Cindy Solda has been elected to chair the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District. Solda, a Port Alberni City Council representative on the board, had served as interim chair after the sudden death of longtime regional director and chairperson Glenn Wong in September.
Voting went to a second ballot before Solda defeated Area C (Long Beach) director Tony Bennett.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes with the regional district and I’ve been an alternate for many years as a city rep,” Solda said. She spent a year serving on the board, including as vice-chair and heading up the hospital board. “It is not how I expected for the last two months to become chair of the regional district.”
Solda admitted her learning curve will be steep as chair. “I feel the regional district is going in a new direction. There have been a lot of changes…we need to work together and I think that’s the way to go.”
Sproat Lake director Penny Cote was elected vice-chair.
She defeated Area E (Beaver Creek) director John McNabb, who previously held the vice-chair’s position.
The regional district will hold a by-election on Feb. 16, 2013 to fill Wong’s vacant seats in Cherry Creek (electoral area F) and on the school board. Only Cherry Creek residents may vote for a new director, however, the vote for a school board trustee will be held throughout the Alberni Valley.
Wendy Thomson was appointed chief election officer.