Unless Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is imbued with some kind of celestial insight not readily apparent to us mortals, it is now clear as skies of azure blue that he is acting more in the best interests of Doug McCallum than he is in that of Surrey’s.
On Monday night, he planted his new Interim Police Transitory Advisory Committee – with which he quite unexpectedly and controversially replaced the long-standing Public Safety Committee the week prior – with an exclusive crop of his yes-people, Councillors Laurie Guerra, Doug Elford, Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton, and of course, himself.
Shut out are former political allies Jack Hundial, Steven Pettigrew, Brenda Locke, and sole Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis.
This new committee, with a proposed lifespan of three to six months, is tasked with supporting Surrey’s not-yet-approved-by-the-provincial-government transition from the Surrey RCMP to a made-in-the-city police force.
Consider the composition of this IPTAC, a precursor to the establishment of a Surrey Police Board.
Before his election last October, Hundial served for 25 years as a police officer, with the RCMP.
Annis has been the executive director of Crime Stoppers since 2004. Both come equipped with considerable knowledge about policing, crime fighting and public safety matters.
Too bad they don’t have a place at this table.
Also of note, Pettigrew served as a Block Watch captain and Brenda Locke – who is far-and-above the most experienced public servant on this present council, other than perhaps McCallum himself – is also exiled.
Instead, McCallum picked a naturopath, an environmental protection officer, a realtor/yoga instructor, and the owner of a chain of meat shops, ostensibly to steer Surrey into a safer future.
On a council that lacks experience, this utter waste of expertise is appalling, to say the least.