A board of newbies and veterans was sworn into office Thursday night (Nov. 8, 2018) to guide the Thompson-Nicola Regional District for the next four years.
Of the 26 board members, half are new to politics or to the regional district. Judge Roy Dickey officiated at the swearing in of the 10 electoral area directors and 16 municipal directors, including six from Kamloops city council.
Ken Gillis, who represents the Pritchard South-Monte Lake-Westwold electoral area, was elected chair of the new board, with Bill Kershaw of the rural area around Barriere chosen as the vice chair. Both will sit for one-year terms.
Gillis said he expects there will be some stumbles in the coming year but expressed confidence the board will work well together. He praised former Cache Creek mayor John Ranta, who was chair for the past four years but lost his bid for another term in the October civic election.
Gillis said Ranta set the bar high for establishing a co-operative relationship between the board and staff.
Picking up on that theme, guest speaker George Abbott, a former B.C. cabinet minister who spent many years in politics at the regional district level, said politics is all about building relationships.
He said politicians need to listen more than they talk.
Abbott noted that in former days, it was common to express one’s frustration in a letter, then put the letter in a drawer for a few days before deciding whether or not to send it. In today’s world of social media, people vent their anger through instant communication that lives forever.
Ranta, former Kamloops councilor Pat Wallace, and several other departing directors were presented with gifts in appreciation of their service.
— Mel Rothenburger, Director, Electoral Area P, TNRD