Rob Gay is returning to the Regional District of East Kootenay after being re-elected to a fourth term to serve as Area C director on Saturday.
Gay took the vote with 543 over challenger Don Flowers, who captured 215.
“I’m very pleased to be heading back to the regional board,” said Gay. “It’s something that’s really become a part of my life over the last nine years.
“…I had so many potential things on my calendar, so now the calendar is starting to fill in and get back to what was my normal routine.”
In addition to serving as Area C director, Gay is also chair of the board of directors.
There will be some changes to the board, as fresh faces join following results in municipal elections across the district. That includes six new directors on a council of 15.
For now, RDEK staff will keep the government operations going as the new directors get their feet wet, said Gay.
“We have a very good strategic plan that the board has developed and staff works on, and they have enough on that plan and the policy direction for the next six to ten months and we will be entering strategic planning again this April,” Gay added.
He reminisced to when he was elected for his first term in 2005, where he leaned on Norm Walter for advice and the proper way of getting things done.
“It is a different world when you’re living by Roberts Rules and speaking and motions and secondaries and third readings—it can all be quite confusing,” said Gay. “People come there and they want to get work done and I think they feel sometimes that this stuff gets in their way, but you have to do it properly.”
Following changes to provincial legislation, terms are now four-year limits instead of three, and there is a lot of work Gay hopes to continue and begin over the next few years.
“We’ve got an Official Community Plan that we’re working with an advisory group and citizens in the Wardner-Mayook area, so we’d like to bring that to conclusion in the next six months,” said Gay.
“The St. Mary is looking at some fire protection and we were quite happy with the successful results of the Elko, so it’s something we’ll try to get on our list for Wardner, as well as the mosquito control.”
He also wants to look at creating a rural crime watch program with input from community associations across the electoral area, while also being attentive to the health care needs of seniors.
On a smaller scale, he also heard feedback from constituents about individual matters and concerns that he wants to address.
“They’re not, I guess in the scheme of things, large, but to the individual, they’re important,” Gay said. “So I have a list of them that I want to follow up and phone back to some of these individuals and see what their individual issue is, and if it’s within our jurisdiction, we’ll help them deal with it, if it’s a provincial one, I can easily set up a meeting at the MLA’s office and I don’t mind attending with them to help them through it.
“That’s the work I like, is helping with the citizens, so we’ll do that.”
Other priorities include addressing the two-tier fee system for recreation in Cranbrook and finding ways to get the public more involved and educated on the RDEK’s decision-making process.
Results from the other electoral areas include: Mike Sosnowski (Area A), Jane Walter (Area E) and Gerry Wilkie (Area G), who were all acclaimed. Stan Doehle was elected as director of Area B, who won an open seat after long-serving director Heath Slee announced his retirement before the election. Wendy Booth (Area F) was also victorious over her challenger in the Columbia Valley.
The rest of the regional board will be rounded out when regional municipalities appoint their elected representatives to the board.