How We Are Governed
The FVRD is governed by a 23 member board of directors with 15 from the municipalities (Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Kent and Mission) and eight from the electoral areas.
Municipal directors are first elected to their municipal councils, and are then appointed by their council to serve on the regional district board. Electoral area directors are elected directly by rural area voters. Elections are currently held every four years, with the next General Local Election slated for October 2018.
Every director representing an electoral area must appoint an alternate to carry out the director’s responsibilities in his or her absence. Similarly, municipal councils must appoint alternate directors to take the place of absent municipal directors.
The board elects one director to serve as chair and another to serve as vice chair each year at the inaugural board meeting held in November. Every year, the chair makes appointments to various internal and external committees and commissions in which the regional district has direct involvement.
Board meetings are held once a month, normally on the fourth Tuesday of each month, and are open to the public. Board meeting are also webcast and are available for online viewing here.
The FVRD gets its authority to govern through the Letters Patent, Service Area Establishment bylaws and under the Local Government Act and the Community Charter of British Columbia.
Unlike municipalities where each council member votes a single time on any given issue, the voting on regional district boards is more complicated. There are some situations where some board directors vote and others do not. There are also situations where certain board directors have more than one vote. These different voting situations happen because a regional district may provide services to the entire region, to a smaller combination or sub-region of municipalities and electoral areas, to multiple electoral areas, or to individual service areas within those electoral areas.
The number of votes for each municipality or electoral area is determined by population, the Letters Patent and the Local Government Act. For every 5,000 people or portion thereof, that municipality or electoral area is allowed one vote.
Regional districts raise funds primarily through property taxation. In rural areas, the Province collects property taxes. Within municipal boundaries, property taxes are paid to the municipality. The Province and municipalities then transfer funds to the regional districts to cover the costs of local, sub-regional and regional services.
Regional districts also generate revenue from fees and charges, such as utility fees, and provincial or federal government grants.