Following months of speculations, expectations and explorations City of Surrey Independent Councillor Barinder Rasode is in mayoral race. Rasode is coming in as vocal representative of the community especially on issues of public safety, transparency and domestic abuse and those will be her key areas of interest during upcoming campaign. At the start of the campaign at Surrey SFU Campus Rasode was supported by many community activists and representatives and brought in several very interesting representatives of the political world. First reactions on her announcement are still coming in and most visible is the one from her former party and colleagues in Council who will run under Surrey First banner once again.
As it was expected Rasode came straight forward and delivered some of her ideas how to deal with current problems in Surrey. One of the memorable lines was closing line in which she stated that there’s no chance for change if residents of Surrey elect one of her opponents. Reason behind this statement is that each of her key opponents, Linda Hepner and Doug McCallum, were in or around Mayor’s office at the City of Surrey.
Rasode who was welcomed to the stage by former Conservative Senator and Cabinet Minister Gerry St. Germain also pointed out that she wants to deal with public safety as soon as possible.
In platform which will be released in upcoming days Rasode will announce her plan to deal with number of police officers on streets, at the moment that is 36 officers per shift. Detailed platform will also introduce her plan to reduce officer response times by 50 per cent and to hire 200 community safety personnel, including new by-law and crime prevention officers.
“Improving the coordination between Surrey’s crime fighters – police, fire services, by-laws, community safety officers – will be key to improving safety. I will work with senior levels of government to implement new addictions and mental health resources, as well as establish a Community Court system to help chronic offenders break the cycle of crime”, said Rasode.
Rasode who spent major part of her summer talking with community members and representatives, many present at her campaign start, said that she will establish Community Think Tank which should help community to have a stronger voice at the City Hall.
“We need to give the community a voice and we need to start respecting tax dollars, because waste and abuse of taxes will cripple our city,” says Rasode. She adds that transparency prevents corruption and stops reckless spending. Municipal governments have the power to affect change quickly and aggressively, if there is the political will to do so”, said Rasode.
Her former colleagues and current City Council majority from Surrey First coalition lead by mayoral candidate Linda Hepner issued a statement which once again accused Rasode of not being team player and running for Mayor for her personal benefit.
“The only thing this election is about is whether people feel better off now than they did nine years ago. Our team will once again put Surrey first, and ego second. Barinder takes us back to the days of a divided city council when it was hard to get anything done because politics got in the way of doing what was best for Surrey”, said Linda Hepner in statement released on Saturday.
One thing is sure this race is going to be very hard, challenging and on moments more than it is required personal between well known political fighters in Surrey. Over the next few weeks and especially during debates which will come later in October residents will have exceptional chance to listen, ask and to judge who’s the best choice for the City future.