You cannot fault so many Surrey residents for being skeptical about light rail transit.
This current city administration has been hell-bent on building LRT in this city instead of expanding SkyTrain, in no small part fueled by Mayor Linda Hepner’s campaign promise in 2014 to have it operational by now, a deadline obviously missed.
Historians in the future will be better able to assess the wisdom of council’s Captain Ahab-esque pursuit of its LRT dream, but today we can say with certainty that council has earned a F-Grade for building public consensus on this huge and extremely expensive public transit project.
With the election only one month away, the debate rages on.
As the uncertainty of who will soon take charge of Surrey City Hall, and the rhetoric continues – and may well do so for years to come – as to LRT being the right choice or not, construction inches ever closer.
Some say we are beyond the point of no return.
Many people say this council simply hasn’t listened to what people want. The extent to which that’s true is also being debated.
But the lesson for whomever forms council in October should be this – strive to be a good listener as opposed to a good dictator of what’s best for the people of Surrey.
They say it’s lonely at the top, and sometimes leaders must make unpopular decisions.
Who knows? Perhaps this council’s legacy will be redeemed on this LRT file. Maybe people will come to like the result, after LRT is running. Perhaps they will say this council was right, after all, and good on them for being visionaries.
Regardless of what happens in the future, we sincerely doubt this current council will be remembered for having its finger on the pulse of this city.