SURREY â€” TeamSurrey unveiled its platform Tuesday, which focuses on â€œa safer city, a stronger city and an accountable city.â€
Running under the banner are former MLA Brenda Locke and commercial realtor Stephen Gammer.
TeamSurrey promises to implement a â€œsafer Surrey strategyâ€ by creating a public safety commissioner to co-ordinate city services such as police, by-laws, parks and recreation, engineering and more.
As well, Locke and Gammer have committed to putting 100 community officers on the streets of each of the six town centres. They promise to hire 25 new bylaw officers and implement a â€œno call too smallâ€ strategy into the bylaw department to â€œaddress the root causes of social crime such as graffiti and garbage-strewn properties.â€ As well, they say they will support neighbourhood and business crime prevention programs.
The two-person team says they will develop a plan for social services and infrastructure that keeps pace with growth. To do that, they promise to address homelessness and social housing needs; allowing for affordable rental housing in secondary suites; petition the provincial and federal governments for day care funding, restore Community Access Grants; advocate to TransLink; improve major roads to allow for movement of people and goods; work to replace the Pattullo Bridge; develop a plan for SkyTrain or Light Rail Transit that reaches to Newton, South Surrey Cloverdale, Clayton Heights and Guildford; and to work with stakeholders to realign the BNSF railway tracks.
When it comes to accountability, the team says it will hold property tax increases to the rate of inflation, review cost overruns of the new Surrey City Hall, implement guaranteed processing times for licensing and permits, and discuss electoral reform with the community to consider a ward system.
Locke served as Liberal MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers from 2001 to 2005. Among other duties, she served as Minister of State for Mental Health and Addictions Services.
She has served with a variety of community associations and currently sits on the board of directors for the Surrey Urban Mission.
In addition to his realty background, Gammer has non-profit experience, including being past-president of the Surrey Hospice Society and director of the New Hope Recovery Society.
Last week, Locke told the Now she and Gammer â€œwant to be that sober second thought on council as well. A council that is dominated by one slate is not healthy. There needs to be that opportunity for effective dialogue. Stephen and I, we have different views from each other but we are certainly true to our convictions.â€