A new chair for the regional district board will be elected tonight after Larry Gray steps down.
Gray has been holding the position for two years, but confirmed on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election although he will continue serving as a councillor in Fruitvale and as the village’s director on the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) board.
The election of the RDKB chair is an annual event that takes place at the inaugural meeting in December, said Gray.
“I think it is a good idea for the chair position to be one where there is a rotation,” he said. “So that all areas of the RDKB have an opportunity for leadership.”
The RDKB is home to more than 30,000 residents living in 8,096 square kilometres that encompass five rural areas and eight municipalities stretching from Beaver Valley through to rural Grand Forks and as far north as Big White Ski Resort.
Only those directors who let their name stand for tonight’s elections are included in the vote that will take place during the meeting, when all 13 directors cast their choice by secret ballot.
“I have really enjoyed the chance to work with all the diverse communities within the RDKB and the opportunity to learn about their issues and success stories,” said Gray.
The most important role of the chair is to assist the directors and provide support to the different jurisdictions as needed and the chair appoints all members and chairs of the various board committees, he explained.
“The chair needs to understand the difference between political oversight/guidance and the running of the organization, which is the function of staff,” said Gray. “There is a leadership responsibility for the RDKB in the political sense but not in the operations of the organization.”
The current base stipend for the chair of the RDKB board position is $1,911 with additional payments for each committee attended.
He explained that directors are expected to be on duty for questions from the public or media and there are no standards nor expectations for the number of hours dedicated to RDKB work.
“I have documented 120 hours of work based on a single typical month, but this included council business as well,” said Gray.
“My best guess would be that the job takes between 80 and 100 hours per month on average, so it is like a half time job.”
Gray is grandfather to 10 with two more on the way, and wishes to spend more time with the family.
“This position takes considerable time and effort to do it justice,” he added.