Regional Rundown: Local government leadership training

Connecting with people on a grassroots level is what local government is all about

As I begin my third term as the Electoral Area F Director, it comes with a renewed focus. I truly enjoyed the campaign process and learned a lot about what is important to the residents of the valley. Connecting with people on a grassroots level is what local government is all about and that is the part I enjoy most.

There are some new faces around the Regional District of East Kootenay board table and the local council tables. While change is good, there are those who I will miss and have enjoyed working with over the years. I wish them all the best in

the future.

In December, I was re-elected by my peers as the Vice Chair of the RDEK for a third year. I have really enjoyed having a close working relationship with Chair Gay, and I look forward to continuing in this role.

Recently, I returned from leadership training for Electoral Area Directors across the province. While I may be considered a veteran with six years experience, any training opportunity is well worth the time. We had a fantastic key note speaker, George Abbott, a well-respected retired politician both in local government and at the provincial level. One message I took away from his presentation was to “always tell it like it is.”

Another highlight for me was a presentation by Gord McIntosh, a well-known guru in local government. In his presentation on Collaborative Civic Leadership, he spoke about healthy decision-making. A key to making good decisions is adequate, relevant and accurate information. In the case of the RDEK, the directors may receive information that is conflicting and it is up to us to filter and determine what is the correct information and make good decisions. This can be an agonizing, gut-wrenching process with many sleepless nights (of which I have my fair share); however, ultimately I believe that the RDEK board makes good decisions.

In these professional development training sessions, I learn a lot from the presenters, but it is also an opportunity to connect with my colleagues from around the province. While I was saddened to say goodbye to some well-respected local government people in the last election, it was great to meet some newly elected people, and the first few months of this term have me excited for the opportunities and challenges to come.

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 wndbooth@gmail.com or 250-345-6155.

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