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Outgoing CRD chairman 'worked hard' to be fair

Nov 16 2012

Victoria Coun. Geoff Young has announced he will not run again for chairman of the board of the Capital Regional District.

Young, elected chairman in 2009, said Thursday that his four-year term was longer than he expected. He was also chairman of the CRD board from 1997 to 1999.

"Perhaps there is now a feeling the job should be traded around between different areas, and I can't entirely disagree, although I have certainly worked hard to be even-handed," Young said.

"I have enjoyed working with directors from across the region on the many challenges that have faced the CRD, but being in the chair does constrain the comments one can make."

The chairperson has to be seen as fair and unbiased, making it hard to express an opinion different from the board's, Young said.

"In some cases, I find it hard to represent Victoria's individual interests when they may differ from the region's. And I can't advocate for an amalgamation or service arrangement that the board has not supported," said Young, who is looking forward to representing his personal slant more freely.

Although there is a temptation to stay until major issues are settled, the reality is there will always be challenging issues ahead, Young said.

"Trying to stay to solve them all would mean never leaving."

The board will vote for a new chairperson at its Dec. 12 meeting, said Andy Orr, senior manager of corporate communications for the CRD.

Young, who has a PhD in economics from Harvard, served on city council from 1983 to 1999 and from 2005 until the present day. He has worked as an economics lecturer at the University of Victoria, the University of Alberta and as a consultant for the B.C. Ministry of Finance.

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