Quatchi & Dianne. Flickr photo by John Bollwitt
Her speech, which covered issues such as the economy, homelessness, the 2010 Olympics and more, has positioned her well to take a leadership role both in our region and in Canada.
It should be noted that unlike Vancouver city council, cost-cutting Watts held her inaugural event in council chambers. In fact, Watts has made keeping taxes low a key part of her commitments to the citizens of Surrey.
I would watch for Watts to take on a significant role at both the regional and national level. In particular, she has played a leadership role at the Big City Mayors Caucus, and will likely continue doing so.
Watts will also likely get her calls returned from the Prime Minister, given her successful record of working in a non-confrontational and non-partisan manner with senior levels of government.
This is in stark contrast to what we are likely to see in Vancouver.
One need only look at the recent edition of 24 Hours magazine where Vision Councillor Heather Deal, Mayor Robertson's trusted lieutenant, was seen at a anti-Conservative government rally. She was quoted as saying that we need a change in government. Hmmm...I wonder if those images will help the Mayor when he asks Harper for help with funding for new affordable housing projects?
I'm sure CityCaucus.com readers all remember Deal's quote in the Vancouver Courier when she said "You have to make it painful for other levels of government. The nicey-nicey approach doesn't produce much."
I guess only time will tell if the Watts approach bears more fruit for the citizens of Surrey. My money is on the popular Surrey Mayor.