Aaron Stone has been re-elected as the chair of the board at the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
Ladysmith Mayor Stone, who represents the town on the board, had been a CVRD director for five years before he was elected as chair of the board last November.
He was elected as chair for another one-year term with nine out of 17 votes by his fellow board members at a meeting on Nov. 12.
Stone won over Ian Morrison, the long-time director for Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls, who was the only other director nominated to serve as chair in the election.
Morrison, who was chair of the board for one year before losing to Stone in last November’s vote, was serving as vice-chairman.
Blaise Salmon, director for Mill Bay/Malahat, was elected as vice-chairman of the board for the upcoming year at last Thursday’s meeting.
In accepting the nomination before the vote, Stone told the board that when he was elected as chair last year, he never thought 2020 would be the arduous year it became.
“First, there was the major flooding last February, which was quickly followed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“I certainly learned a lot during this difficult year, and I believe that my background (both in local politics and business) will be an asset as we begin going through the economic recovery from the pandemic.”
Stone said the board successfully completed its new strategic plan recently, and many aspects of the plan speak to how the CVRD should use upcoming funding expected from senior levels of government to help local governments reinvigorate their economies, which were deeply impacted by the pandemic.
“We have various perspectives on this board ideally suited to grab opportunities to rebuild our economy, and to make things better for the environment and the quality of life for everybody in the community,” he said.
“The differences between us can be a source of strength if we hear each other with open minds and speak to the issues.”