Outside Surrey city council chambers. (File photo).

ZYTARUK: Loss of civic experience will be felt

Outgoing mayors in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley City share 134 years civic experience

What we’re seeing, heading into the fall civic elections, is a seismic changing of the guard in leadership in the Lower Mainland as never witnessed before, and it’s largely self-inflicted

So far, no less than nine mayors currently serving in much-coveted and hard-fought-for political office in the Lower Mainland have decided to pull the plug on their own jobs. They won’t face potential defeat at the polls, for the simple fact their names won’t be on the ballot.

The result, by default, will be both the potential for fresh ideas while at the same a considerable dearth of continuity as these outgoing mayors deny themselves, for good or bad, a chance at being re-elected Oct. 20.

Among these soon-to-be-former mayors is Surrey’s Linda Hepner, representing a city bordered to its immediate west, south and east by cities whose experienced mayors have also decided to say goodbye: Lois Jackson (Delta), Wayne Baldwin (White Rock) and Ted Schaffer (City of Langley).

SURREY ELECTION: With Hepner out, who is mulling a mayoral run?


The pace of land development can be likened to a blur in these parts, in recent years. There’s much afoot to keep an eye on, and the learning curve will be steep for their replacements in these communities.

Whether or not you are a fan of your current mayor, you can’t deny the collective loss of experience after the polls close.

Hepner is a one-term mayor, elected in 2014, but for nine years prior was a Surrey councillor and before that a city bureaucrat hired in 1985. Thirty-three years service to Surrey, all told. Schaffer was elected mayor in 2011 and also served as a Langley city councillor from 1990-2008.

Lois Jackson has been Delta’s mayor since 1999 but was first elected alderman in 1973. And White Rock’s Mayor Wayne Baldwin, who has served two terms, was also White Rock’s city manager for 23 years.

So that’s what, 134 years of collective experience? Its loss will no doubt be felt.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

DW Poppy Sr. boys basketball defeats ACSS Totems rivals

DW Poppy’s Sr. boys RedHawks defeated ACSS Totems this Friday in a high-stakes basketball match.

VIDEO: All ages participate in Langley Hospice Historic Half marathon

Turnout was down, slightly, this year but donations are up

LETTER: Langley man says Wilson-Raybould deserves Canadians’ respect

A letter writer said the former federal justice minister is one of a rare class of politicians.

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Rockets

Langley-based G-men take over top spot in the west

Langley Township goes high tech to spotlight local history

To mark the start of History Week, the Township has put out a new app all about the community.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read