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qathet Regional District director seeks unity at board table

“I’m hoping with the new board, we have seven directors who are empowered and working together to put the system in place and stick to the system so it’s fair for everybody." ~ Clay Brander
SYSTEM TRUST: qathet Regional District Electoral Area C director Clay Brander, in his second term on the regional board, is looking forward to a busy session.

qathet Regional District Area C director Clay Brander is hoping a team of effective directors can be built for the coming mandate.

Brander said in terms of the new board, he is hoping that everyone works together.

“I’m looking for more consistency and less drama,” said Brander. “I’m hoping we can work together as a team and move forward.”

Brander said regional directors had a session with a parliamentarian, who came in and provided some fundamentals for the regional district. Brander said the parliamentarian is an expert in Robert’s Rules of Order.

“He said to trust the system because the system is your best friend,” said Brander. “I’m hoping with the new board, we have seven directors who are empowered and working together to put the system in place and stick to the system so it’s fair for everybody. It’s all of us working together for a common goal.

“Everyone at the board table needs to be empowered and everyone has to be willing to speak up. If somebody is called for straying off topic or making comments that aren’t appropriate for the meeting, I hope they don’t take offence when someone does call them out. It’s not about personalities, it’s about process.”

Brander said he’s hoping for efficiency at the board level so the best outcome is attained for regional district residents.

Resource recovery

He said the regional board has a big project moving forward, which is the resource-recovery centre to be constructed at the old waste-transfer station where City of Powell River’s incinerator used to operate, just above Willingdon Beach.

“I’m looking forward to that coming online,” said Brander. “It’s been in the works the entire four years I’ve been in office and it started before that. The resource-recovery centre is going to be a fantastic asset for the community.

“Knowing how good people are at recycling, how good we are at reusing, I think it’s going to do really well. It’s going to have a re-store onsite, which I think will be popular with people in the region. We don’t like to waste. We like to extend the life of items or find a new way to use them. That is going to be a big change.”

Brander said anything that doesn’t have to be shipped to Washington State for landfill is a good use of resources.

“The resource-recovery centre can make a huge impact on the greenhouse gas this community produces collectively,” he added.

Water systems

Another interesting issue will be water, according to Brander. He said how water systems are dealt with in general will be a topic of conversation.

“We have a number of water systems around qathet that are aging and in need of repair,” said Brander. “That’s a huge price tag.

“There was a resolution that qathet brought to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention this past session regarding one-time grants from the province for water systems, so they can upgrade and get back on track. The resolution passed.”

Brander said the regional district tries to maintain its assets by making contributions to reserves on a regular basis, but some other systems have not taken the same approach. He said some systems are aging and they are having trouble finding people who want to run them, which has happened in Lund.

Brander said going forward, regional district staff have a lot on their plates. He said he believes the planning department had its busiest year last year with new construction. Staffing has been an issue, with one member away on maternity leave, which meant there was only one person in the department for a while until a temporary staff member could be found.

Brander said there have also been vacancies in the finance department and the regional district is looking at innovative ways of staffing the open positions, because housing is difficult to buy or rent.

Brander looks forward to working with Tla’amin Nation in the next term and said establishing and maintaining good relationships is important.

He said he is also looking forward to seeing who the city appoints to the regional board.

Brander and other area directors will be sworn in during a ceremony at Powell River City Hall tonight (November 1).