Regional District of Nanaimo directors elected Bill Veenhof as their new chairman at the district’s inaugural board meeting of the year Tuesday night.
Veenhof, Deep Bay and Bowser area director, beat out long-time incumbent Joe Stanhope in a secret ballot.
Veenhof thanked outgoing chair Director Stanhope for his 13 years of service as RDN Board Chair and highlighted some of Director Stanhope’s achievements including his work with Fortis B.C. to normalize natural gas prices in the region.
Veenhof’s priorities include the regional district strategic plan and the 2016 budget. He wants to have a local government that’s transparent and accountable to its constituents with ‘effective’ and ‘efficient’ services. Staff would also be empowered to achieve the goals of the board.
“Another priority is I want to see a local government that’s transparent and accountable to its constituents where there’s effective and efficient services,” he said. “It’s very important to me that we have a staff that’s empowered to achieve the goals of the board.”
Veenhof is also planning a meeting with Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay and city council regarding concerns and expectations on his to-do list.
He wants to see a forum for rural directors to get together and talk about issues similar to what councilors have with council meetings.
Lantzville director and mayor Colin Haime was acclaimed as deputy chairman for another year during the inaugural meeting.
Dennis Trudeau, general manager of transportation and solid waste, was appointed interim chief administrative officer while the search continues for a permanent replacement. Trudeau takes Paul Thorkelsson position, who has moved on to the District of Saanich.
Parksville Mayor Teunis Westbroek and Qualicum Beach Mayor Marc Lefebvre will continue serving as their council’s RDN representative on the board. The next inaugural meeting will be held in November 2016.