With summer coming to an end, we are about to enter a busy season in the world of local government. The fall is always a busy time of year for most people, local governments included. In September, we have our annual conference (Union of British Columbia Municipalities), which is open to all local government elected officials and senior staff in the province. This includes both municipalities and regional districts. This year it is being held in Whistler. This is our opportunity to network and build relationships with colleagues as well as meet with ministers and ministry staff on topics that are important to our valley. The Regional District of East Kootenay has requested several meetings with ministers on topics such as Windermere Creek, Columbia Lake Park and backcountry use.
In addition, there is an election this fall for local governments. General election day is Saturday, November 15th. In the past, our terms have been for three years. However, legislation was recently passed and the terms are now four years, which brings B.C. in line with the rest of Canada, as well as other levels of government.
Currently, I am completing my second term as the RDEK Director for Area F. Area F includes the communities of Fairmont, Windermere and Panorama, as well as all the rural areas in between. It is a large geographic area with diverse communities. While being a director has its ups and downs (as with any job), I have enjoyed my time as a director over the past six years, learning a lot along the way.
The five Columbia Valley Directors (myself, Gerry Taft, Dee Conklin, Ute Juras and Gerry Wilkie) have a strong working relationship with successes over the years. We know there are changes coming. With Mayor Conklin not running for re-election, there will be at least one new face at the table.
Myself, I am intending to seek re-election on November 15th. I have enjoyed working with communities acting as a resource to them in helping achieve their goals. I look forward to continuing with this work in the future.
Wendy Booth is the Regional District of East Kootenay Director for Area F and the RDEK board’s vice chair. She can be reached at email@example.com or 250-345-6155.