Mayor Toni Boot

Summerland will remain the only member municipality without its mayor on the board of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday to reappoint Doug Holmes and Erin Trainer as their representatives on the 19-member RDOS board. It will be the fourth consecutive year for Holmes and second straight year for Trainer.

“I’m very pleased with what I see, I’m pleased with the reports that are coming out, so I’m just going with the status quo at this point,” said Coun. Marty Van Alphen, who put forward the motion to leave RDOS appointments as they are.

That didn’t sit well with Mayor Toni Boot, who cast the lone vote in opposition after expressing an interest in getting herself back on the RDOS board.

“As we’ve seen from our own experiences and as we’ve seen from other regional districts, there is a move to acknowledge that a mayor should represent their community if they choose to do so,” said Boot.

She also said councillors agreed at the start of their term in 2018 to discuss RDOS appointments each year with an eye to giving everyone a chance to serve.

“Coun. Holmes has been on the RDOS for three consecutive years and this will be his fourth year, and for that reason I will be voting against this resolution because I think there should be mayoral representation on the RDOS,” said Boot.

Boot did represent Summerland on the RDOS board for the first two years of her term, but was replaced in September 2020 after taking a leave of absence for her unsuccessful run as an NDP candidate in the provincial election.

RDOS municipal directors are paid $410 per month, but receive top-ups for meeting attendance and holding board positions such as chair and vice-chair. In 2020, that added up to a $23,000 paycheque for Holmes and a $13,000 boost for Boot.

The other RDOS members municipalities are Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos, Keremeos and Princeton, all of which have their mayors on the board.