Surrey Coun. Linda Hepner takes issue with White Rock Coun. Grant Meyer's suggestion that South Surrey should join his city

Surrey Coun. Linda Hepner takes issue with White Rock Coun. Grant Meyer's suggestion that South Surrey should join his city

‘Naive at best’ to join White Rock: Hepner

Surrey councillor reacts on Twitter to amalgamation suggestion

White Rock Coun. Grant Meyer’s suggestion that South Surrey be absorbed into the smaller city has received a thumbs down from a Surrey councillor.

Linda Hepner said the proposal, outlined in Peace Arch News Aug. 4 edition, is “naive at best.”

“In all practical and logical senses it’s a non-starter,” she said Wednesday, after posting online about the issue Tuesday evening.

“Really?” Hepner tweeted. “WR Cllr off base. South Surrey join White Rock? Residential tax 50% more, business 20%: Reverse more logical.”

Wednesday, Hepner told PAN, “I certainly disagree that a small community of 18,000 residents would absorb the 80,000 in South Surrey.

“I don’t see it ever happening. I could see the reverse.”

Hepner, a South Surrey resident,  said she acknowledges the current situation in which the Peninsula community is split along 16 Avenue is “an odd boundary.”

“But that’s a 50-year-old decision, done by the people of that time,” she said.

Equally odd, she finds, is that 2.2 million people in Metro Vancouver are represented by 23 different governments.

“Does it really makes sense, that cost of government for 2.2 million people?”

Were amalgamation of municipalities to occur, she would still see Surrey, with a population base of approximately half a million, as a leading player. If the city grows by the 200,000 residents, as expected in 20 years, it will surpass Vancouver in size, she said.

She also cited Surrey’s “fierce commitment” to its vision – “the future lives here” – and its strategic economic and geographical  position as a gateway to Pacific Rim trade as factors that would make it all the more attractive to join it.

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