Nine Dark Days: More spinning from City Hall

Post by Mike Klassen in


Spinning WheelOh my. After their deep holiday slumber Vancouver City Hall's communications department is now in full spin mode. Remember the nine day communications blackout where staff took an extended vacation while the Lower Mainland was buffeted by storm after storm? Apparently the City of Vancouver did a great job of during the transportation and city services nightmare now dubbed as Snowmageddon. You can read it in black and white in the Vancouver Sun.

In echoes of his fare evasion dissembling Mayor Gregor Robertson keeps on fine-tuning the extent of his involvement in City Hall's affairs during the white out. Now he's talking up the "daily" calls with snow crews, on his "week long" vacation in Mexico, now dubbed as a "family reunion." I dunno, maybe his middle name is Juan.

A Vancouver Sun letter writer nailed Gregorspeak in this sharp little letter:

He's facing the crisis head-on with clichés. He's "focused" on the problems. He's "concerned" that many seniors can't navigate sidewalks and residents are facing "challenges." He's going to "sit down" with city council and "revisit" these "challenges." Most importantly, he's "hopeful" this will bring "real changes" in the vague future.

Some politicians use these words and no one blinks. Whereas, when they fall out of Mr. Robertson it feels like Kevin Costner doing Shakespeare. No one buys it.

Let's go back to the fundemental failure behind Snowmageddon: the fact that the ship was rudderless for Nine Dark Days during the blackout. The Mayor's office communications director Brent Humphrey is MARRIED to the City of Vancouver Director of Communications Laurie Best. You can't get more cozy than that in terms of relations between staff and political aides. If Gregor was calling home everyday (to the chagrin of his family) don't you think he'd be talking to his own political staff?

Note, as we get ready to post this entry, Gregor is conducting a Friday afternoon media briefing on the Olympic Village. You recall that they used the so-called "Broken Wing" trick when they fired Judy Rogers. The press conference was originally scheduled for early next week, but the bad news around Snowmageddon just keeps building so they bumped it to today.

Another trick the Mayor's political supporters will deploy is to get third party proxies to launch broadsides at their critics. Note today's love letter for from Allen Garr. Thank you, Allen, for the plug but you forgot to mention our web address. We'll have our media monitoring clerks on floor 14 of CityCaucus Tower circulate your article to our management staff as part of our media clippings.

The sad outcome of this story is that hard working and honourable City staff are being dragged into this melee, and are being forced to defend the politicians.


So your telling me that Gregor's level of communication is somehow worse than the former mayor during Sam and Judy's Strike?

Speaking of spin we're wondering when we can expect your post on today's Olympic village update. I mean now that the snow has melted and all.

Yeah, we're particularly looking for which of the NPA councillors pushed this thing through -- and which of the present, or maybe former, managers had their hands all over it. Who agreed, folks? Who disagreed? This is the kinda information you insiders ought to be sharing for the betterment of, you know, we the people -- who might want to vote for you again if we can ever forget the mess you got us into, and wanted to keep secret.


I don't believe that the last city strike was mentioned in this blog post. Nor do I think our former mayor was mentioned in this blog post. I am not sure that this blog post was in any way comparing our former mayor to our current mayor. Nor do I think that this blog post was comparing a city strike to a crazy amount of snow in Vancouver.

Now, I could be wrong... but, no matter how many times I read this article I cannot find a mention of the strike or of our former mayor.

I think that this article is mainly about our current mayor and how he is currently presenting himself and the way that the city handled the snow crisis when he is talking to the media.

I am sure that there are many blog posts out there that do compare our current mayor to our former mayor, but I do not believe that this is one of them.

Regardless of how you feel about the last city strike and how the last NPA/Vision/COPE-council handled that situation (personally, I think that each and every one of the council members serving on our last amazing council-made up of NPA, Vision and COPE councillors-did a remarkable job) ... I would hope that you wouldn't let your feelings on that one issue stop you from finding any other crisis-situation in Vancouver news worthy again.

Now is Now. Now isn't last year. Gregor is mayor now. Just Gregor. And he has even hired a new city manager. So all that really matters right now, as far as the running of city hall goes, is what Gregor, his new City Manager, and his councils do (and in regards to this specific article, also what they say).

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