TNRD chair should be rural

Authors argue that Kamloops has enough influence at the board table without adding to it with the chair's job.

Dear Editor

We would like to congratulate the newly elected and appointed members of the TNRD Board. We look forward to three years of co-operation, consultation and fair local governance; and we offer to assist with the governance of rural unincorporated communities in every way possible. We will work hard to ensure information from our communities is available to help you make informed decisions.

The primary roles of a regional government are to provide local government for unincorporated areas and to represent municipal residents on regional issues. The government of a regional district should be a partnership of municipalities and unincorporated areas working to coordinate and provide services to all residents. The Board of the TNRD is made up of the 15 representatives appointed from municipalities in the region and 10 rural area representatives elected by rural residents and property owners. While the municipalities have their own local government, the elected representatives from the rural electoral areas and the TNRD Board are the only form of local government in rural areas.

Under the Local Government Act (Chapter 323, Part 5.2, Div 2) the chair of the TNRD is the head and chief executive officer of the regional district. This chair acts as a major player in negotiating contracts with the City of Kamloops.

The primary role of the mayor of Kamloops is to take care of the best interests of the residents and businesses in the City of Kamloops. This is a high profile position and the incumbent is strongly associated with the interests of Kamloops. The Mayor of Kamloops is a full time job and the incumbent must be committed to serving the best interests of the City of Kamloops. It is difficult to see how the same person could also be fully committed serve as Chair of the Board of the Thomson Nicola Regional District with the responsibility to govern in the best interests of rural unincorporated areas. It is very difficult for one person to faithfully serve two such diverse masters. A partnership only works when partners are equal and when every partner is treated with respect. Our experience over the past three years shows that while Kamloops may have been well served, the best interests of residents of rural unincorporated areas have been ignored.

It is therefore strongly urged that the newly elected members of the board of the Thompson Nicola Regional District choose as Chair a member who is able to work in the interests of the whole regional district including the rural unincorporated areas.

Barbara Hendricks

Loon Lake Rd Recreational & Agricultural Society, and

Ruth Robinson

Bonaparte Plateau

Ratepayer Association