Councillor Dave Woods joins four fellow Surrey First members in considering a mayoral run. (Now-Leader file photo)

Five Surrey First councillors now reveal interest in mayor’s chair

Dave Woods joins four other Surrey First councillors in considering a mayoral run

SURREY — A fifth Surrey First councillor has revealed he’s considering a run at the mayor’s chair, just days after Mayor Linda Hepner announced she wouldn’t be seeking re-election.

First-term Councillor Dave Woods, who served in the RCMP for 43 years before delving into the political arena, told the Now-Leader Friday he’s “considering it.”

See more: SURREY ELECTION: With Hepner out, who is mulling a mayoral run?

Read Hepner’s full statement: Surrey Mayor Hepner won’t run in fall election: ‘Now is right time’ for family, friends

He joins fellow Surrey First councillors Vera LeFranc, Tom Gill, Bruce Hayne and Mike Starchuk in expressing interest in the city’s top job.

Woods said he “purposefully held back comment” of his interest in the mayoralty during Hepner’s announcement so as to not “cloud the situation” and give her the “respect that she’s due.”

“It’s a huge commitment, huge,” he said of the mayor’s position. “And being a mayor in the City of Surrey, boy, it’s not an easy grind. It’s a tough road. It doesn’t stop because you go home…. That’s why I have to think about it.”

Woods said he was “shocked” and “tongue-tied” when Hepner told the team Tuesday night she wouldn’t be running.

“It caught me off guard. It’s sort of sunk in now because I thought for sure all the way along that she was going to run,” he said.

Councillors Judy Villeneuve and Mary Martin both told the Now-Leader they have no interest in running for mayor.

Both also said they haven’t decided if they’ll seek re-election at all.

Martin, who was first elected to Surrey council in 2005, said she’s “undecided” as to whether she’ll run.

“I’m going to take the next little while to decide what exactly I’m going to do in the future,” she added.

Villeneuve, who has served on council for more than two decades, said she intends to decide in June if she’ll run at all.

“I’m going to see how a certain couple things work out, personally,” Villeneuve said.

Councillor Barbara Steele says she won’t run for mayor but that she is “definitely” running for council.

Meantime, two new slates – Surrey Community Alliance (SCA) and People First Surrey – have materialized in Surrey that intend to challenge the reigning Surrey First party in the Oct. 20 civic election.

See more: New party announces intention to challenge Surrey First in civic election

See more: People First Surrey party reveals intention to run in upcoming civic election

“People feel there is definitely a need for change,” according to Doug Elford, president of SCA, which replaces the former Surrey Civic Electors and Surrey Matters slates.

The face of the People First Surrey party, Rajesh Jayaprakash, told the Now-Leader the party was born roughly a year and a half ago when some residents were “trying to understand the LRT.”

Meantime, a woman who fought tooth and nail to stop the City of Surrey from cutting down trees in Hawthorne Park also intends to run as a council candidate in the fall election.

Roslyn Cassells, who is a former Green Party park commissioner in Vancouver, took the City of Surrey to BC Supreme Court in January, citing SARA (Species at Risk Act) violations against endangered species in Hawthorne Park. She was unsuccessful in her bid when Justice T. Mark McEwan dismissed her petition to stop construction work.

Now, she said she hopes to effect change by shooting for a seat at the city’s council table.

See more: VIDEO: Hawthorne Park fight not over after judge dismisses bid to halt plans

“I think the City of Surrey is at a tipping point,” Cassells told the Now-Leader Friday morning. “I think the citizens are ready for a change.”

She pointed to the “uprising over Hawthorne Park’s destruction,” and “a number of other actions by local residents to stop destructive projects in their communities” and accused the current council of “basically ignoring the will of the people.”

Cassells said she hasn’t decided if she’ll run as an independent or with a slate.

Surrey voters head to the polls on Oct. 20, 2018.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Art’s Scarecrow Festival to return in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

‘Lifting Hands’ mural on White Rock wall celebrates community’s COVID efforts

High school students, grads inviting health-care workers, emergency crews to add handprints

Surrey’s top cop is keynote speaker at Surrey Board of Trade AGM

Asssistant Commissioner Brian Edwards will be on deck at Tuesday’s ‘virtual’ meeting

Refund emails from City of White Rock a ‘phishing’ scam

IT staff work to nullify security breach in ‘classic phishing campaign’

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

Most Read