The Cowichan Lake area’s three Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) board members received their 2011 appointments, during a regular CVRD board meeting, Wednesday, January 12.
These three local representatives include Town of Lake Cowichan councillor Tim McGonigle, Cowichan Lake South/ Skutz Falls CVRD area director Ian Morrison, and Youbou/Meade Creek CVRD area director Klaus Kuhn.
The following is what the local elected officials had to say about their appointments.
For Youbou/Meade Creek area director Klaus Kuhn, this year’s appointments seem a bit overwhelming.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had that many on my list,” he said.
Kuhn will sit on the Regional Services Committee, the Electoral Area Services Committee, the Parks Committee, the Transit Committee, and will be vice-chair of the Engineering and Environmental Services Committee, will be chair of the Community Safety Advisory, and chair of the Community Recognition Committee. He is also a representative on the Island Corridor Foundation, and he sits on the Cowichan Watershed Board.
“It’s going to be a lot of work,” Kuhn said.
The Community Recognition Committee is new this year, and will strive to bring some recognition to the Cowichan Valley’s unsung heroes.
“We’re going to try and encourage people to come forward, who have done an incredible job on volunteer or on a work basis, who have made a difference in the Cowichan Valley,” Kuhn said, adding that there will be annual awards for these local heroes.
Kuhn’s placement on the Island Corridor Foundation is also new to the area director. A train buff, Kuhn is enthusiastic about this placement, as the foundation aims to develop an old train grade as a proper railroad, from Victoria to Courtenay, and from Nanaimo to Port Alberni.
Councillor Tim McGonigle will continue to sit on the Regional Services Committee, the Regional Board Committee, and the Transit Committee. He was also appointed the chair of the Regional Recreation Committee.
This new position of chair of the newly-formed Regional Recreation Committee sticks out as a highlight. The committee will serve to look at what form of regional funding should be used for the CVRD’s nine regionally significant facilities, which includes the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.
“The committee has been charged with figuring out a usage formula,” McGonigle said.
The councillor said that he’s happy to have received the chair position, as he will strive to give west Cowichan a voice on the committee.
For Ian Morrision, this year’s appointments feel a bit middle-of-the-road.
The only appoint0last year is a placement on the Communications Committee.
“The appointments were politically motivated, and merit was a secondary consideration,” he said, of Giles’ decisions. Whereas some directors feel as though they’ve received a promotion, or demotion, Morrison said that he received neither.
“I would see this as a sideways move,” he said. “I was neither promoted nor demoted.”
Morrison’s appointments include sitting in the Engineering and Environmental Services Committee, the Communications Committee, the Economic Development Commission, as alternate to the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-op, and as vice-chair of both the Regional Parks Committee and the Transit Committee.
The Communications Committee is new to the CVRD, this year, and will serve to figure out how the electoral body will better communicate with the public. This comes in response to recent accusations from communities that the CVRD is not as transparent as it once was.
“On the surface, you can interpret this as a pro-active step to solving the public representation of the CVRD in the public eye,” Morrison said.
The reality of the situation, is that they’re forming a committee of politicians who are ultimately responsible for the current circumstances, he said, adding that he already has some ideas as to how the situation can be improved.
“I will be bringing them to the committee as soon as possible,” he said.