With the resignation of Tom Shypitka from Cranbrook city council and the regional district board, Cranbrook has appointed Wes Graham as his RDEK replacement.
Graham served as an alternate director on the RDEK board during Shypitka’s term in municipal politics, as the latter recently resigned to focus on his MLA duties as the newly-elected provincial representative serving in the BC legislature.
In addition, Graham will also hold the same seat on the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board.
Graham, whose appointment was unanimously approved by council on Monday evening, said he volunteered to take on the role with the RDEK after a little prodding from Mayor Lee Pratt.
“Being the alternate and covering MLA Shypitka’s absences, it gave me a bit more knowledge around the board table and Lee asked me if I’d be interested in continuing on and I said yes,” Graham said.
Graham was elected to council in the November 2015 municipal elections, however, he also has experience in local politics, serving on Creston council for nine years
His time as an alternate has helped him gain an understanding of the full scope of RDEK responsibilities and how the regional governance structure works.
“[I want to] focus on issues that affect Cranbrook and how we can be a part of the solution,” said Graham, “or how the board can work together for better outcomes as we did with recreation and their involvement with Idlewild Park; I think those kind of partnerships are crucial.”
Graham joins 14 other municipal directors or electoral area directors from the East Kootenay region at the board table. Councillor Danielle Cardozo was also appointed as Graham’s alternate if he cannot attend a meeting.