Ballem hire timelines: who's right?

Post by Mike Klassen in

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On Monday morning's Bill Good Show, Mayor Gregor Robertson stated that Dr. Penny Ballem became available during the days leading up to the firing of Judy Rogers. Here's what the Mayor had to say on CKNW:

Bill Good: But how was she chosen? I must say when I discovered she was your choice I went, 'wow, Penny Ballem, who'da thought?'

Gregor Robertson: Well, we've had nothing but positive feedback really based on Penny's history...

Good: (interrupting) But who knew she was available?

Robertson: She, she came forward and said, uh, that she was available. I think it was in some ways serendipity that the opportunity came about last week (CC notes: week of December 8th) on such short notice, and uh, you know I make decisions swiftly when it's necessary and I see things line up right and in this case everything lined up but I think it's the right decision for Vancouver.

Good: So these were your calls?

Robertson: My calls with the Council. Council reviewed this on Friday and approved it.

In his column today Allen Garr paints a different picture, with meetings and direct discussions going on for weeks with Ballem:

What allowed for the decision on Rogers to be made so quickly was Ballem telling Vision she was available long before the election results were known.

Both Robertson and his chief of staff Mike Magee met with her before Vancouverites went to the polls. Following the election and before the inauguration, Robertson and Magee nailed down an agreement with Ballem.

CityCaucus.com wonders who's right? Was Mayor Robertson being straight with Bill Good during his interview, or are Allen Garr's famous inside sources with Vancouver's left wing politicos not giving him the real goods?

Time will tell.

1 Comment

Although I have had only a few indirect contacts with Penny Ballem, typically through information requests to my local (Fraser) health authority, I always found her to be among the most secretive bureaucrats in the province.

In my jaded view, she is no friend of openness or public disclosure.

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