Now that the smoke has cleared from Monday's corporate management team meeting, as promised CityCaucus.com's fly on the wall has filed their report and the news is not pretty. As they described the atmosphere at City Hall, "this is the worst I've seen it ... in all the years I've worked here."
Apparently you could cut the air with a knife as new City Manager Penny Ballem walked her 'loyal' troops through their marching orders.
When asked a question about in what direction she wanted to take the city now that long-time public servant Judy Rogers was given the axe, Ballem apparently responded that each of the management team should take a few moments to read the Vision Vancouver campaign platform, because the plan was all laid out there in black and white.
Something you won't read on those rose-coloured happy planet blogs is the fact that with less than 14 months before the City hosts the Olympic Games, its senior management team are in the words of one employee "in chaos". This is not good, folks.
A number of head hunters looking to scoop up valuable management expertise at the City are burning up the phone lines at 12th and Cambie. Expect a few senior managers to begin bailing out as early as next month. CityCaucus.com predicts this is going to get a lot uglier before all the dust settles.
Speaking of ugly, it appears Judy Rogers' severance package will end up costing taxpayers about $700,000 when all is said and done. Mayor Robertson has refused to provide the public with the exact amount, citing the confidentiality of 'in-camera' meetings. Rather ironic given all the fuss during the recent election campaign over 'in-camera' secrecy.
What could the City have afforded with this money if they kept Rogers at the helm a little longer? How about shelter beds, arts funding, social housing...
Oh yeah...one more thing...CityCaucus.com has also learned that the Mayor has decided to keep the details of the severance package under wraps until at least the spring of 2010. By then it's hoped that people will have forgotten about the whole affair.
So much for openness and accountability at Vancouver City Hall.
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More background from Georgia Straight -- Suzanne Anton: Mayor changed city manager's role