Elected Positions - Roles & Responsibilities
The Mayor is the head and Chief Executive Officer of the City. The Mayor leads the City Council and also has powers from the Community Charter.
The Mayor's powers include:
- To provide leadership to Council, including by recommending bylaws, resolutions, and measures in support of peace, order and good government of the City in relation to the powers conferred on Council by any Act;
- To communicate information to Council;
- To set standing committees of Councillors for things the Mayor thinks would be better regulated and managed by a committee and appointing members of Council to these committees;
- To look at the conduct of municipal officers;
- To return for reconsideration a bylaw, resolution or proceeding of Council;
- To run and keep order at council meetings, and deciding on the points to discuss.
When the Mayor is away from a meeting or if the Office of the Mayor becomes vacant within the year of an election, Council must choose a member to be Acting Mayor. This person has all the powers of Mayor. After general election, the Mayor sets a rotation schedule of which Councillor will serve as Acting Mayor during any month if it becomes necessary. The Acting Mayor duties include attending and opening various events held in the City on behalf of and representing the Mayor.
The Mayor and eight (8) Councillors sit on City Council. Council is the governing body for the City of Surrey.
Among the functions of City Council are to contribute to the development and evaluation of the policies and programs respecting the City’s services and other activities, to adopt bylaws governing matters delegated to local government through the Community Charter and other provincial statutes. Council looks to improve and sustain the current and future economic, social and environmental wellbeing of its community.
The Community Charter says that the purpose of local government (Council) includes providing:
- Good government for its community;
- Works, services, facilities and other things that the municipality considers necessary or desirable for all or part of its community; and
- Control of the public assets of its community.
Councillors work together to develop policies through the adoption of bylaws and passing of resolutions. They must give direction as a group at an official meeting: individual members of Council cannot make a decision on behalf of Council.
Council may not give special privileges or immunities to anyone unless the Community Charter specifically allows them to do so. Generally speaking, they can't lend money to corporations, give away land, guarantee loans for business purposes, or give tax reductions.
The Community Charter requires that Council exercise its powers at regular or special meetings when a quorum is present. As Council consists of nine members, quorum consists of five members.
The Surrey Board of Education oversees the largest and one of the most diverse school districts in BC, guiding education at 101 elementary schools, 20 secondary schools, five student learning centres and three adult education centres.
Making educational and operational policy decisions about such a large school system requires good leadership at the local level. The Board is made up of six (6) members of the community who have been elected to make decisions for the best delivery of education to learners, while making sure tax payers’ dollars are well spent. Each December, the board holds an election for chairperson and vice-chairperson for the next year at a public board meeting.
Among the tasks of the School Trustees are the following:
- To determine educational goals and priorities;
- To set district budgets according to those goals and priorities;
- To establish policies;
- To plan for the future of the district; and
- To communicate with the people of Surrey and White Rock on educational matters.