No money for Jumbo reps

RDEK directors recommend no allowance for non-voting board member representating Jumbo

The regional district is refusing to pay expenses for its new non-voting board director representing Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality.

Set to be formally incorporated on February 19, the new municipality’s mayor is entitled to a seat at the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors.

However, the three person council was appointed by the provincial government, rather than elected by residents, since Jumbo has no residents yet.

Members of the RDEK board – made up of six electoral area directors and nine municipal representatives – has previously expressed its disappointment that a non-elected representative should be allowed to sit at the board.

However, the Jumbo representative would not be permitted to vote at the RDEK board until 2017, or until Jumbo ‘s tax base reaches $30 million, whichever comes first.

On Thursday, January 31, the RDEK’s Governance and Regional Services Committee, attended by 14 of 15 board directors, passed a recommendation that the board not pay for the Jumbo director’s attendance at meetings, travel or accommodation expenses.

“They are not putting any money in the pot,” pointed out board chair Rob Gay.

One director, Invermere’s Gerry Taft, voted against the recommendation because he felt approving it would make him complicit in accepting the non-elected representative’s presence on the board.

“Although of course I don’t think we should be paying for the Jumbo representative to go to meetings, I also don’t think the Jumbo representative should be allowed to have a seat at this table,” said Taft.

“I hope that just getting rid of their expenses does not clean one’s conscience. It still doesn’t change the fundamental issue, which in my mind is it’s wrong to have an appointed representative who is not representing the people in this region sitting at this table.”

The recommendation was set to be brought forward to the RDEK board meeting on Friday, February 1 where the same board members would vote whether to approve it.