Property taxes will skyrocket if this city moves toward a municipal police force, according to one city councillor.
Linda Annis says the taxes on the average Surrey home will soar by almost $500 annually, if this city abandons the RCMP in favour of a city police force.
She asserts that moving to a Vancouver model of policing will require Surrey to hire 300 more police officers. And that, she says, will cost handsomly.
Annis is also deeply concerned that the discussions have been conducted entirely behind closed doors.
“There’s been no public consultation, council has not seen the report, we don’t know what it’s going to look like,” Annis told PulseFM Tuesday. “I have not seen the report, neither have any other members of council… It’s just a really bad practice,” Annis said.
She says there’s a “rumour afloat” that council will be seeing the report for the first time Wednesday morning.
An in-camera meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Reasons cited on the city website for it being closed to the public include that the subject involves a labour relations matter and that it includes negotiations with a senior level of government.
Mayor Doug McCallum stated at his State of the City address that moving to a municipal force will cost only an extra 10 per cent.
He also said the municipal boots will be on the ground by July, next year.
Surrey has scheduled the first public consultation meeting for this Thursday, at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre between 3 and 7 p.m.