LETTER: Hold on Dave, I thought we didn’t have crime problem?

The Editor,

Re: "Public safety’s ‘high on my list,‘" the Now, Nov. 27.

Who is Surrey First councillor elect, David Woods? By his own accounting, he is a retired RCMP officer of 43 years experience with extensive experience in administration and budgeting for the force.

Woods says, "Crime is a hot issue and if I can help Surrey First work on that, I want to do it."

I suppose we all want to work for our boss, whoever, and whatever they say.

But here is the rub. Mayor elect Linda Hepner repeatedly denied that Surrey has a crime problem. Hepner even insisted that Surrey is a safe place and any discussion to the contrary was only "bad mouthing" our great city.

Most would disagree with Hepner’s accounting of reality. Taxpayers and residents do not feel safe in many parts of the city. It is alarming to say otherwise when your family and friends have been repeatedly impacted by crime.

As for Woods, his commitment to help Surrey First comes as little comfort. Surrey taxpayers expecting less politics and more action to address the growing incidence of petty and serious crime throughout the city should brace for disappointment.

Woods omits to mention that RCMP policing strength has not kept abreast of the needs of our growing city. Having the lowest taxes is nice, but everyone knows there is no free lunch. You get what you pay for.

Woods goes on to say, "If everyone thinks law enforcement is the answer to reducing crime, we’re going to have a problem." Woods fails to understand what most already know – we do have a problem. It is disingenuous of Woods, who blames drugs, mental illness, homelessness, the courts, the prison system and treatment programs as being responsible. Readers know these problems are common to all cities.

Woods notes that "building relationships with people is huge" and "I want ongoing dialogue." On this I agree. The court of public opinion may differ on this point, having found the opposite to be true on council in recent years. Perhaps the new mayor and council should have a little talk with themselves first.

It is noteworthy, that more people voted against our new mayor than for her. Had it not been for the use of Dianne Watts’ personal brand, a much different outcome may have resulted. Each councillor should be reminded of this fact on a regular basis, lest they think they are better than they otherwise would be.

Michael Proskow

Surrey

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