For the second time in just over six months, a rookie trustee and interim board chair for the Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) has quit.
On the website All Things Union Bay, a copy of the letter from Hein Vandenberg dated April 14 is posted, announcing he was leaving the board as both trustee and board chair immediately. The Comox Valley Record confirmed with the UBID office that he did tender his resignation that day.
In the letter, Vandenberg writes that after lengthy consideration, he was stepping down for “compelling and personal reasons.”
He thanks past and present trustees for taking on the challenges and controversies that come with the volunteer position.
“I have developed a deeper appreciation of the meaning of contribution, consensus and co-operation,” he writes near the end of the letter.
Vandenberg also notes progress on some key issues for UBID – specifically, that the new water treatment plant is nearing completion, the fire department now has a permanent chief and the governance study is underway to look at whether the current system with UBID overseeing water, fire protection and street lighting in the community remains in place or is folded into the Comox Valley Regional District system.
This time last year, Vandenberg was elected to one of two available trustee positions on the board, along with Paul Healey. Only months into his tenure, Healey began serving as chair, but following a contentious meeting in September, he turned in his resignation for his positions as trustee and chair. In the fall, Vandenberg was given the job of chairing the board meetings.
Complicating the situation is that Union Bay voters were to vote this spring on two other trustee positions, but this process has been postponed due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic. A notice from returning officer Peter Crawford was posted on the UBID website to say the move followed the provincial state of emergency declaration, the issuance of orders from the Provincial Health Officer and the postponement of other elections in B.C.