Insane growth pace is the real problem

Surrey – The Editor, Re: “Do right thing and help end shooting spree,” the Now editorial, April 16.

While the Surrey First regime ramps up into damage control mode once more, massaging the optics and refining ‘the message’, what is the reality of Surrey life, here where we live, in our neighbourhoods? It feels like a war zone like Chicago in the 1920s. And the protagonists are: the peasants (old and new residents who will pay all the outstanding costs of this mayhem for a very long time) the elected rulers (Surrey First) and the battling warlords (those among our investor-developers who don’t seem interested in building sustainable communities).

Why focus on them and not the gangs actually doing the shooting? Because I believe that it is the insane pace of neighbourhood disruption that has destroyed the strong communities that produced a healthy culture for raising good kids.

Surrey has used a scorched earth policy to wipe out and replace such communities with super dense warehousing of young families without many of the factors necessary to a good neighbourhood culture.

City Hall has chosen to “just build it” – and they indeed did come. But they ignored the good planning practises that insist on schools, plentiful greenspace, tree preservation, community gardens, public squares and good public transit. And last but not least, what happened to community policing? The City of Surrey says we can’t afford these things. Seems to me you can pay one way, or pay another.

So who is running this show? Not the residents, that’s for sure. Without engaged citizens, both being heard, and seeing results to their efforts, democracy can’t be found – it hides in a corner ducking bullets.

Alisa Wilson

Surrey