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RDEK Directors Returning as Chair and Vice Chair

Rob Gay and Clara Reinhardt will once again represent the Regional District of East Kootenay as Chair and Vice Chair of the Board in 2020.

Acclaimed in the annual election around the RDEK Board table on Friday, Gay returns for a ninth term as the RDEK Chair, while Reinhardt was elected for a second term.

“The first year was definitely a learning curve,” Reinhardt told, also the Mayor of Radium Hot Springs. “I think that when you go into that role you think you know but you can’t possibly know what it’s like unless you’re in it. I’m very grateful to Chair Gay and also to Manager Tomlin because it’s been very welcoming.”

Director of Electoral Area C, Gay has served on the RDEK Board since 2005. The long-time director and Chair said he will continue to utilize the bright minds around the table to help push the RDEK forward in 2020 and beyond.

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“How I try to use my role in terms of leadership and vision for the Board is work with the Board. We’ve got 15 very smart people around this table and I don’t come to the Board with any preconceived ideas, we have a very good discussion on things often.”

Gay said that they will continue to focus on day-to-day services such as solid waste and recycling, while also allocating money and grant funding to more agriculture and initiatives around climate change.

“This year was a little bit quieter on our capital end,” Gay told “We’ve just completed our strategic plan and we’ve got a number of projects on that plan, but certainly for this year and probably for another two years, our planning is well underway.”

Reinhardt is excited to return as Vice Chair of the RDEK and has the intention of looking at the RDEK’s long-term future.

“At the end of this year, we’ll be halfway through this term and so a big part of it will be to really continue to work with some of the newer directors and try to think about some succession planning.”

“I think Chair Gay is not a Chair for life, contrary to popular opinion,” said Reinhardt jokingly as both the Chair and Vice Chair laughed. “We need to start looking to the future, so I think that will be one of the lenses we use when we work with the rest of the Board.”

Both Gay and Reinhardt were acclaimed to their Chair and Vice Chair positions by the other members of the RDEK Board.

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