Less than 48 hours until voting begins and I’ve been so busy I neglected to post this yesterday – keep your eyes on this story…
“Surrey mayoral candidate Ross Buchanan has called for changes in the way cityowned lands are controlled through the little-known Surrey City Development Corp.
“Very few people in Surrey are aware that in 2007, Dianne Watts and the Surrey First councillors created a wholly owned development corporation in which the city are the main shareholders,” said Buchanan.
“Diane Watts, Coun. Linda Hepner and city manager Murray Dinwoodie sit on the board of directors. How can the mayor and council remain independent of influence when they are sitting on the board of their own development corporation whose goals are at odds with the livability of the entire region?”
Buchanan said the corporation is “riddled with a lack of transparency” and has not been accountable for its activities.
“It is highly irregular that the financial statements for the corporation would be consolidated with the city’s. It is a separate entity. Requests for detailed accounting are denied,” he said.
He said valuable city assets have been transferred to the corporation with little or no public consultation.
“It’s time to have an independent audit of the financial activities and relationship between the Surrey City Development Corp. and the City of Surrey,” he said.
Mayor Watts said city-owned development corporations have been successful in other Canadian municipalities.
Watts said developing city land is a way to generate income for city services, like parks.”