Tempers flared at the Monday night meeting of Surrey city council as Mayor Doug McCallum and Coun. Steven Pettigrew argued just weeks after Pettigrew left the mayor’s Safe Surrey Coalition party.
At one point, McCallum threatened to remove Pettigrew from the council chamber.
The meeting began with Pettigrew asking the mayor whether he was using Robert’s Rules of Order to run the meeting, which are outlined in the City of Surrey procedural bylaws.
McCallum told Pettigrew his question would have to wait as they were in the midst of adopting the minutes from a June 10 council meeting.
“You’re interrupting this meeting, and we are not going to put up with it,” the mayor said.
“I will order you out of this council chambers if you don’t sit down right now.”
After the meeting, McCallum did not speak to reporters, but Global News caught up with the mayor in the city hall parkade and asked about the conflict with Pettigrew.
“I think I’m going to ask our human resource department to see if they can provide some help to him because I think he’s feeling overloaded, and he’s not handling the stress of council very well,” McCallum said.
Pettigrew says that’s not the case at all.
“I wanted to set some guidelines and find out exactly how council meetings are being run and what procedures and rules we’re following,” he said.
“The only stress I’m getting is from the mayor by not allowing us to be able to speak and to do our jobs as councillors.”
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Pettigrew quit McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition last month, saying he couldn’t “take it any more” and that he will sit as an independent.
He said several issues prompted his departure, including the loss of thousands of trees to make way for development and the lack of public consultation on the transition to a municipal police force.