Jesse Ketler, Cumberland Councillor, CVRD Director and Board Chair
Jesse Ketler, first woman to chair the Comox Valley Regional District Board
Cumberland Councillor Jesse Ketler this week became the first woman to chair the Comox Valley Regional District since its inception in 2008.
All 12 of the past chairs have been five different males. Two of them — Bruce Jolliffe and Edwin Grieve — each held the post for four consecutive terms.
Ketler defeated two male opponents — David Frisch and Edwin Grieve — to win the annual November election of board officers.
Arzeena Hamir was elected vice-chair for the second consecutive year. The only other woman elected to the vice-chair position was former Comox councillor Patti Fletcher, who previously held the post in 2012.
In her speech to directors before the vote, Ketler touched on a variety of issues including fiscal responsibility, equality of power and climate change.
“On equitability. With seats at the board based on population and majority rules, the feeling of equity and balance can be elusive,” she said. “As a member of the board with the smallest population, I acknowledge how important it is to be heard. And I know that the best decisions come out of healthy debate where all sides are given a voice. I will endeavour to allow for fulsome, respectful debate of the important issues we face. And I feel that as presiding member, I can bring a neutral lens to some of our more contentious challenges.”
Ketler said she’s aware of the financial impact CVRD decisions have on constituents.
“I myself am a single parent of two young children and I live with my share of financial insecurity,” she told directors. “I have been a member of the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness since its inception and I am entering my second term as the Village appointee to our Homelessness and Affordable Housing Committee. I know how even $50 a month can have a big impact on a family and I do not take decisions on tax increases or user fees increases, lightly.”
And, in a statement released by the CVRD, Ketler said she wants to contribute to “solutions that bring people together.”
“The board has heard the community’s concerns around affordability, climate change, and reconciliation with First Nation people and has reflected these in our priorities,” Ketler said.
PREVIOUS BOARD CHAIRS
Note: Vice chairs in parentheses
2008 — Fred Bates, Feb. 15 to Nov. 31 (no vice chair)
2009 — Fred Bates — (no vice chair)
2010 — Gregory T. Phelps (Edwin Grieve)
2011 — Edwin Grieve (Paul Ives)
2012 — Edwin Grieve (Patti Fletcher)
2013 — Edwin Grieve (Jon Ambler)
2014 — Edwin Grieve (Jon Ambler)
2015 — Bruce Jolliffe (Manno Theos)
2016 — Bruce Jolliffe (Ken Grant)
2017 — Bruce Jolliffe (Bob Wells)
2018 –– Bruce Jolliffe, Jan to Nov. (Bob Wells)
2019 — Bob Wells (Arzeena Hamir)
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Racecar testing will continue at Smit Field next to Nymph Falls Nature Park, at least for another season, after Comox Valley rural directors voted 2-1 in favour of a scaled-down temporary use permit
As the Vancouver Island Health Authority reduces health care services to north islanders and deflects accountability, the public looks to the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board for advocacy
The Comox Valley will march at 1 pm today for changes to slow down climate change. But are we really just giving lip service when bolder actions are needed to save the planet?
Has the BC Attorney General’s office may have changed its view of the Town of Comox’s desire to alter the Mack Laing Trust? How else to explain the last eight months of dead silence?
At a meeting with nearly 100 Comox Valley climate activists, Will Cole-Hamilton discussed global progress in solar and wind technologies, how the City of Courtenay has addressed climate change and why climate marches are so important
North Island MLA Claire Trevena presented a petition signed by over 2,500 people to the BC Legislature Nov. 20 that calls for the return of onsite clinical pathologists’ services to the Campbell River Hospital and to investigate possible conflicts of interest within Island Health
The Comox Valley will join millions of people worldwide to talk about the reality of the climate crisis, what it means and what you can do. The local event will take place from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Comox United Church Hall
Supporters of Save Our Forests Team – Comox Valley (SOFT-CV) rallied outside Claire Trevena’s office in Campbell River to protest the provincial government’s continued logging of the last stands of productive old-growth on Vancouver Island
Should the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District advocate for health care services on behalf of its constituents? Or is the district’s role limited to funding 40 percent of selected capital projects?
Rural Comox Valley residents have threatened legal action against the Courtenay-Comox Sewage Commission over noxious odours emanating from the treatment plant near their homes on Curtis Road