RDEK board office in Cranbrook. File photo.

Rob Gay elected RDEK chair for 11th year

Gay defeated a challenge from Susan Clovechok

Rob Gay has been elected chair of the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) for the 11th year in a row.

In a vote on Friday November 5, Gay defeated vice chair and challenger to the chair position, Susan Clovechok 10-5.

In speeches before the secret ballot for the chair position, Gay thanked the other directors for allowing him to chair in 2021, which he said was a difficult year.

“I don’t want to talk about COVID anymore, I think we’ve all learned to live with it to some degree.”

Gay leaned on his experience as chair so far, saying everyone who was going to vote already knew what he would be like for another year.

“You know what you’ve got in me as a chair. If you want me to continue, please vote for me. If you want a change, vote for my opposition.”

Clovechok, who served as Gay’s vice chair for 2021 said she was ready to step as chair, and talked about her experience in reaching leadership roles throughout her career.

“Since being elected in 2018 I’ve demonstrated many of these skills and attributes, and I’ve drawn on my past 30 years experience in leadership.,” she said.

Clovechok said that Gay had done an outstanding job as chair for the past ten years, and that she’d enjoyed working with him.

“But as leaders in this room we owe it to our constituents to ensure the RDEK as an organization is both adaptable as well as stable. Deliberate succession planning allows for that.”

During her speech Clovechok also committed to running for the position of director of electoral area F in 2022.

While the ballot was secret, Rob Gay was nominated to the position by director Gerry Wilkie and seconded by Mayor Lee Pratt, while Susan Clovechok was nominated by Mayor David Wilks and seconded by Mayor Clara Reinhardt.

Clovechok was then was acclaimed as vice chair, a position she has now been elected to twice, having served as vice chair in 2021.

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