Alberni shuffles deck with ACRD appointments

Counc. Hira Chopra is out as a director of the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District and new mayor John Douglas and Coun. Cindy Solda are in.

There was nothing standard about some standard committee appointments that were made at the  inaugural meeting of Port Alberni’s new city council on Monday.

Newly elected mayor, John Douglas, hopes to examine a new system of administration that does away with the traditional portfolios, but these appointments had to be made as part of the community charter, he said.

The first appointments were a surprise to many in the crowd, as Douglas and Coun. Cindy Solda were appointed directors of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District. Douglas wields five votes in his new position with the regional district, while Solda will hold four.

The move displaces Coun. Hira Chopra, who was the city’s representative to the ACRD for the last eight years—five of them served as chairman of the board. Former mayor Ken McRae was the second city appointee.

The appointment is a long time coming for Solda, she said. “I’ve been waiting for years now so it’s about time.”

Solda says she made the pitch for the spot three years ago but Chopra was re-appointed by virtue of his experience. “I made the pitch again this time,” Solda said.

“I told John that I wanted the regional district  — it’s my time.”

Solda has served in other committees in the past as liaison, but oftentimes it was in name only, she said. “That’s frustrating when you know that you’re capable of doing more.”

The ACRD is a committee of substance that gives here something that she’s been chomping at the bit for: a challenge. “I like to be busy, I like to get in and get my hands dirty and I like a challenge,” Solda said. “I have to be challenged because if you’re not then there’s no point in being here.”

The appointment is also a bit of a homecoming for Solda. “I’m not just a city girl, I grew up in Beaver Creek — I’m a creeker,” she said.

Being on the ACRD will serve her well with the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC). “You have to know what the issues in the regional district are in order to lobby for them more effectively with the province,” she said.

Chopra took the move in stride. “John wants change and that’s OK because life goes on,” Chopra said. “He wants to give other people the experience now.”

Supporting Solda was an exercise in reciprocity. “Cindy supported me for all these years so it’s only fair that I support her.”

Chopra never made a pitch to be the first alternate. “I already served on the board and looked after the city’s interests,” he said.

Chopra retains his positions on the audit and personnel committees, and will serve as acting mayor in February and August. Each councillor will take turns as acting mayor, sitting in for Douglas when he is unavailable.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

Port Alberni highland dancers invited to North American competition

Kali Nahorney received honourable mention medals in two categories

Government looks for public input on Cathedral Grove safety concerns

Port Alberni, Parksville info sessions invite public to help ‘shape future access’

ARTS AROUND: Enjoy magic and comedy at the Capitol Theatre

Transport yourself back in time for the McLean Mill Christmas Market

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Most Read