Newly sworn-in Mayor Linda Hepner becomes emotional when recognizing her Surrey First team on Monday night.

New city council takes the helm

Mayor Linda Hepner and eight Surrey First councillors sworn in on Monday night.

Looking confident and sure-footed, newly minted Mayor Linda Hepner laid out her priorities on Monday night as she and her Surrey First team were sworn into office.

A crowd of about 400 packed council chambers at Surrey’s new city hall when the recently elected Surrey council was escorted in by an honour guard.

Hepner began by thanking outgoing mayor Dianne Watts for her three terms. Watts is now planning to run federally for the Conservatives in South Surrey-White Rock.

“Dianne Watts never met a good idea she didn’t like,” Hepner said, adding she looks forward to working with Watts when she is in Ottawa. “And by the way, I’ve got a little light rail project I want to talk to you about.”

Hepner listed her priorities in the years to come.

Her first order of business is to promote a “yes” vote in this spring’s transportation referendum.

She also plans to make good on her promise to hire another 100 police officers next year.

“We will place an emphasis on neighbourhood policing,” Hepner said. “You will see front-line officers build relationships with residents and business owners and become more ingrained in the very fabric of our neighbourhoods.”

She will create a business advisory council to accelerate growth in the private sector.

She also wants to make Surrey one of the nation’s most “age-friendly” cities.

“We will start with a seniors’ summit next year,” Hepner said. “And we will not leave behind the most vulnerable and less-fortunate in our community.”

She will create a “social innovation strategy” bringing together the best minds in strengthening the city’s social safety net.

She also said she wants to hear from people about the great ideas they have for Surrey.

“If it’s something that will make our city better, I want to know about it,” she said. “If it’s a way to make our city more sustainable or more livable for families, I want to know about it.”

Hepner became emotional when she expressed how excited she was to begin working with the new team, returning Couns. Tom Gill, Judy Villeneuve, Barbara Steele, Mary Martin and Bruce Hayne, and newcomers to civic politics Couns. Vera LeFranc, Mike Starchuk and Dave Woods.

“I see a team in every sense of the word,” she said. “It’s a team that’s willing to work hard on your behalf.”

In addressing her colleagues directly, she said “we are going to have a very, very busy four years.”

A brief council meeting was then convened to name the Surrey representatives of the Metro Vancouver board of directors.

They are: Hepner, Villeneuve, Steele, Hayne and Martin. Gill was appointed as alternate mayor.

 

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

Teen charged with possession of a loaded firearm after incident at Whalley park

Surrey RCMP say 17-year-old boy allegedly found in possession of loaded handgun

Kids Boost Immunity honours Surrey school for vaccine donations

Elementary students donate more than 3,000 vaccinations to UNICEF

Pug life: Waggish dog names listed in White Rock

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered with the city

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Loud jets from Abbotsford are annoying residents of tiny U.S. town

Flights out of Abbotsford airport turn over border town and annoy residents, Sumas mayor says

Olympic auditions return to Lower Mainland

Event an opportunity for unknown athletes to shine and, maybe, change sports

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. pedophile wins appeal after violating court order

Kelly Glen Isbister’s sentence was cut by the BC Court of Appeal

Most Read