THE VOICE was the first to announce (Friday night on our website and early Saturday in the print edition) that Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was going to announce on Saturday that she was not going to run again for mayor at the grand opening of the new City Hall.
Well, that’s what Watts did at the ceremony Saturday afternoon.
THIS is what I wrote in my column BY THE WAY … WITH RATTAN:
“SURREY CIVIC SCENE AND RUMOURS GALORE: All kind of rumours are circulating about the possible makeup of Surrey First and the most sensational one is that Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts will announce she’s quitting to run for the Conservative Party in a riding in Surrey (now it’s supposed to be South Surrey-White Rock) on Monday, if not earlier, after celebrating the grand opening of the new City Hall (some call it the Palace of Queen Dianne Watts) on Saturday. Councillor Linda Hepner is expected to be declared the mayoral candidate for Surrey First.
“There is also a rumour that Watts wants well-known Surrey Conservative Dr. Allison Patton to join the team as a replacement for Barinder Rasode, who also is expected to run for mayor. Last February I had written about how Patton, a naturopathic physician who co-founded the Mountainview Wellness Centre in Surrey and is well-known in the community, was contemplating to run for the Conservative nomination in South Surrey-White Rock. But rumours are that Hepner is pissed off at Watts for trying to bring in Patton. She wants her own candidate. Surrey First will also have to get a second candidate. I know of one candidate who snubbed them royally because of their rude, arrogant behaviour. Patton didn’t return my calls on Thursday – earlier, she always did so promptly. Hmmm, I wonder if the rumours are correct!”
And last week, this is what I wrote in the column:
SO WHAT’S UP IN SURREY?: Things have been developing over the past many months in Surrey’s civic politics as various councillors and would-be councillors and mayoral hopefuls have been forming coalitions of various sorts and seeking advice – and anticipating Dianne Watts to announce that she will not run again as mayor.
Former mayor Doug McCallum (see photo), who got his butt kicked good and proper by Watts, plans to run for councillor, it’s rumoured, and former MLA Brenda Locke told me this week that she will run for councillor, too. Right now she regards herself as an independent.
There are rumours that a group is forming to oppose the Surrey First slate. Both Councillor Linda Hepner – with the backing of Councillor Tom Gill – and Councillor Bruce Hayne want to be the next mayor.
The NDP guys are believed to be pressuring MLA Bruce Ralston to run for mayor, but they say he’s not keen about it.
Barinder Rasode, who’s quit Surrey First (no surprise really – and a good, courageous move), will also in all probability announce she’s running for mayor once Watts announces she’s moving out. Watts has had family problems, too, I believe.
The scene in Surrey is getting more and more interesting – but, as Shrek said to the donkey in one of the Shrek movies, “Change is good, donkey”!
BY RATTAN MALL