Surrey city council has voted to have staff prepare a plan toward reactivating the Surrey City Development Corporation as it was before the former council’s Safe Surrey Coalition majority brought it under city hall’s control in 2020.
Safe Surrey Councillors Mandeep Nagra and Doug Elford opposed the Nov. 28 motion, with Elford telling council, “I believe the work is best done in-house.”
The SCDC was formed in 2007 with its own managers and board, to raise the value of Surrey-owned surplus land. The SSC majority voted in 2020 to dissolve the city-owned, for-profit real estate company and transfer its operations and assets to city hall.
Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts was among those in 2020 who slammed the city’s move to take over the SCDC, which was formed under her watch.
“The reason why they shut down SCDC and put the assets under the city is so they can sell the assets, right,” Watts told the Now-Leader at the time.
“The reason that it was initially set up is because they’re public assets, and to capitalize on public assets and have it go to arts and culture, recreation, social programs. There was a revenue stream that came into the city to keep taxes down, and to support capital projects,” Watts said.