By Adam Williams
Kamloops This Week
John Ranta has secured another term as chair of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
The chairman and 25-year mayor of Cache Creek was re-elected by acclamation on Thursday afternoon, unchallenged in an election at the TNRD’s December board of directors meeting in downtown Kamloops.
He was nominated by Clinton Mayor Jim Rivett.
“That’s the kind of campaign everyone wants to run,” Ranta quipped following the announcement of his re-election.
Ranta has served as chair of the TNRD numerous times throughout his tenure on the board, first taking the position in the late 1990s. He served another term in the early 2000s and is entering his second year at the helm following his re-election.
“I’m very honoured to be elected chair of the TNRD,” he said following the meeting.
“What we’ve got is a great staff at the TNRD that are doing a hell of a job for us as directors. I think they’re comfortable with the leadership of the board at the current time, so let’s keep it rolling. Let’s keep going. Let’s listen to the constituents we represent, make sure their voices are being heard by staff here in the office and support the staff working together with the board to make sure we can address issues the public raises.”
The election for chair may have been anti-climatic, but things got interesting in the moments following.
The TNRD moved on to electing a vice-chair, a race contested by Willow Macdonald, incumbent vice-chair and director of Area B (Thompson Headwaters), and Ronaye Elliott, director of Area J (Copper Desert Country, which includes Cherry Creek and Tobiano).
Both directors were nominated by Sally Watson, director of Area E (Bonaparte Plateau).
In an unusual turn of events, the vote ended in a tie, with the board’s 26 directors split down the middle, 13-13.
In a re-vote, director Elliott achieved a majority, taking over the position of vice -chair.
Had the vote ended in a draw twice more, the vice-chair would have been selected by drawing a name from a hat.
“I’ve never seen that before in my life,” Ranta said. “I’ve seen some close votes, where it’s one vote or something, but never a tie and I was worried we’d have a tie and a tie and a tie and then have to draw lots to decide who was going to be vice-chair.
“I do want to express appreciation on behalf of the board for the work of director Macdonald from Blue River. She did a heck of a good job and was good to work with, but the people have spoken and democracy reigns supreme.”