Start of the week was once again reserved for bad news from Surrey. Another murder happened in Newton, media and police forces jointly occupied one of the most troubled neighbourhoods in the city for hours trying to understand how and why community found itself in this troubling situation. This is nothing new and it is just another piece of a puzzle which was started almost three years ago, story which up to this day doesn’t have resolution nor we have any indication when it will end. Over the next few month, up to elections in November, local politicians accompanied with public and media will discuss all important elements of crime issue. What their goal must be is to find not a simplistic or some big word idea but a real solution which will stop problem to spread even more and create more problems to the community.
Looking into the current situation with local politicians and their involvement in resolution process is very interesting. Mayor Dianne Watts and seven out of eight Councillors are absolutely silent and absent from public scene as Council is in summer recess and majority of them enjoys jolly good weather and time with their families. One Councillor which is present in the media or at social media is independent Councillor Barinder Rasode who is excepted to run for Mayor in November. Rasode is actively engaged in public discussion regarding all important issues without hiding herself from those who could or will critically judge her work on Council.
On the other side her colleague at the Council and one of two declared mayoral candidates Linda Hepner is visibly absent from public for a while and doesn’t comments much on recent events in the city. Absentia from public in these moments and silence while murders, accidents and crime situations are pilling up will certainly work against her in the future, especially in the weeks of official campaign. It is not sure how she plans to overstep McCallum and Rasode and to make herself prominent candidate if she remains silent over the next two months until official campaign starts.
As it was already said here Doug McCallum, former Mayor of Surrey, is very active recently on social media, questions other candidates and their record regarding fight against crime and what is ahead of us. His problem could be that his own record is not that brilliant as his team tries to present it, especially if his record was judged by those who live in Surrey more than a decade. But his activity for sure will place him among the frontrunners for Watts successor. If his sole contender at this moments remains silent and if Rasode enters the race then we can expect that race will be between him and Rasode. If that happens in November it could be one of the memorable races in recent municipal political history. It could very well turn out to be cornerstone of Surrey’s future and political direction.
One of the key questions for all candidates and Council at large during campaign and after it will be what to do regarding current political situation and how to deal with staggering numbers of police officers readable on Surrey streets. Let’s see how they will answer it and what kind of solution will be offered, but it will need to be something revolutionary in effort to break this endless stream of crime activity in Surrey.