Mayor Larry Jangula and the six recently elected members of Courtenay council were sworn-in at the inaugural meeting Monday.
Jangula, along with Couns. Manno Theos, Bob Wells and Erik Eriksson, will represent the city on the Comox Valley Regional District board. Jangula had sat on the CVRD board before being elected mayor in 2011 while Theos was a district director last term. Eriksson has previously sat on Courtenay and Tahsis councils.
Couns. David Frisch, Doug Hillian and Rebecca Lennox are alternate district directors.
Though council agreed unanimously on Jangula’s recommended appointments, Hillian thought Frisch should be worthy of a seat at the district table, considering the first-time councillor topped the polls by more than 600 votes at the Nov. 15 election.
“The democratic will of the people, to a certain extent, is not being reflected in the appointments,” Hillian said. “To me, that’s an issue.”
He also noted the added pressures on Jangula’s already demanding schedule as mayor.
As opposed to a recommended two-year appointment to the CVRD, Hillian suggested a one-year term would provide opportunity for a review period.
“I think, given that it’s a new term, there’s some uncertainties involved. I’d be happy to support the appointments on the basis of that amendment.”
Theos noted a steep learning curve at the CVRD, which is “run very differently” from Courtenay council. Since council is now a four-year term, he favours a two-year appointment where directors can “move forward, get their feet wet and be productive” as CVRD board members.
“It’s a very difficult mandate,” said Jangula, who generally feels district appointments are reserved for the most experienced members.
“I look at all six councillors as being capable of serving on that board, but there are some very serious financial matters and there are some long-term issues such as the solid waste that are coming up,” Jangula said.
“There’s an incredible amount of money potentially being spent that is our taxpayers’ money. I have some serious concerns about it.”
Hillian said familiarization with Courtenay council also involves a learning curve.
His motion for CVRD directors to serve a one-year term passed by a 4-3 vote.
Jangula, Theos and Wells were opposed.
In terms of voting strength on the CVRD board, Jangula has five votes on weighted matters while the other reps receive four for a total of 17 votes for Courtenay.
Comox receives 10 votes and Cumberland three.
The inaugural CVRD board meeting is Thursday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. in the board room at 550B Comox Rd.
•Lennox was appointed to the Vancouver Island Regional Library board for a one-year appointment. Theos is the alternate.
•Jangula was appointed to the Comox Valley Economic Development Society.
• Hillian was appointed to the Comox Valley Community Justice Society.