Calling his 2018-2022 term on the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board “the most demanding and satisfying I have done," Area F director Mark Hiltz shared more detail with Coast Reporter on why he is not standing for re-election. The first-term director representing West Howe Sound and the Islands reached out via email on Aug. 8 after stating he would not run in the Oct. 15 local government election at an SCRD Board meeting on July 28.
“Thinking about another four-year term just does not spark my motivation as it did in 2018. Perhaps the global pandemic and emergencies fuelled by climate change have exhausted me,” Hiltz wrote.
Reflecting on his SCRD experience
Term highlights for Hiltz were the learning opportunities related to the Coast’s geography and people that the director’s role provided, as the board made hundreds of decisions about SCRD services that affect residents.
“Becoming aware of the balance between political decisions, of elected people, and the administrative decisions that deliver services has been eye-opening” he wrote. He added that “hearing from Indigenous peoples, learning about the journey of reconciliation and how we can become better ancestors gives me hope.”
When asked what he found most challenging as a board member, Hiltz wrote, “Finding where to contribute and how to make decisions confidently took time because climbing on board the 50-year-old SCRD ship is complex. The toughest decisions are those that require residents to pay more while knowing the community needs to pay now for future benefits and, at first, caused my chest to tighten.”
Advice for his replacement
His advice to prospect candidates: “The job needs doing and maybe the time is right for a term at the SCRD board table. Dive in and commit to participating. Campaign hard. If elected, then transition to the role of governing decision maker. Learn the role by taking some excellent training especially with the Local Government Leadership Academy. Use the WAIT (why am I talking) approach and think about how your contributions can make decisions stronger.”
Looking to the future Hiltz explained he wants to see the new board “pick up the ball from this term and carry on with the approach of continuous improvement and decisions leading to sustainable services.”
What's next for Mark?
For himself, it will be “take time to regroup and recharge. Less time in front of computer screens and more time with family. More time gardening, paddling around the Coast, and visiting SCRD parks. Less time at meetings and more time reading the Coast Reporter,” Hiltz wrote.