JUDY Villeneuve, the longest-serving city councillor in Surrey’s history, has announced that she is not seeking re-election in October.
Villeneuve, who has served on Surrey City Council ever since being first elected in 1989, has a well-earned reputation as an articulate community advocate for social, environmental and cultural causes. Villeneuve is chair of Surrey’s Social Policy and Public Art Advisory committees, a member of the finance and police committees, and a Surrey representative on the board of Metro Vancouver.
“My family and I moved to Surrey more than 40 years ago, but even back then it was easy to see Surrey’s incredible potential,” said Villeneuve. “My 29 consecutive years on council have given me a tremendous opportunity to watch our city evolve and mature, and while I know there’s still plenty more to be done in the years ahead, I also know I want to spend more time with my family and make room for new voices who can continue building and shaping our city’s future.
“It has been a real pleasure and privilege to play a part in the life of our city as a councillor. But, the biggest impact on me has been the people I’ve met along the way. The volunteers, the activists, the community leaders and the city staff who put our city first are definitely Surrey’s biggest asset, particularly when it comes to building a modern, progressive community with a welcoming heart.”
Villeneuve also thanked her Surrey First council colleagues for their leadership, ongoing support and friendship over the years.
“When you have a city council that knows how to work together, it’s amazing what you can get done,” said Villeneuve. “That sense of respect and collaboration, even among people who don’t always agree on every issue, makes all the difference, and the results are incredible. The proof is in just how far our city has come in a very short amount of time, and the reputation we’re building together as a great place to live and work. None of this happens if you don’t have a community vision and citizens who want to go to work creating the kind of future we all want.”
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said Villeneuve’s name is synonymous with public service, and her fingerprints are on much of what makes Surrey so appealing to families right across the city.
“Judy has always been a tireless worker and advocate for a Surrey that is inclusive, creative, and caring,” said Hepner. “When Judy speaks, people in Surrey listen, because they know she always puts their interests first, particularly when it comes to shaping neighbourhoods, and tackling important issues such as homelessness, art and culture, public safety and urban design. No one on council has Judy’s years of experience, and that’s been of tremendous value as we continue to write the next chapter in the Surrey story.”
Villeneuve said that while she will miss sitting on council, she’s looking forward to staying engaged, particularly when it comes to issues that are important to Surrey’s future.
“I’ll miss being on council, but I’m also very excited about what comes next,” added Villeneuve. “Once you’re interested in your community and its future, it’s something that stays with you for a lifetime.”