Battleground Surrey: McCallum for Mayor?


McCallum PriddyMayoral race in  Surrey so far has only two declared contestants, but more names are expected in and some are rumoured to be under a consideration. Linda Hepner and Vikram Bajwa are first declared, Barinder Rasode is at the doors but still keeping her intentions unclear until her platform is done, and once again name of the former Mayor Doug McCallum pops up. McCallum for Mayor rumour, reality or just media speculation?

McCallum is someone who already has his chance. Did some good and some bad  as every politician does. Now after a whole decade of political retirement McCallum thinks about comeback game. There are many reasons against rather than pro his potential return. First reason is that Surrey of today is not Surrey of McCallum’s era and far less political world of this province and country is similar to those when he was running this community. Second and far bigger is explained in words that follow.

Also Surrey as fastest growing community in this part of Western Canada needs different approach – more openness, transparency and what is more important needs person with different set of communication skills which will includes social media and modern technologies.

On March 31st, on day when current Council move into the new Chambers, Doug McCallum was attending meeting and said to The Now Newspapers reporter Amy Reid and incumbent Mayor Watts that he’s not running.

“No. Haven’t even thought about it”, McCallum said with a chuckle at that time.

McCallum RasodeHe was also heard saying a same thing at the opening of Surrey Community Hub, which was recently started by Independent Cllr. Barinder Rasode. But it looks like McCallum used these statements as smoke cover to cover his real intentions, because over the last few days many sources in the City said that McCallum is getting ready to run again.

Kevin Diakiw of Surrey Leader, points correctly in his pieces at Postdeadline.com, that McCallum would have advantage on the south of Surrey with his fiscal conservatism, but will bring also a lot of baggage in.

“However, McCallum brings with him a significant amount of baggage from his time as mayor. The most notable of which was the time he constricted the scope of a sexual harassment investigation of one of his senior managers, first reported in The Surrey Leader in July, 2005. Months before the story broke, Vancouver lawyer Richard Hamilton was hired to look into the issue after Surrey’s human resources department received a complaint of sexual harassment”, wrote Diakiw back in April.

With baggage like this you don’t want to get anywhere near by political or public arena because you’ll clearly do a great disadvantage to any organization or institution with you would be involved. McCallum should follow Bob Bose, and even Dianne Watts in one sense, as political retiree and former Mayor let new or at least newer faces/persons to take reign over the City and its future. This city needs Mayor who will be able to focus on needs of the residents and not to be focus of the community and media.

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