OUR VIEW: Reflections on a first term as Area D director

My late colleague Tony Lodder told me that my life would never be the same once I got elected as RDKB Area D director and he was right.

Three years already and how fast they went by.

My late colleague Tony Lodder told me that my life would never be the same once I got elected and he was right.

After taking early retirement, I was not expecting to be back to learning again.

From the first orientation workshop to date, I have managed to fill my office with a whole new set of binders. Seems every week there is something else to learn. I can only hope that this will keep the brain functioning and keep dementia at bay.

Regional government differs from the municipal one. A director is both mayor and council with an advisory planning committee as advisors.

We then meet as area directors – five of us in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) – monthly to discuss concerns and to review any applications that the planning department has received.

The last level, also a monthly meeting is the Board of Directors of the RDKB, which consists of all five directors and a representative of each municipality of the Kootenay Boundary.

I have attended meetings of the AKBLG (Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments), elected officials from all East, West and Central Kootenay and Boundary areas and the UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) all elected from B.C., and also the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities), encompassing all of Canada.

I have attended the Local Government Leadership Academy and received my first level certificate and am working toward the second level.

Projects and accomplishments I have achieved in Area D are:

-Implementing and completing an agriculture plan for the Boundary

-Obtaining user space for the local woodworkers, weavers and spinners

-Assisting the Boundary Museum with funding for retrofits to their facility for $43,400

-Providing funding to Phoenix Ski Hill for retrofits to the main building and moving a building for equipment storage for $65,000

-Changed a bylaw allowing for allowances for additional dwellings for farm labor (site- specific) and another for legal in-law-suites.

-Obtained funding from UBCM for signage for the Circle Tour (museum/flour mill and Hardy Mountain Doukhobor museum in Grand Forks)

-Participated in discussions on saving the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad line and the feasibility of a regional heritage conservation program,

-Provides a scholarship to a student from Area D yearly

-Provided a doggie clean-up depot in the Copper Ridge area

-Promoted our area in the Visitors Guide, Hello BC, and TOTA (Thompson Okanagan Tourism  Association) with advertising

-Co-sponsored a course on raising poultry

-Attended local events

-Promptly answer any inquiries or concerns

-Provided annual grant-in aid funding to various groups, clubs and organizations in the amount of  $27,000 to $30,000 annually

-Sits on the West-Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital board and the water study group

I would like to see the agriculture plan recommendations implemented, more educational material provided, a regional park created at Saddle Lake, reactivate the restoration of Hardy Mountain Doukhobor Museum and a clean up week put in place for derelict/abandoned vehicles and machinery.

In order to accomplish and complete these tasks, continuity with a second term in office is necessary and I am running for re-election in order to do this and much more.

– Irene Perepolkin is Area D director for the RDKB