Regional District of Nanaimo’s incoming chief administrative officer is familiar with the area.
The RDN announced this week that Douglas Holmes, currently CAO of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, will take on the same position at the RDN come Aug. 23. Holmes has resided in Nanaimo since 2006 and has been commuting to Port Alberni.
There are pressing issues facing the area, Holmes said, and the best indicator of that is examining the RDN strategic plan and “looking at those various areas.”
“One thing that has come up recently is the RDN’s interest in engaging Island Health on the health facilities that are going to be constructed in the coming years,” said Holmes. “Because there’s such a wide service area for the types of services that will be in a centre like this, the question of whether or not the taxpayers of this region should pay the 40 per cent by themselves, that is the capital cost, or should that be broadened to other places? Matters like this and a number of items that come under the strategic area’s of the board are the types of things I’ll be getting familiar with and working with the board on.”
Holmes said there will be skills from his time at Alberni-Clayoquot that he can transfer over to the RDN.
“Our board is very interesting in the ACRD … we also have treaty First Nations, so we have a very diverse board,” said Holmes. “So I’ve been able to advance and improve my skills on bringing together very diverse interests to find objectives in common on a number of different files and that’s certainly been advanced. More time working with diverse partners, working with the staff of the various partners is always going to be useful in this region as well.”
In a press release, the RDN said Holmes was selected following a cross-Canada search and the incoming CAO said he is fond of the area.
“My family and I have picked this region to raise our kids and live, so of course we love this region,” said Holmes. “That makes it very, very attractive and I very much like the regional district model and that’s been highlighted working in this collaborative federation style of government in my professional career.”
Until Aug. 23, Holmes said he will work hard at Alberni-Clayoquot in order to ensure “the best transition possible.”