Surrey Councillor Doug Elford is acting mayor pending Mayor Doug McCallum’s absence due to an unspecified “health concern.”
McCallum issued a statement Tuesday night several hours after the Now-Leader inquired with the city’s communications manager Oliver Lum concerning a report the mayor had suffered a stroke.
“I had a health concern over the weekend that required medical attention,” McCallum’s statement read. “While the issue has been addressed, on the advice of my doctor, I will be taking a few days off to rest and recuperate. I am glad to say that I will be returning to my duties in time for the Regular Council Meeting this Monday. I appreciate the concern and well wishes expressed by all.”
Elford told the Now-Leader on Wednesday that “as far as I know, he’s going to be back up to full speed on Monday, and that’s all I’ve been made aware.
“From what I understand with the protocol, if the mayor is incapacitated, then the acting mayor takes over all the roles and responsibilities. At this point in time, I have not been called upon to do anything.”
As for the mayor’s “health concern,” as McCallum, described it, Elford said “I am as much in the dark as anybody else. It was as much a surprise to me as anybody else. I have no information.”
Surrey Community Project Manager Amber Stowe noted in an email that the Acting Mayor is responsible for presiding at the council meeting in the mayor’s absence but McCallum “will be back at his Mayoral duties this coming Monday, where he will preside at the next scheduled Council meetings.
Stowe noted that on Nov. 19, 2018, council approved the acting mayor schedule for December 2018 to October 2022. This, she said, was in accordance with Section 130 of the Community Charter and Section 15 of the Council Procedure Bylaw, 2004, No. 15300, which states council “must appoint members of Council to serve on a rotating basis as the member responsible for acting in the place of the Mayor when the Mayor is absent or otherwise unable to act. The Acting Mayor schedule appoints each Council member on a rotating basis for a 2 month period throughout this Council’s term.”