.

“My life is so public right now that being home or at friends’ homes is underrated,” she says. “Being on Council has made me appreciate cooking at home much more.”

This past week she participated in the Take Back The Night march on Sept. 18 with both Nick and her other son Adrian.

“My mom makes me be more interested in the city,” Nick says. “She has taught me a lot about how our city works and she spoke up about things when they
weren’t right.”

Though he admits one thing she could improve on is being “less clean.”

But, cleaning up City Hall is one of Havixbeck’s goals and will take a great effort on part of whoever is
elected Oct. 22. 

However, it may quite possibly be more difficult than convincing a 12-year-old to clean his room, nevermind shower.

More information about runaway children is available from missingkids.ca

Published in Volume 69, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 24, 2014)

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