It certainly has been a year of change for the man who wears Halifax Regional Municipality’s Chain of Office and newly elected Mayor Mike Savage is discussing his plans for the municipality in 2013.
In 2012, longtime Mayor Peter Kelly stepped down and former MP Savage swept into power in October’s municipal elections.
And moving from private sector and to the mayor’s office has brought some unexpected turns.
“If there is any surprise, it’s how many things the Mayor has the opportunity to be a part in,” Savage told News 95.7.
While he might be pulled in many directions, Savage is also finding support for his own endeavors to tackle the economy.
“A lot of groups come together around issues of health, around issues of development,” he said. “Groups such as our HRM Alliance and other have decided that they’re really going to get involved.”
Economic development is topping his agenda for the coming year in an effort to spur the economy.
He said he thinks the soon-to-be-built Nova Centre will be a catalyst for downtown growth.
“I think it’s a very important piece for bringing people to this community, not just for conventions, but from an education point of view, a health point of view,” he said.
With that in mind, he will focus on post-secondary institutions in 2013. The Mayor said HRM’s universities and NSCC are the municipality’s greatest assets for attracting new people.
The Skye Halifax development was the first controversial issue that the newly elected council faced in 2012 and Savage is pleased it was turned down.
“We do have a plan and we are not going to make exceptions,” said the Mayor of the proposed 48-storey, twin tower high-rises. “If you start making expectations of the magnitude that was asked for in the Skye development the other developments are going to slow.”