Casino gamble paid off – for most
I really did not know which way the casino vote might go. That uncertainty is borne out by the 5-4 decision.
I congratulate Mayor Dianne Watts for casting the deciding vote against it. Double congratulations, what the heck. It is rare for politicians to forego development in favour of wishes of area residents.
I am glad for the decision. Why? Because the casino was a wrong fit for the rural nature of the area. I guess the location was selected because of cheaper land. I don’t live anywhere near it. I am not against a big development. It would be more suitable in an already commercial or industrial area.
I also congratulate the area residents for coming together in an almost unbelievable way to oppose the proposal. There is no question they worked very hard to get the result they desired.
Dave Bains, Surrey
Giving in to the minority
As a resident of Surrey, I was thoroughly disappointed in the decision by mayor and council not to proceed with the proposed South Surrey entertainment complex. I was able to attend both nights of the public hearings and do not understand the rationale of the decision.
In 2010, when this area was proposed to be rezoned, there was support for this plan. Now, in 2013, there is still support for the plan. The only difference is that there are a few “passionate and engaged” residents of South Surrey who have come forward.
They mentioned they represented 5,000 residents that signed a petition. Of the 450,000-plus residents of Surrey and the 75,000-plus in the area of South Surrey, the 5,000 that were against the project is less than 15 per cent of the population in South Surrey and less than two per cent of the population in Surrey.
I refuse to believe the mayor and council – who are responsible for the best interests of the entire city – succumbed to needs of the few instead of the needs of the many.
Over past few years, I have seen the City of Surrey grow and what the mayor and council have done for the city. The new recycling program, new community developments such as Morgan Creek, Morgan Crossings, Clayton Heights, City Centre – I commend them for their perspective on the future of this city.
However, the city can only sustain itself if it has employment opportunities. In a time where most families are struggling to find a work/life balance, can people continue to live in Surrey and work elsewhere?
How is the city going to pay for everything it has done or needs to do? Will my property taxes be raised so high that it does not make sense for me and my family to live here? How are we going to attract amenities like a hotel, conference/convention centre, and theatre without taxpayers having to pay?
Happy for a surprise win
Congratulations to all of us in Surrey and White Rock who went to bat to protect our community and, unbelievably, came out winners against the B.C. Lottery Corporation and big government.
Kudos also to Mayor Dianne Watts and Surrey council for listening to the clearly expressed wishes of the people of the Peninsula.
As for Minister Rich Coleman having a hissy fit, huffing and puffing about Surrey wasting his time and money, thanks for reminding us once again of his government’s ugly arrogance.
It kind of makes me think of that HST debacle – same deceptive way of operating: keeping the public in the dark until the last moment and then springing it on them. And then to top it off, the same arrogant refusal to take people seriously when they tell you they’re not buying your little surprise deal.
Bill Piket, White Rock
A vote for stronger families
I thank God the South Surrey casino bid was rejected.
Many are very excited for the thousands of families who have been spared from the trap of gambling.
It’s good news that more B.C. families will stay together as a result of losing less money to gambling addiction. Most sane people know casinos are bad news for family-orientated communities, and bring heartbreak and misery to untold numbers of mothers, fathers and precious children
I am so impressed Surrey councillors, and especially Mayor Dianne Watts, who voted wisely for Surrey families. Well done.
I trust we can make similar wise choices to open far fewer liquor stores for the same reasons, as they seem to be spreading like the plague.
Andrew King, Surrey
They listened, they voted properly
I was glad to see the proposed casino turned down. I believe, like it appears the majority of residents did, that this huge complex and gaming would alter the community forever and it is quite unnecessary.
What disturbs me is that in the newspaper articles it sounds like the elected council wishes to take the credit or lack of credit for turning this down.
If I understand the way these elected officials are supposed to operate, they are to listen to people in their ridings and vote for what the majority has asked. It appears many vote for what they think to be good, maybe good for their career or good for them in a self-serving way.
I am going to pay close attention during the next election to steer away from those council members that appeared to disregard the wishes of the majority of residents and only vote for their personal choices. I think these people destroy the very fabric of democracy. Unfortunately in politics you see personal gain far too much for the “hidden” reasons to enter into it.
Thank you Ms. Watts and others for your sincere and honest assessment.