Karla Kozakevich, right, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen chief administrative officer Bill Newell and Doug Holmes were among those present at the regional district’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Karla Kozakevich, right, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen chief administrative officer Bill Newell and Doug Holmes were among those present at the regional district’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Kozakevich re-elected as chair of Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Board held inaugural meeting on Nov. 5

Karla Kozakevich will remain chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen for a third term.

At the regional district’s inaugural board meeting on Nov. 5, Kozakevich, who represents Electoral Area E, in Naramata, was elected to the role of chair.

The other candidate for board chair was Summerland councillor, Doug Holmes.

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Kozakevich said she was elected to the regional district board nine years ago and since that time, she has not missed a board meeting.

She said the board has faced challenges in 2017 and 2018 as wildfires raged throughout the region.

This year has also been challenging as the board faced the COVID-19 pandemic, the switch to online meetings, a ransomware attack and the Christie Mountain wildfire.

“We know that COVID-19 will be with us into 2021, but we don’t know what else is to come,” she said.

Holmes said if elected, he would promote strong representation for the regional district.

“For issues of a local nature, people want to hear from their local representatives. I’ll be in your corner,” he said.

Princeton mayor Spencer Coyne was selected as vice-chair, defeating Electoral Area I representative Subrina Monteith.

Coyne said it is important to have a representative from a more rural area as the board chair is from a more populated area.

Monteith spoke of the importance of team building and communication.

For the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District board, Penticton councillor Judy Sentes was elected as board chair while Osoyoos mayor Suzan McKortoff was elected vice-chair.

In both elections, Oliver mayor Martin Johansen was the other candidate on the ballot.

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Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District