Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone has been re-elected by board members at the Cowichan Valley Regional District for another one-year term as chair of the CVRD.
Stone, who has served as chair of the board for three of the last four years, was re-elected in the first round of voting at the board’s meeting on Nov. 8.
He won over three other board members who were nominated for the role; North Oyster/Diamond director Ben Maartman, Cowichan Station/Sahtlam/Glenora director Alison Nicholson, and Debra Toporowski, a director from North Cowichan.
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Kate Segall, the director for Mill Bay/Malahat who was elected to the board for the first time in municipal elections last year, was voted to be vice-chair of the board in the first round of voting.
A new chair and vice-chair are chosen by the district’s board of directors each year of its electoral mandate.
Stone said the realities and challenges the CVRD is currently facing are very different, and much more extreme, from when he first stepped into local politics almost a decade ago.
He said none of the CVRD directors would run for the position of chair of the board if they didn’t feel they were the best candidate for the job.
“I have the utmost respect for the other three candidates, but I’m here because I do believe the I’m still the best candidate for chair for the coming year,” Stone said after he accepted the nomination.
“I need to be clear that I’m not running for MLA. I know that’s been a conversation that’s out there, but I’ve made my decision and the door is pretty tightly closed on that.”
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Stone said he sees himself in the sunset of his political career, and this will likely be his last term in government.
“I’m looking forward to the private sector in my future,” he said.
After defeating Maartman for the job of vice chair of the board, Segall said she has a lot of mentors, including those around the board table, to help her in her leadership role over the next year.
“I’ll bring a different, fresh and naive — maybe that’s a good thing — perspective to the board,” she said.
“I’ll be a voice for the electoral areas to the south and I think you all know me and how I operate now after being here for a year together. Relationships are my highest priority.”