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RDCK welcomes new vice-chair to the board

Salmo mayor Diana Lockwood has been elected the new vice-chair of the Regional District of Central Kootenay following a three-way race.

Lockwood, Nelson’s Keith Page and incumbent Walter Popoff, who represents the Slocan Valley, were all nominated for the position, but Lockwood won after three rounds of voting.

Lockwood defeated Popoff on the last ballot, but vote totals were not disclosed.

She says her election as vice-chair will give municipalities a lens on the board after three years of having rural representation.

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“I believe we need to have a municipal lens sitting at the table,” Lockwood says. “What the RDCK does is different from a municipality, and that was being spread apart a little bit.” 

Lockwood says with her appointment she is not looking to change anything at the regional level, but she thinks the board needs to remember municipalities before they come to the table.

“It’s not an approach I want to change,” she says. “It is to make sure that when agendas are being set that we are always remembering that there is a municipality being affected in ways that are not remembered until the board table.”   

Lockwood is serving her first term as vice-chair and is taking over for Popoff.  

Popoff says he is happy to see Lockwood take the reins.

“I kinda mentored her throughout her time at the RDCK,” he says. “I am glad to see the fruits of my mentoring working out, even though it didn’t work out to my running.”

Popoff says with changes happening on the board, especially with 11 new directors, he is unsure if there will be dramatic changes but he is excited to hear some fresh ideas.

“This high number of turnover has never happened before,” he says. “Questions will be asked and that means fresh minds could see something that we haven’t.”

He says this is a learning experience, not just for new directors but for existing ones too.

Popoff served three terms as vice-chair from 2019-2021.

Aimee Watson was re-elected chair over Garry Jackman.

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