Cowichan Valley Regional District chair Aaron Stone. (File photo)

Cowichan Valley Regional District chair Aaron Stone. (File photo)

Ladysmith mayor new chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Stone says directors need to work together

Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone is the new chair at the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

Stone, who has been a director for Ladysmith on the CVRD’s board for seven years, served two back-to-back one year terms as chair of the board in 2019-2020.

He was elected to be chair again by the newly elected board at its inaugural meeting on Nov. 9.

Stone replaces Lori Iannidinardo, who was the CVRD’s director for Cowichan Bay but didn’t run in October’s municipal elections, as chair of the board.

RELATED STORY: AARON STONE RE-ELECTED AS CHAIR OF THE CVRD

“I haven’t sat here for awhile,” Stone joked as he took the leader’s seat at the board table after the vote.

The board also voted for Alison Nicholson, who was re-elected to a third term as the CVRD’s director for Sahtlam/Glenora/Cowichan Station, to serve as vice-chair of the board for a one-year period.

Stone said he’s excited to serve as board chair again.

“I know in the past I’ve been an optimistic person, maybe to a fault, but I push myself to be more pragmatic in my approach to this job and to life in general,” Stone said.

“But I can’t help but be encouraged by the conversations we’ve had around this table today and over the past couple of weeks. I truly believe this is an opportunity for a fresh term and fresh outlook.”

Stone said that considering the election’s results in the CVRD and the district’s four municipalities, he sees a variety of perspectives represented and that it is important to serve all the people over the whole region, whatever end of the political spectrum they come from and priorities they may have.

“We do have a lot of challenges ahead, but I wouldn’t want to face these challenges with anyone else than the group around this table and the alternate directors,” he said.

“I believe fundamentally that this is a business about people. We serve people, we work together as human beings and we have to respect that and embrace the diversity of ideas we bring to the table. But we must always remember to remain cordial and respectful to each other so we can be truly collaborative and find success by working together.”

Stone said he has seen two terms at the CVRD that he felt were quite different from one another, with one being collaborative and constructive.

He said that term, despite major differences and severe disagreements at meetings, directors always came back to the table the next day with the same dedication, friendship and camaraderie towards each other as they had before their arguments.

Stone said that the board lost that somewhere and it’s not a criticism of anyone that served at the time.

“We were in a crisis, and sometimes a multitude of crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, fires and floods,” he said.

“But having gone through all that, I know we have a talented staff and there is talented staff in our municipalities as well. We also have collaborative and supportive people in our communities and I think we can show leadership done the right way and truly find success in our communities by working together.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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