The McBride Community Forest is losing two members of its board, both of whom sit on the Village Council.
Councillor Edee Tracey left a couple of months ago, according to Councillor Sharon Reichert, who noted she too is leaving the board.
“I resigned at last week’s meeting,” says Reichert. “The board is now looking for people who are interested in being on the board.”
The board is typically made up of five people, and with Reichert and Tracey gone, only Mayor Loranne Martin, along with Joseph Rich and Randy McFarland remain. Rich and McFarland were appointed interim spots on the board back in February.
The MCFC board has had somewhat of a revolving door, starting with Ralph Bezanson in 2015, indicating he wanted to step down from the MCFC board, and there should be more public involvement and more knowledgeable members who are willing to move the community forest forward.
“Right after the election (mayor and council) were all put onto the board, so we could get ourselves up to speed,” says Reichert. “We wanted to learn how the community forest works, and try to get things back on track.”
In February 2015, Dannielle Alan, regional director for Area H, was appointed to the board as well, but has since stepped down.
The board fired its general manager in August 2015, after it began working with B.A. Blackwell and Associates and Susan Mulkey of the BC Community Forest Association to review operations and governance of the MCFC.
The MCFC since paid out its old general manager, contributing to the organization’s $215,000 deficit in 2015.
Because she’s no longer on the board, Reichert says she can’t speak about the McBride Community Forest’s financial situation or the $215,000 deficit in 2015.
“From the beginning, it never should have been just mayor and council on the board,” says Reichert. “It’s the community forest; there should be community members.”
The board is looking for anyone interested in being on the board — forestry experience or not — it’s not a necessity, according to Reichert. It’s a volunteer position, she says, so it’s a viable option for anyone who likes to volunteer or has business experience.
“It was time to move on,” says Reichert. “We already need to replace Edee (Tracey), why do it twice?”