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Directors acclaim Palmer as chair

Area C director has competition in heading regional hospital district
Laura Walz

Colin Palmer, Powell River Regional District Electoral Area C director, was elected chair of the board for 2011. Palmer, who has been the chair since he was elected in 1999, was acclaimed at a recent board meeting.

While he was acclaimed board chair, there was an election for the chair of Powell River Regional Hospital District. City of Powell River Director Debbie Dee nominated Chris McNaughton, also a city director, for the position. Texada Island Director Dave Murphy nominated Palmer.

Regional districts are designated under provincial law as regional hospital districts for the purpose of raising capital funds for hospital facilities in their areas. Regional district board members also sit as members of the regional hospital district board.

McNaughton said he has a keen interest in the regional hospital district board and has made a contribution to the ongoing negotiations regarding a replacement for the Olive Devaud residence. “Equally as important, the rural directors currently chair all of the committees of the regional board,” he said. “I think because the city-appointed directors represent two-thirds of the population in the region and over 50 per cent of the funding for this initiative, I felt it was important that a city director should be considered for the position given an opportunity to take some leadership roles within the regional board.”

Palmer said he has a fund of contacts in the community. “I’ve been doing that for quite some time now,” he said. “All those contacts are valuable to the board and I’m quite prepared to carry on, working on your behalf.”

Frances Ladret, regional district administrator, conducted an election with ballots and declared Palmer the winner.

After he was acclaimed regional district board chair, Palmer said 2011 was going to be a “really, really different year. Two senior members of staff are retiring. We’re all going to have to get used to the fact that those two long-serving senior staff are not going to be with us.”

Both Ladret and Pat Christie, administrative assistant, are retiring in the spring.

The board will have to rally around whoever is hired, as well as all of the staff, Palmer added. “For those who have been around here for a long time, staff and board members, get used to the idea that life is going to be different this year,” he said. “We won’t be able to sit back and rely on our photographic-mind administrator.”