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 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

 

White Rock State of City address strikes upbeat note

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

The Rotary Club of South Surrey is planning to host another shredding event on April 17, 2021.(Contributed file photo)
South Surrey Rotarians to host shredding event

April 17 fundraiser to offer secure shredding by donation

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read