OUR VIEW: City of Surrey deserves credit where it is due

The City of Surrey’s communications machine has recently been sending out feel-good press releases aplenty. Some unwieldy titles include "City’s Crime Reduction Strategy continues to contribute to increased public safety to Surrey," and "Surrey’s new Biodiversity Conservation Strategy ensures City’s Green Infrastructure and Ecosystems are preserved," and "City of Surrey making considerable progress meeting Sustainability Targets," as well as "Celebrate the Opening of West Newton Community Park."

Heck, they’re even setting some butterflies free.

This is heralded by a media advisory entitled "Photo Opportunity: 144 Butterfly Release in Surrey Centre Cemetery."

While the cynics amongst us are rubbing our chins and musing that somebody in city hall wants to get re-elected come November, the believers amongst us figure all this up-beatedness likely has more to do with city council finishing its final public meeting for the summer last Monday and that these are progress reports issued before everyone heads for the lake.

Whatever the reason, credit must be given to Surrey’s current civic government for setting some ambitious goals and meeting them.

It’s good to know that more than 100 kilometres of greenways, park paths, trails and cycling trails have been added since 2010. It’s also good to know that the city is introducing a riparian area bylaw to protect fish, forests and wildlife passage.

And it’s good to know that there was an 87 per cent reduction in illegal pot growops in 2013 compared to 2007, thanks to the electrical fire safety inspection program. It’s also good to know that West Newton has a new 3.5-hectare (8.6 acre) community park, and even that they’re setting butterflies free.

Good work deserves due praise.