Last Surrey council meeting for Watts and Rasode

SURREY — Mayor Dianne Watts led her last council meeting on Dec. 1, after nearly a decade of running the City of Surrey.

It was also the last for Coun. Barinder Rasode after she was defeated by Coun. Linda Hepner in her bid for the mayor’s chair.

Watts had two final matters to take care of before closing the meeting Monday night.

“Being that this is my last meeting, I’m going to get ‘er done,” she said with a smile.

First, she renamed Heritage Square to Veteran’s Square, which council passed.

Then, she addressed her “long-suffering issue about stick trees that drive me crazy when I see them in medians and all over the boulevards.”

She put a motion forward, which was passed, to have a combination of the “stick trees” and Evergreens going forward.

Mayor-elect Linda Hepner presented Watts with a plaque, as well as a book filled with the accomplishments of the mayors’ reign.

“We will honour you in this city for your vision and we promise we will take care of your trees, and we promise that we will build, on your behalf, the great city that you have started,” Hepner said.

Watts thanked her team, and all city staff, for working toward a collective vision.

“I do believe that we’ve put our heart and soul into the decisions that we made and the vision that was created. And I feel that as I leave, that this city is in good stand,” Watts said.

“Public service is not an easy job…. But I have been blessed. I’ve been very, very blessed with a wonderful community, a supportive community, great residents. And every step of the way we’ve tried to do it right and although not everybody agrees with everything that we do, we have really taken the time and hopefully opened doors to gain a lot of input and doing our very best as I move forward. I thank you very much and I want to wish everybody all the very best. I’ll come and visit and sit in the gallery once in a while.”

Coun. Tom Gill said through the good, bad and sometimes ugly times, he’s been proud to be part of Watts’ team. He said together, they addressed many issues, adding he is proud to have been part of her “legendary legacy.”

Coun. Judy Villeneuve said the last nine years under Watts’ leadership have been the most productive of her long political career.

As her last act, Rasode congratulated Hepner for her win, and commended Watts for her leadership, adding it has been a privilege for her to serve the city.

“I’m sure that as we work with you to build a better city together, that I have no doubt our future is in very good hands,” Rasode said.

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