Gary Robinson, a veteran of Surrey politics for almost 30 years, will lead the Surrey Civic Coalition for the next year.

Robinson was elected president at SCC’s annual general meeting Sunday, April 1.

Robinson said his challenge over the next year, “will be to heighten our profile and become more relevant to voters on a day-to-day basis.”

Also elected to the SCC executive were: Steve Wood, vice president; Janice Meehan, secretary; Gord Savard, treasurer; Susan Sanderson, membership secretary; and Lauren Dobie, youth representative.

Members-at-large elected were: Jeni Mathers, Rich Weldon, Stephanie Ryan, Devin Piper and Rajpal Atwall. Trustees are Sahrash Ijaz, George Davies and Pat O’Connor.

The new SCC president said, “The executive elected today reflects the reality of Surrey and includes members of various age groups and backgrounds. We are proud to be Surrey’s only democratically-elected political organization and that’s reflected in the make-up of our organization and the fact that many of the executive positions actually went to an election.”

Robinson, who served 12 years on Surrey Council in the 1980s and `90s, said, “The current stranglehold Surrey First holds on Surrey Council isn’t healthy for democracy and it’s not good for Surrey. There is no one to stand up for Surrey or even ask important questions.”

He said SCC must reach out to everyone in Surrey who thinks they don`t have a voice at city hall, including the business community, ratepayers associations, labour, environmentalists, and “all the Surrey neighbourhoods who don’t think schools, roads and other infrastructure are keeping pace with development.”