Three former members of the Safe Surrey Coalition who split over what they describe as a lack of consultation by Mayor Doug McCallum saw each of their motions defeated in council chambers Monday night.
Two of those motions were denied without any discussion.
First, Councillor Steven Pettigrew said he wished to see staff evaluate the bylaw department’s structure, to “consider their staffing needs and the tiered policing of bylaw officers as it relates to them obtaining peace officer status.”
Then, Councillor Brenda Locke said she wanted to see the public consulted on this year’s budget via “town hall” meetings.
But these efforts will not move forward, after Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey team defeated both motions Monday night, without any discussion.
Locke said “certainly, the taxpayers need to know how their money is being spent and should have some input into that process,” noting in her “previous life” she chaired the finance committee for B.C. and held public hearings all over the province that allowed the public to have their say. “It’s about the community and listening to them and hearing what they have to say before we make decisions.”
While there was brief discussion about a third motion, tabled by Councillor Jack Hundial, it was also defeated Monday.
He had asked staff to look at better ways for the city to “address its aging population in aging closer to home initiatives,” noting the Ministry of Health has committed an additional $500,000 for local governments through the Age-Friendly Communities Grant Program.
“I won’t be supporting this, not because I don’t think it’s a good idea, but because I think we’re already addressing this,” said Councillor Laurie Guerra of Safe Surrey. “As chair of the parks, rec and culture committee, that’s the area in Surrey that the seniors comes under, the City of Surrey already has an age-friendly strategy for seniors and we get updates on that probably at every parks, rec and culture meeting we have. We’re also in the midst of putting together a City of Surrey age-friendly action plan. I think that it might be a good idea for mayor and council to have a presentation from staff so all of council is aware of everything being done for seniors in this committee.”
But after the meeting, Hundial told the Now-Leader said he felt his motion had merit, and spoke of accessing funds from higher levels of government.
“So for this to be turned down, and say it will be underneath the parks committee? We’ll just see how it goes.”