'It's time to get things done,' says McCallum as he enters Surrey mayoral race

Former Mayor Doug McCallum said Monday he
Former Mayor Doug McCallum said Monday he's coming back for the job.
— image credit: Evan Seal/Photo

Standing in a pastoral area at Surrey's old city hall, former mayor Doug McCallum told a crowd he was coming back for they city's top job.

"I'm proud to put my name forward for mayor," McCallum told about 30 people at Monday's news gathering.

His campaign is going to have four priorities, he said. They will include crime, transportation, spending at city hall and the introduction of a ward system.

McCallum is one of three big names so far looking to run Surrey for the next four years, joining Surrey First’s Coun. Linda Hepner and independent Coun. Barinder Rasode.

McCallum said homicides increased by 127 per cent between 2012 and 2013.

"We need a new approach to fighting crime," McCallum said, adding he would push for a "proactive" approach, where police would attack crime before it happens.

It would involve more foot patrols, bike patrols and motorcycle patrols.

The 95 officers being promised by the current city council over the next five years should be here in the next three, he added.

Asked how he would pay for that, he said it would be through cutting waste at city hall.

He said he would disband the Surrey City Development Corporation, an entity created by the city to develop properties in Surrey.

"That's not a role of government to be in land speculation," McCallum said. "We need to have simpler government… let's get back to the basics and provide leadership in government."

He described transportation in Surrey as a "mess."

He said council should be dogged in its determination to gather financing from senior levels of government for transportation.

He said the window of opportunity to get that funding from the federal government is now as it faces an election next year.

"Timing is everything when you're looking for money from the provincial and federal government," he said. "We need to be on the phone with them every week."

McCallum also wants to see the return of wards to Surrey, a change in position since he was mayor.

"Both culturally and geographically, it makes sense," McCallum said. "If I'm elected, I will start the process with the provincial government to bring wards into Surrey."

He said there would be four wards, with two councillors each, and the mayor would be elected at large by the whole community.

"It's time for new leadership, it's time to get things done," McCallum said. "That's what I'm all about."

McCallum is a fiscal conservative who had many supporters when he was mayor from 1996 to 2005. But he was ousted amid much controversy in 2005 during a sexual harassment investigation into one of his senior managers.

The civic election will be held Nov. 15.

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