Mayor Doug Mccal­lum “dis­mayed” by $514 mil­lion city debt

Asian Journal - - BRITISH COLUMBIA -

Sur­rey: Mayor Doug Mccal­lum says he is “deeply dis­mayed” by the state of the city’s fi­nances and has in­structed staff to launch what he calls a “pay as you go” sys­tem to cut down the debt. Mccal­lum, who served as Sur­rey’s mayor be­tween 1999 and 2005, was re-elected in Oc­to­ber and says he was “shaken to the core” when he learned about the red ink on city books.

He says the cur­rent debt to­tals $514 mil­lion. Mccal­lum is con­fi­dent the planned pay-as-yougo sys­tem will not im­pact cur­rent pro­grams and ser­vices across the city.

But he says coun­cil must now de­ter­mine how to “re­spon­si­bly pro­ceed with cap­i­tal projects.”

Mccal­lum wants to see Sur­rey “op­er­ate like a reg­u­lar house­hold’’ by sav­ing up and pay­ing bills as they are due. “When I was pre­vi­ously mayor for nine years, I took great pride in run­ning the city’s fi­nances by sav­ing first and avoid­ing debt. Coun­cil and I have agreed to im­me­di­ately bring the city’s fis­cal house in or­der,” Mccal­lum says in a news re­lease.

A bud­get re­port pre­pared by staff will be pre­sented to Sur­rey’s fi­nance com­mit­tee on Dec. 11 and Mccal­lum says he and coun­cil won’t com­ment fur­ther un­til they have re­viewed that doc­u­ment.

Mayor Doug Mccal­lum

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