Jón Gnarr has been sworn into office as the Mayor of Reykjavík, ruv.is reports. Outgoing mayor, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir of the Independence Party, was unanimously elected city council chairman.
Sóley Tómasdóttir, leader of the Left-Greens, was elected deputy council chairman and Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, a councilor for the Democratic Alliance, was elected second deputy council chairman.
Mayor Jón Gnarr. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The Best Party and the Democratic Alliance had come to a coalition agreement, thereby forming a majority. Councilors of the Independence Party and the Left-Greens are involved neither in the majority nor the coalition agreement. However, cooperation between parties will be increased, enabling each councilor to put their skills and strengths to good use.
Among the first undertakings of the new majority is to carry out an audit of Reykjavík Energy. The coalition agreement also includes plans to stop the expansion of the city, limit car traffic in certain areas of the city center and increase financial support to the city’s inhabitants with the lowest income. The building of a railway between central Reykjavík’s Vatnsmýri and Keflavík is also being considered. Citizens’ joint ownership of the city’s resources will be guaranteed and a specific time frame will be made around efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the new city council’s protocol, councilors reached an agreement to make a single proposal to the committee appointment.
This will ensure balance between parties in committees and councils. Representatives from the majority will lead councils of specialists but chairmanship of borough councils and workgroups will be divided between majority and minority parties.
The operations group pertaining to economy and employment appointed last term will proceed, with the participation of all party leaders.
In addition, leadership of particular projects and offices will be independent of who is a part of the majority.
In his inaugural speech, Mayor Jón Gnarr, an actor, comedian and artist, said that as a child, his dream was to be a circus clown. His teacher had told him that he would never amount to anything. Even if he never becomes a clown, at the very least he has become the Mayor of Reykjavík.