Halifax is saying hello to a new regional councillor.
Tony Mancini, who immigrated to Canada as a child, was sworn in Wednesday as Halifax’s newest regional councillor. He immediately emphasized the importance of being open to refugees and immigrants who are starting a new life.
“We have to support and encourage those entrepreneurs,” he said. “They’ll create businesses, they will hire people and they will pay taxes.”
Mancini is the new councillor for District 6 – Harbourview- Burnside-Dartmouth East. The seat was vacated by Darren Fisher, who is now a Member of Parliament, having won the riding of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour in the October federal election.
He is a senior partner with consulting company Priority Management Atlantica. He is also vice-chair of the Halifax Comedy Society, a volunteer with the Shubenacadie Canal Commission and a certified facilitator.
As he introduced the new councillor, Mayor Mike Savage talked about the importance of hard work in the role of a public servant.
“Those of you that know Tony know he will (work hard),” he said.
Mancini took his oath in front of councillors, members of the media and many members of his family, including his 92-year-old mother.
He discussed his decision to run for council, referencing the many times he has worked as a part of other people’s campaigns. He said this was finally the right time to run himself.
Learning: a major priority
Mancini is up for re-election in October. He said his chief goal is to get his ideas in motion before then, but the tight deadline means it is unlikely he will see many results by time of the vote.
Mancini says another priority is learning.
He has already scheduled a meeting with staff next week, at the 311 municipal services and information office, to better understand how they work. He also wants to understand processes, such as how streets are prioritized for snow removal.
“I don’t want to jump in and wave the flag of my issues right off the bat,” he said. “I want to really learn how it works.”
The new councillor wants to continue the work the city has started on transportation, and making the public transit system more efficient with an end goal of reducing the number of cars in the downtown core.
Mancini also plans on using his extensive experience in the business community to work with small business owners regarding red tape issues.
“I want to go out and talk to business people as a business person and say ‘Let’s be frank, what gets in the way? What can we do as a municipality to support and promote your business?’,” he said.