Leonard Lee, the director representing Pender Harbour/Egmont (Area A) became chairperson of the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board at its Nov. 10 inaugural meeting. The director for Area E (Elphinstone), Donna McMahon was selected by the board for the role of vice-chair, after it also considered Sechelt area director Alton Toth for that role.
Lee was the sole candidate for nominated for the chairperson's role. After accepting the nomination made by Area D (Roberts Creek) director Kelly Backs, Lee took the centre seat at the board table and presided over the election of the Vice-Chair, for the two nominated individuals. Lee told Coast Reporter that he was pleased to take on the role "having learned much of what I needed to know about the SCRD during my first (Board) term."
McMahon attended the meeting via video link, as she was isolating in a separate room at the SCRD's Field Road office, due to a health concern. There were technical delays getting her connected to the boardroom remotely. Staff eventually opted to bring her to the back door to the meeting to deliver her message to the Board in support of her nomination as vice-chair.
McMahon's physical distancing also delayed the vice-chair voting process as staff needed to collect McMahon's vote separately. The number of board members who supported McMahon over Toth for the vice-chair's seat remains a secret, as a motion to not release the result of the ballot counts was endorsed by the board earlier in the meeting.
Oaths of office taken
Earlier in the meeting, SCRD corporate officer Sherry Reid administered the oaths to all incoming board members, including returning directors Toth, McMahon, and Lee, as well as Philip Paul, director for the shíshálh Nation Government District.
Sechelt mayor John Henderson took the oath to fill the District of Sechelt’s second seat on the board. He stated at his council’s Nov. 2 inaugural meeting that he plans to stay on for only six months, and then to appoint one of that jurisdiction’s alternate directors (Coun. Darren Inkster and Brenda Rowe) to take over the position. During his previous term as Sechelt’s mayor between 2011 and 2014, he told Coast Reporter that he served "only briefly" as an SCRD director.
Taking the oath for their first board terms were director’s Kelly Backs of Roberts Creek (Area D), Justine Gabais, representing Halfmoon Bay (Area B) and Kate Louise Stamford from West Howe Sound (Area F).
The gallery seats at the SCRD's Field Road office boardroom were filled with community members, including elected officials from other Coast jurisdictions for the event, which was followed by a short reception.