Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

Surrey First city Councillor Linda Annis says it’s time Surrey joins other major Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton and soon Vancouver in having an independent auditor general make sure this city’s taxpayers are getting the best bang for their buck.

Surrey has nearly 600,000 residents, its 2021 budget is more than $1.2 billion and it’s financially bigger than most companies in this province, she notes.

“Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall. The transparency and independence that comes with an auditor general is important to the future of our growing city,” she said.

Annis said she intends to introduce a notice of motion at council’s next meeting, on Monday April 26, toward this end.

“I’m hoping my motion will get unanimous support at council because our city isn’t getting any smaller, and when you’re looking at annual budgets in excess of $1 billion and growing, we need the clarity and transparency that comes from an independent eye on how we operate as a city,” Annis stated in a press release. “I believe that our taxpayers deserve nothing less, and I’m hoping my council colleagues will agree.”

READ ALSO: Surrey councillor trying to get policing referendum on the table, again

READ ALSO Surrey policing: Changing the badge, changing the guard

READ ALSO: Surrey Police Service to begin public consultation late June, early July

Meantime, Annis charges that Surrey could be building the most expensive city police department in the province as it transitions to the Surrey Police Service from the Surrey RCMP.

“I’ve always warned that when it comes to the mayor’s police department, we should all get ready for sticker shock,” she said, noting that while a second-year RCMP constable’s salary is $80,786, their Vancouver Police Department counterparts are paid $82,181 and the SPS salary at that same level will be $86,272.

“When you compare what we will be paying for the SPS, the RCMP are an incredible bargain for our taxpayers,” Annis said. “Even if you take away the federal subsidy, the cost of the RCMP is still well below what we’re about to pay for SPS officers.”

During Tuesday’s Surrey Police Board meeting, finance committee chairwoman Elizabeth Model noted that of $25.2 million budgeted for one-time expenditures in 2020, $20.6 million of that was carried forward into the 2021 fiscal year.

Seeing as one-time expenditures for 2021 was budgeted at $23.1 million, that makes for a total of $43.7 million available for the current year. Model reported to the board that projected spending for the 2021 fiscal year is about $29.5 million.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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

City CouncilCity of SurreyFinancesPolitics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on BC highways – checkpoint at Manning Park

Four checkpoints are set up Thursday, May 6 around the province

South Surrey nurse Brittany Williams has been involved with the Burn Camp since 2013. (Contributed photo)
Burn camp ‘really puts things in perspective,’ says South Surrey nurse

Brittany Williams’ experiences hoped to boost Hometown Heroes Lottery fundraiser

(Delta Police Department photo)
Police remind residents to lock doors and windows after series of Ladner break-and-enters

Warning issued after trio of incidents on Ferry Road and Frigate in the early hours of May 6

Serena Deol, Jaspreet Deol, Madison Sweeney and Tanveer Pannu (pictured clockwise from top left) are Surrey United soccer players recruited to the University of Fraser Valley. (submitted photos)
Surrey United soccer quartet sign to play for UFV Cascades

Three of the university’s recruits are Panorama Ridge Secondary students

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read