Williams Lake city Coun. Ivan Bonnell will be replacing Mayor Walt Cobb as the city’s representative on the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) board.
During a special council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 16, city council voted four-to-three in favour of a recommendation by C0bb that Bonnell be appointed as the city’s director and Coun. Jason Ryll as the alternate director.
Normally city council approves board appointments in December, unless it’s an election year, but two weeks ago the mayor removed himself from all of the city’s external appointments following criticism for sharing a post about ‘the other side of residential schools’ on his personal Facebook page on Oct. 29.
Cobb and councillors Scott Nelson, Marnie Brenner and Bonnell voted in favour of appointing Bonnell while councillors Ryll, Sheila Boehm and Craig Smith voted against.
Before the vote, Boehm said she would have liked to have the opportunity to be on the CRD board and Ryll said as he had been the alternate the last three years he thought he would be recommended as the director.
Both Boehm and Ryll asked how newer councillors, such as being on the CRD board, can gain experience if they aren’t given the opportunities?
“I think I’ve served well as the alternate and it surprised me the way this recommendation went,” Ryll said. “Why have an alternate if the alternate is not going to have the ability to advance?”
Cobb responded that his rationale for recommending Bonnell was mainly because of his experience.
“There is the extensive budget process that is going on right now. Coun. Bonnell has the experience, but he also has the background on the budget process and he also has the time. It’s two days every third week so it’s a big commitment.”
The CRD has a committee of the whole meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18, the regional hospital board and regular board meetings on Friday, Nov. 19.