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North Shuswap recovery among priorities for returning CSRD board chair

Flynn wins nomination for chair, Natalya Melnychuk secures vice chair
Kevin Flynn was once again voted in to chair the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board of directors during the board’s meeting on Nov. 16, 2023. (CSRD image)

By Barb Brouwer


The annual election of chair and deputy chair brought about a change at the head of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board table on Nov. 16.

Nominated by Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz, Salmon Arm director Kevin Flynn retained the position of chair.

As she had for the position of chair, Electoral Area A Rural Golden director Karen Cathcart nominated Area E Rural Sicamous director Rhona Martin for the position of vice chair.

But Area D Falkland, Salmon Valley, Ranchero director Dean Trumbley nominated Are G Blind Bay, Sorrento, Notch Hill director Natalya Melnychuk, who now joins Flynn at the head of the table.

Due to a procedural hiccup in which an opportunity to give Flynn and Martin three minutes each to address the board prior to handing out the ballots, directors had to decide whether to destroy ballots and start the process again or forego speeches.

Area F North Shuswap director Jay Simpson moved that the speeches be waived, a motion that was seconded by Trumbley and supported by the board except for Cathcart who was opposed.

In another blip, Trumbley opposed CSRD Chief Administrative Officer John MacLean acting as a scrutineer along with Deputy Corporate Officer Crystal Robichaud. He remarked that his experience on previous boards was that having a CAO as a scrutineer was considered to be a conflict of interest.

That role defaulted to development services manager Gerald Christie, who also accepted four votes that were emailed by directors who attended the board meeting online.

Read more: Columbia Shuswap directors share concerns over political work-life balance

Read more: Kevin Flynn to serve third year as Columbia Shuswap Regional District board chair

Following the election, Flynn thanked Martin and congratulated Melnychuk. He reminded the board that nothing is constant in life except change.

“This board and organization have been through a significant year of change – a new board, new electoral area, new CAO, staff changes, internal restructure and we’ve dealt with the largest disaster in our history,” he said, thanking the board for giving him their support to continue to try to manage the changes.

Flynn sought support for his number-one priority, which is protecting and supporting staff as they build capacity and deliver services, work on recovery in Area F and Area G, and the need to support the director and residents of Area F in recovery over the next two to five years.

Flynn said staff is already working hard on recovery, but it is something new for the board and staff.

“We need to commit to finishing our code of conduct. We have a code of ethics but we need to complete our code of conduct for our behaviour,” he said. “I also want to make it a priority in the first quarter to do team building and relationship management training. I do think we have some work to do there as a team to be able to represent our citizens and residents more positively.”