By Roy L Hales
Over the past few months I’ve focused on some of Cortes island’s problems with the Strathcona Regional District. There are times this is needed, but even if my reporting is 100% accurate the resulting impression is inherently flawed because there is always much more to the story than problems. I’ve seen much in the Strathcona Regional District Board that deserves respect.
There is a lot of talk about the SRD board’s glacial speed to act – but they actually sift through a mountain of complex decisions at every meeting. This requires a great deal of work by every director and staff member, who are constantly being called upon to find the truth in situations that are often new to them.
One of the facts that quickly emerged, as we Cortesians dumped our complaints on them, is that SRD directors actually read all of our emails! This takes a great deal of time and much of what we write – and by “we” I definitely include myself – is both ignorant and insulting.
Kudos To The SRD Board & Staff
If I were handing out an award for graciousness under fire, it would go to Senior Manager Tom Yates – who received some of my more misguided thrusts – and add that I was very impressed by the humour Chief Administrative Officer David Leitch displayed at the recent Cortes Hall Tax Consultation.
Many of the directors constantly display great commitment and personal integrity. I think Claire Moglove is becoming somewhat of a favourite on Cortes because of the way she championed a couple of key motions – but I am very impressed by what I’ve seen of directors Adams, Anderson, Colbourne, Cornfield, MacDonald and Unger. (This list should probably go further – but I limited my coverage to Cortes issues and do not listen as closely when the board deals with other matters.)
On a number of occasions I’ve heard Michele Babchuk described as the best Chair the Strathcona Regional District has ever had. Having never dealt with any of the other Chairs, I am not in a position to comment other than to say I do find her to be very competent, easy to relate to and (in-so-far as her position allows) candid. I’m also very impressed by the way she keeps the SRD board meetings focused and on track.
Top photo: 2019 Strathcona Regional District Board – Back Row L to R: Kevin Jules – Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ Representative, Ron Kerr – City of Campbell river, Noba Anderson – Cortes Island (Area B), Julie Colborne – Village of Zeballos, John MacDonald – Village of Sayward, Gerald Whalley – Kyuquot/Nootka – Sayward (Area A), Andy Adams (City of Campbell River), Martin Davis – Village of Tahsis, Charlie Cornfield – City of Campbell River. Front Row: Claire Moglove – City of Campbell River, Brad Unger – Village of Gold River (Vice Chair), Michele Babchuk – City of Campbell River (Chair), Jim Abram – Discovery Islands – Mainland Inlets (Area C), Brenda Leigh – Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake (Area D) – photo courtesy SRD website