Ballem explains Rudberg was "grumpy"

Post by Mike Klassen in


The Big Kiss-OffAttention Vancouver City staff: If you can negotiate separation terms before you leave your employer, see if you can get a clause that says the City Manager won't impugn your reputation before you leave. Former General Manager of Olympic Operations Dave Rudberg probably wishes he had done so.

City Manager Penny Ballem went a little off script on Friday when describing to CKNW why her 2010 Olympics Top Dog was leaving just months before the Games, after a 31-year career at Vancouver City Hall. Yesterday we reported that Ballem and her communications staff run by Laurie Best had developed a contradictory media spin on Rudberg's departure.

Corporate Communications recommended the message should be that Dave had done a great job, he would be missed and that the Olympic operations were already running on cruise control now. However, the City Manager suggested it was Rudberg's age that caused his unexpected early departure, saying he'd had "long hard run and the challenges of the next 12 months were looking less doable."

Ballem topped her email comment in a Friday CKNW News interview. In it the City Manager made the following statement about her outgoing Head of Olympic Operations:

"He's tired, getting grumpy, and felt that really it was the best time to choose to take advantage of his retirement, sit back a little and enjoy the Games when they come around."

Here's the audio clip (email subscribers download here):

There are strong rumours that more of the City's top leadership are on their way out the door in the weeks to come. Initially there was a widely criticized attempt by the City Manager to keep resignations under wraps, as with Fire Chief Ray Holdgate.

Rudberg's departure resulted in a more coordinated effort at communications spin instead of sweeping it under the rug, but unfortunately for the City's communications advisers Ballem decided to ad lib.

We predict that with future departures of senior staff this mistake will probably not be repeated.


"Grumpy", wow...

Clearly Laurie Best must be thinking..."Darn it, the City Manager has "slipped her leash again!". I think the fact that Mr. Rudberg is leaving at this point is a strong indication that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark".

Out of anyone at the City, this fellow has shown more leadership, dedication and perseverance than anyone. He should be given a sainthood for the kinds of roadblocks, negotiations and controversies, he has navigated for the sake of the Olympics. To have spent the last 4 years of 31 year career working solely on the Olympics and then leave before the actual event comes to pass is a serious indication of a loss of confidence and faith in the powers that be @ City Hall. This guy more than anyone wanted to be there. He graciously gave the City Manager a quiet "retirement" and now she is taking pot shots at him? That stinks. The whole thing stinks!

Dr. Ballem seriously needs to be taken to task for speaking out in public no less, of a man that is widely respected and well liked. As JPW states, Dave has shown a tremendous leadership and a strong dedication for the City and for Dr. Ballem to diss him, that is unforgiveable.

Who hired her???? Dear Gregor needs his knuckles rapped!

Check out!

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