Booth new Regional District of East Kootenay vice chair

Electoral Area F director narrowly defeats District of Invermere mayor Taft in 8-7 vote.

The votes are in, and the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has elected a new vice chair for the upcoming year. Electoral Area F director Wendy Booth narrowly defeated incumbent and District of Invermere mayor Gerry Taft by an 8-7 vote at a RDEK board meeting on December 7 and has been named vice chair for 2013.

“I am honoured to be elected vice chair,” Booth said in a release. “I am eager to continue to work together with the Board to achieve our priorities and keep the best interests of the organization and this region at the forefront,”

Rob Gay will return for a second term as RDEK chair after running unchallenged, and said he was optimistic about the upcoming year.

“I really enjoyed my first year as chair, I think we’ve got a really good team for the most part,” Gay said. “I think in a bigger sense, it forms a culture of trust amongst the directors; we don’t agree on all issues but it’s probably good that we never do, because that’s the whole point — having different points of view.”

Gay faced a particularly tumultuous first term as chair after provincial states of emergency had to be called for two separate occurrences over the summer. First, a state of emergency was declared after Shadybrook Resort in Windermere was flooded by Windermere Creek in June, and then again when Fairmont Resort was hit by a mudslide in late July.

“We’re here to protect our citizens, that’s the bottom line,” Gay said. “So we were I think more than prepared to [respond], and as it turns out staff was available really quickly, as were some of the other ministries and organizations.”

The RDEK Board Chair and Vice Chair are elected annually at the December RDEK board meeting.