New directors appointed to TransLink board

Business executives fill vacant seats at transportation authority

Marcella Szel and Rick Christiaanse are both senior business executives who have been appointed to the TransLink board.

Area mayors have appointed two new directors to the board of TransLink.

Rick Christiaanse is a telecommunications industry executive and consultant who previously worked for Sport BC and with the 2010 Olympics.

Marcella Szel is a former vice-president of CP Rail who also serves on the Port Metro Vancouver board and is past chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

A third director, Howard Nemtin, was reappointed to a second three-year term. He has a background in real estate development consulting and is a commercial mediator.

A third of the nine seats on the board come up for renewal or replacement each year.

TransLink directors collect more than $50,000 a year – a base stipend of $25,000 per year plus additional amounts for chairing committees and $1,200 for every meeting they attend.

Although the region’s mayors have final say on the appointment of new directors they must pick from a small short list of applicants vetted by a panel that mainly represents business groups.

The board controls all TransLink spending and meets behind closed doors.

Mayors only get a vote when the board seeks higher taxes or fares for supplemental spending.

The mayors council is pressing the province to reform the governance structure to give them more say in how TransLink is run and in setting spending priorities.