|

McCallum’s SSC Launches Platform That Freezes Taxes And Cut City Budget By Three Percent

Surrey First’s Hepner Calls McCallum’s Agenda Taking Surrey Backwards!

But McCallum said his proposals are grounded in a philosophy that the City of Surrey must return to focusing on services that fall within a tight fiscal framework. “Years of out of control spending, waste and involvement in speculative business ventures have moved the city away from meeting the needs of Surrey residents,” McCallum said.  “This plan puts the taxpayer first, both in terms of allowing the city to address pressing issues and priorities, and by having greater respect for taxpayer dollars.”

By R. Paul Dhillon
SURREY  – Surrey mayoral hopeful Doug McCallum returned to his roots in his platform launched this week in which he plans to freeze taxes for two years and cut the city budget by three percent.

McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition (SSC)unveiled its platform for “Fiscally Responsible Simple Government” Tuesday morning, explaining its rationale and specific proposals via a grassroots video.

Citing the two basic expectations of Surrey residents when it comes to their tax dollars – “that they receive good service and that politicians have respect for public money” – SCC released its 8-point platform to get back to more effective service delivery and greater oversight over tax dollars.

But Surrey First mayoral candidate Linda Hepner took her first shot at McCallum’s campaign, saying his team should give him a calendar and points out its now 2014, not 1993, the year he was first elected to city council.

“One look at the platform he released today and you can see it’s all about taking our city backwards,” Hepner said. “About 100,000 people have moved into our city since Mr. McCallum was voted out of office by Surrey voters for mismanaging city hall. Our city has grown, but we’ve kept our taxes the lowest in the region, and Surrey has the lowest per capita spending. Meanwhile, we’ve added more pools, parks, rinks and rec centres than ever before, and we’ve done that while we’ve balanced our books and built cash reserves of almost $500 million.”

But McCallum said his proposals are grounded in a philosophy that the City of Surrey must return to focusing on services that fall within a tight fiscal framework.

“Years of out of control spending, waste and involvement in speculative business ventures have moved the city away from meeting the needs of Surrey residents,” says McCallum.  “This plan puts the taxpayer first, both in terms of allowing the city to address pressing issues and priorities, and by having greater respect for taxpayer dollars.”

Hepner also questioned McCallum’s plan to strip three per cent out of the City’s budget.

“There he goes again, trying to move us backwards, when our city wants to go forward,” noted Hepner. “We’ve got the lowest per capita spending in the region, so where does he think he’s going to cut $12 million from the city’s budget? No more parks? No more rec centres? No more rinks? Maybe he’d like to take it out of the police budget, or he’d like to cancel our green city initiatives? Frankly, I think he’s simply pulled a number out of the air, and it shows, once again, just how disconnected he is from today’s Surrey.

But McCallum said a change in philosophy and subsequent direction is an immediate step that must be taken to put Surrey back on track.

“We have to start investing taxpayers’ money differently,” says McCallum.  “City projects must benefit all citizens, which requires a complete overhaul of how City Hall interacts with the citizens of Surrey.”

SSC’s 8 proposals are as follows:

  1. Freeze Taxes For 2 Years
  2. Reverse Growing Debt Through An Aggressive Repayment Plan
  3. Shut Down The Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC)
  4. Eliminate Plans To Build A District Energy Heating System
  5. Cut The City of Surrey Operating Budget By 3 Per Cent
  6. Establish Fixed Cost Public Tenders
  7. Discontinue The Surrey Regional Economic Summit
  8. Reprioritize and Increase Funding For The Parks, Recreation And Culture Strategic Plan

Comments are closed