Frustration forces director to retire

Conflict within the Regional District of North Okanagan has led to a casualty.

  • Oct. 2, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Conflict within the Regional District of North Okanagan has led to a casualty.

Board chairperson Herman Halvorson will not seek a third term as rural Enderby director during November’s civic election.

“I’m completely frustrated,” he said of his decision.

“We’re supposed to be sitting here to do a job for the whole North Okanagan and that’s not happening.”

Halvorson says some board members and jurisdictions are more focused on their individual interests than they are on regional co-operation.

“I’ve been frustrated with the bullying tactics around the board table.”

As an example, Halvorson points to the City of Vernon requesting 21 service reviews because of concerns over costs and how functions were being provided.

“That process tied up a lot of staff time,” said Halvorson, adding that in one case, the city wanted to take over fire dispatch but it never submitted a formal bid.

“We did the review because Vernon wanted out and we are now getting a better service and a cheaper service with the Fraser Valley (regional district).”

Halvorson is urging for all jurisdictions to be active within the regional district.

“We need to have openness and honesty and people are not being open,” he said.

While some aspects of politics have been unwelcome, Halvorson says he’s enjoyed his time representing the residents of Ashton Creek, Kingfisher, Grindrod, Mara and Mabel Lake.

“We got the Fortune services plan dusted off and implemented and we’re moving forward with the Shuswap River watershed sustainability plan.”

Halvorson isn’t sure who may pursue representing rural Enderby but he says he will support the new director.

“I am willing to help the new director during a transition period,” he said.