Desjardins replaces Jensen at CRD helm

Two votes needed to determine 2016 regional leadership

The CRD board needed two votes to determine a chair for 2016.

The first vote Wednesday afternoon saw the numbers tied between Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen and Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, who won the seat the second go-round.

“There is still public dissatisfaction… We are accountable to the public because we are looking after significant assets and services that affect them. I have a proven track record being responsive to the public,” Desjardins told the board prior to the first vote. “This year is the year of work and focus to achieve the goals we have set. … We have a significant resource from the people sitting around this table. Being chair means you draw on that resource … and ensure they are strategically used for the optimum function of the board.”

Desjardins was elected to Esquimalt council in 2005 and was recognized for advocacy of issues within the community. She successfully ran for mayor in 2008 and has held that role since.

Jensen, who was elected to his second term as mayor in November 2014 after 15 years as a councillor, served as board chair for 2015. A former law professor and Crown counsel, Jensen also spent 12 years as the chair of the CRD Water Board and three years as trustee for the library board.