Sooke mayor returning to CRD board table

Coun. Rick Kasper to remain as full-time CRD director until September

Call it a compromise.

Mayor Maja Tait and Coun. Rick Kasper agreed Monday night on how Sooke will be represented on the Capital Regional District board. The move was endorsed by municipal council.

Tait, who was taken off the board when she took maternity leave in November, was reinstated, but won’t take over those duties until September. Kasper will stay at the CRD and return to his alternate director role in the fall.

The CRD position became controversial when Tait’s husband attended a council meeting three weeks ago demanding answers from Kasper. The altercation spilled into the parking lot, and there was police involvement.

Kasper said earlier, he never made any overtures to stay as CRD director.

The controversy centres around two motions made by council.

On Dec. 1, 2014, council appointed Tait as CRD director and Kasper the alternate “until December 1 in the year of the next general election.”

Tait announced she was pregnant last July and would take a four-month leave of absence beginning in November. Three days after she left, council made the move to appoint Kasper to the CRD role and Coun. Bev Berger as his alternate.

Kasper said the move was made at the request of former CRD chairman Nils Jensen.

Traditionally, the CRD’s director role is filled by the mayor.

“At no time did council members take that position that we were undermining the mayor’s authority. It was requested that action be taken,” Kasper said.

“The decision was made with the greatest respect to the mayor by all council members. It was a unanimous decision.”

Tait suggested she go back to the CRD in September to allow Kasper to finish up some of the projects he has been working on over the last four months, such as sewage, water issues, budget and the SEAPARC referendum.

“I do know you put a lot of work into it,” Tait said.

Kasper appeared humbled by the mayor’s words.

“I appreciate your kind words and the appreciation of the work I’ve done,” he told the mayor.