White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker delivers his State of the City address to South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce members Wednesday. Alex Browne photo

White Rock State of City address strikes upbeat note

Mayor Darryl Walker reflects on first year in office during pair of speeches

White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker delivered his first state-of-the-city address Wednesday morning in the Oceana PARC dining room, for members of the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce and invited guests.

The upbeat speech – which Walker was set to deliver again Thursday night at a free public event at White Rock Community Centre – largely eschewed controversy in summarizing his first year in office after being elected mayor, along with four new councillors, in October of 2018.

But Walker did elicit chuckles from the crowd when – after lauding still-ongoing community efforts to fundraise repairs to the pier, positive developments in water quality through the new treatment plant, improved relations with the Semiahmoo First Nation and services provided by city staff, the fire department and RCMP detachment – he moved on to the current pilot project to allow dogs on the promenade during off-season months.

READ MORE: Dogs allowed on promenade during off-season

READ MORE: Three quit White Rock’s ‘Dogs on the Promenade’ task force

“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything as controversial,” Walker – who served as B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union president from 2008 until his retirement in 2014 – said.

“And that’s OK,” he said.

“We always have to (make sure to) go easy on individuals and hard on the subject.”

And while he said that council would be closely examining the findings of the city committee charged with overseeing the project, which are to be delivered in early April, he did note that surveying done by the city prior to the pilot had shown 76 per cent of respondents had “supported dogs being on the promenade during the off-season.”

Walker said council will also be taking a close look at the waste collection study started by the city this summer.

“I don’t like what is happening with the removal of waste for businesses,” he said, noting that he feels having “15-20 trucks on the roads seven days a week” is not satisfactory.

The mayor, who campaigned against the spate of uptown development inherited from the previous council, soft-pedalled comments on this – save for praising the newly-constructed building that provided the venue for the meeting – focusing instead on the community amenity contributions that will be forthcoming from the new buildings.

“We will have between $7.7 million and $14 million available to us,” he said, adding that public input on what the funds should be used for will be sought starting on Dec. 4.

He suggested that among possible priorities might be providing additional amenities on the pier during its eventual total reconstruction to meet storm and seismic standards; providing impetus for affordable housing; and, developing more city parks.

Among those attending were Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux, Debbie Ward, representing Surrey-White Rock MLA Tracy Redies, and White Rock Coun. Scott Kristjanson.

Providing opening remarks were chamber president Adam Smith, executive director Ritu Hanna and Gord Schoberg senior manager, senior manager of municipal and indigenous relations for FortisBC Energy Inc. who described a new Fortis initiative to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with customers energy use by 30 per cent by 2030.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Surrey’s newest task force aims to find ‘innovative’ ways to bring in revenue

McCallum says city’s revenue sources shouldn’t ‘completely rely on the taxpayer all the time’

Calling a snow day – or not – is a big decision for Surrey public schools

There’s much to consider before cancelling classes for 73,948 Surrey students

White Rock RCMP tells public to yield to pedestrians at marked crosswalks

Police force received a number of complaints about crosswalk safety

No Surrey Knights or White Rock Whalers on league all-star team

PJHL squad will battle Vancouver Island league standouts in Delta on Jan. 26

White Rock BNSF train whistles to be silenced by end of month

Whistle will sound if people or animals are on the track

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Oil and gas industry applauds Supreme Court’s dismissal of B.C. TMX case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Airliner crash a mistake that pleased Iran’s enemies: Supreme Leader Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader says dowining of Flight 752 was a bitter accident in rare sermon

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

10 B.C. cities break temperature records in winter storm

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Vancouver Island child struck, pinned under SUV while sledding

Boy suffers serious injuries, no charges laid in incident

Most Read