Surrey Good Citizen of the Year award candidates will have to jump over a few more hurdles before getting nominated for the prestigious local title.
City staff did a policy review on the honour, which has been bestowed annually since 1980. Staff noted in their report that the current policy governing the award “does not contain a robust set of criteria” for selecting recipients.
Those in the running now must have contributed “at least” 15 years of “exceptional” service, be a resident of or business owner in Surrey, and elected officials now holding office are not eligible. The new policy, outlined in a report by Rob Costanzo, Surrey’s general manager of corporate services, recommended that “any person that is not “politically active, including former elected officials,” may be considered for this award” and that “the recipients over time represent the diversity and demographics of Surrey.”
Councillor Steven Pettigrew noted 15 years is “a long time.”
“We have many people come into this city and I believe that 15 years is too long,” he said. “I think 10 years would be a better time period. People come here, and they’ve done a lot of good. I know people that have done a lot of good, and they haven’t been here that long.
“I cannot support 15 years, it’s too long of a time period,” he said.
Council approved staff’s recommendations.