Ashton returns to helm of the RDOS

Coin toss used to decide the vice-chair position for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

You flip a coin to decide who gets the last piece of cake or who will kick off in football, but at the regional district you also flip it to win the vice-chair position.

At least the was the case on Thursday at the first Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board meeting since the election. Oliver rural director Allan Patton and Osoyoos rural director Mark Pendergraft were both seeking election to the vice-chair position, and ended up deadlocked in a tie following the secret ballot. So the decision was made with a flip of a coin — one that took a long slow roll on its side.

“There is probably not a lot of great deal of difference between the two of us besides the brevity of our speeches,” joked Pendergraft, who won the coin toss.

The director sat as chair of various committees in the past.

“The last term I was rather busy and wasn’t able to put my time into it, but this year and what it is looking like into the future I am going to have that time,” promised Pendergraft.

Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton is returning as RDOS board chair for the ninth consecutive time, being acclaimed to the position.

“I have always been very regionally oriented and very fiscally orientated in the management area of it, so I think the board recognizes that,” said Ashton. “Penticton doesn’t just exist just by itself. We are involved in the whole region and area and should be involved in it. I dedicated an awful lot of time to both Penticton and the regional district and I think the board recognizes that.”

Ashton said he is honoured to be nominated by his peers, even if in the past the public has questioned his holding the positions of both mayor of Penticton and chair of the regional board. He said “air and water know no boundaries” in the regional district boardroom.

“Yes, there has been some consternation in certain communities regarding that, but I bring the experience,” said Ashton.

Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino was elected Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital board chair for 2012 after beating out Penticton Coun. Garry Litke, who took the vice-chair position.

Perrino said she has been involved in health care off and on for the past 25 years, most recently as the executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation where she has helped raise close to $20 million.

“I know health care, very clearly,” said Perrino. “We have one of the finest regional hospitals definitely in B.C. and probably in all of Canada.”

Okanagan Basin Water Board members from the RDOS will be Osoyoos Mayor Stu Wells, West Bench director Michael Brydon and Okanagan Falls director Tom Siddon.

New members of the RDOS board for this term are George Bush (Cawston), Siddon (Kaleden/Okanagan Falls), Karla Kozakevich (Naramata), Angelique Wood (Keremeos rural/Hedley), Perrino (Summerland), Bruce Hallquist (Summerland), Ron Hovanes (Oliver), Frank Armitage (Princeton) and Manfred Bauer (Keremeos). Returning are Allan Patton (Oliver rural), Brydon (West Bench), Ashton (Penticton), Litke (Penticton), John Vassilaki (Penticton), Andrew Jakubeit (Penticton), Brad Hope (Princeton rural) and Wells (Osoyoos).


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