When British Columbians go to the polls this Saturday to vote for mayors and councillors, they’ll also be voting indirectly for the next chair of their regional district. This is a little strange, because we don’t know who the candidates will be for those regional leadership positions.
Metro Vancouver, the largest region, is budgeted to spend $620 million in 2012, or $524 for every household in the region. The chair has influence over the Metro agenda; works closely with the well-paid ($323,767 in 2010) chief administrator, Johnny Carline, whose almost supernatural invisibility in the online world testifies to a high degree of skill; and perhaps most significant, the chair appoints the membership of the Metro committees that oversee Metro’s utilities, parks, housing and planning activities. Continue reading