A rural director from the Nicola Valley, with deep family roots there and a history with the valley's hockey club, replaces Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar as chairman of the regional district.
Randy Murray, elected from Nicola Valley North for the first time in 2008, was acclaimed as chairman of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board Thursday evening at an inaugural meeting.
"He's got a business background and is really well respected by the board for being well rounded, sensitive and well organized," said City of Kamloops director Pat Wallace, who nominated Murray following the swearing-in of the new 24-member board.
Milobar had served as chairman since becoming mayor of Kamloops in 2008. He did not seek the position a fourth time.
Both Wallace and former chairman John Ranta said it was time for the position to rotate to a rural director.
The chairman is elected once a year from among the board. The board is comprised of five City of Kamloops councillors, mayors of area small towns as well as ten rural members who represent unincorporated areas, like Murray.
The TNRD operates area libraries, solid waste, planning in unincorporated areas and emergency services.
In a speech to about 120 people gathered at Hotel 540 for the inaugural and reception, Murray said one of his goals is better communication among board members.
"My main goal is to unite the board and make sure we have a solid communications strategy and everyone has a voice on the board."
Murray's family were original Lower Nicola pioneers. He was a longtime employee with Terasen Gas, including in management. He now owns a trailer park and a mechanical contracting firm in Lower Nicola and has lengthy community service there.
Murray also played hockey for the Merritt Centennials in 1973, the first year after the club moved to the valley from White Rock.
"It's my claim to fame," he quipped to reporters.
The board's new vice-chairman is Ashcroft mayor Andy Anderson, who beat out Wells Gray country director Tim Pennell for the position.
Milobar intends to run for chairman of the Thompson health district. That vote will be held at a board meeting Dec. 22.
(Kamloops Daily News)