Vancouver’s former top cop and the past manager for British Columbia’s second-largest city have been named the newest board members of the region’s beleaguered transit authority.
Jim Chu and Murray Dinwoodie, from the City of Surrey, were appointed by the provincial government to TransLink’s board of directors on Thursday, a month and a half after voters rejected a plebiscite plan to raise $7.5 billion for transit upgrades.
TransLink chairman Barry Forbes welcomed Chu and Dinwoodie as he announced a “pause” in the search for a new chief executive officer, a position left vacant following a post-plebiscite shakeup at the authority.
“We will resume the recruitment once the new board members have had time to get up to speed,” Forbes said in a news release.
He said the board has “full confidence” in acting CEO Cathy McLay to keep TransLink focused on getting commuters to their destinations.
The plebiscite resulted in 62 per cent of voters rejecting a half-per-cent tax hike to pay for transit upgrades amid allegations that people didn’t trust TransLink’s use of public money.
Two of the authority’s top managers, Doug Kelsey and Bob Paddon, lost their jobs. At the end of July, TransLink began advertising for a new CEO, announcing applications would be accepted until Nov. 19 for the job with an annual salary of $320,000.
In July, Premier Christy Clark shuffled her cabinet to move Peter Fassbender from education to minister in charge of TransLink as well as the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
“Mr Chu and Mr. Dinwoodie have extensive experience, not only at the civic level but at the regional, provincial and national levels as well,” Fassbender said in a news release Thursday.
“I am confident their contributions will be invaluable to the board as TransLink works to secure the confidence of the region’s taxpayers, both in relation to its fiscal management and its delivery of the transportation system so important to the region.”
Chu served 36 years with the Vancouver Police Department, and eight of those were as the chief constable. He retired in May and now serves as vice-president of the Aquilini Investment Group.
Dinwoodie was employed as the City of Surrey’s general manager of planning and development from 1998 to 2006 and then served as city manager until 2014, when he retired.
The TransLink board is one of two bodies responsible for governing the transit authority.