Changes to staff and board at RDKB

A recent shake up in manpower at the regional district has mostly mayors chairing the board and new faces stepping into senior positions.

Six months into the civic election year, the board of directors has seen four new officials join the group and only one East End Services councillor remains.

Most recently, Rossland councillor and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) director Kathy Wallace resigned from both posts and the city’s mayor, Greg Granstrom, was appointed the regional position.

Just a year into his seat as Greenwood’s director, Coun. Barry Noll was replaced by the city’s mayor Nipper Kettle.

When Noll first took the job as RDKB director, he said the number of meetings each month was overwhelming and a notable time commitment.

“As far as the money, there is no amount to compensate for the amount of time and effort spent on the job,” he said in an earlier Trail Times interview.

After regional recreation became a hot button issue in January, Montrose councillor and regional district director Don Duclos took some heat from constituents at council meetings and since that time the seasoned official stepped down and was replaced by the village’s mayor Joe Danchuk.

After Larry Gray chose to step down as RDKB board chair in December, the two-year leader was replaced by Area C (Christina Lake) director Grace McGregor.

Gray continued his role as Fruitvale councillor and as RDKB director until January, when village council voted to appoint Fruitvale Mayor Patricia Cecchini to the position.

In a 3-2 vote, Cecchini took over the role to gain experience at the regional level prior to the Nov. 15 municipal election, when she will seek re-election as Fruitvale mayor.

After losing his regional position, Gray resigned from council and retired from politics all together.

“As an organization we have to be prepared to manage change,” said McGregor. “This year it seems that we have had a little more than usual.”

Trail Coun. Robert Cacchioni is the lone municipal councillor on the EES committee, which is comprised of representatives from Areas A and B, Warfield, Rossland, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale.

He’s been on the board since the last civic election, and said along with meetings, travel, agenda reading and phone calls, regional issues can be more time consuming than municipal issues.

Regional directors are responsible for keeping municipal councils up-to-date and he estimates spending about 70 hours month in the position.

“With a budget of $40 million this is a necessary amount of time considering major issues such as the pipe bridge, landfill closure Phase 1 and the solid waste management plan, which is a major undertaking.”

A turnover in regional district staff began with the hiring of Beth Burget, manager of finance.

Burget has a background working in Northern B.C.’s senior healthcare management, public and industrial practise, and previously served as financial services manager in the Central Kootenay regional office.

She accepted a similar position with the RDKB last fall, and in May was promoted to general manager of finance.

“It’s been a busy seven months,” said Burget. “With becoming oriented to a new organization, working through the 2014 budget and completing the 2013 financial statements.”

Following Elaine Kumar’s retirement, Theresa Lenardon was named successor to the position of manager of corporate administration.  Also moving up is Donna Dean as manager of planning and development and Maureen Forster as the RDKB’s executive assistant.

“These changes are placing qualified, experienced and very capable people in important positions in the regional district,” noted McGregor.

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