Gregor's first 90 days: what a ride it's been

Post by Daniel Fontaine in ,



Forty-six reasons to remember the first ninety days of this Vision Vancouver Council

On December 8th, Mayor Robertson was sworn in as the Mayor of Vancouver. Having handily defeated the ruling NPA party, he took over the reigns of power from former Mayor Sam Sullivan.

He ran a very conservative campaign reflective of his front runner status. With the exception of his major goof up over the non-payment of a transit ticket, his campaign was flawlessly executed. In the final days leading up to the election, there were even grandiose comparisons to Obama, America’s young charismatic new President.

Unlike the previous Vancouver Mayor who had been all but vilified by the local media, Robertson also quickly became a media darling. After the party rejected Raymond Louie, Vision quickly turned its attention to selling him to voters as a successful business man with a conscience.

While he clearly lacked any real depth of knowledge about city operations, he was more than able to make up for with his GQ looks and boyish grin.

Similar to Obama, he offered hope that he would bring about a new style of politics to 12th and Cambie. He promised an end to partisanship while pledging to work with every member of Council for the betterment of the city.

Now that he’s been in power for 90 days, we thought it might be fun to go over some of the highlights and lowlights (I guess it depends upon your perspective) of the first three months of his administration. Here's our list of forty-six:

  1. First act of government was to throw an $85,000 party for themselves, three times the cost of previous administrations
  2. Mayor Robertson hand picks new City Manager Penny Ballem and fires Judy Rogers for a rumoured severance of nearly $700,000
  3. In-camera meetings of Council increase in frequency and principles of openness and transparency are tossed aside
  4. The Mayor's "Twittering" begins to define Robertson as an out of touch leader
  5. Mayor's office takes spin control to new heights with Judy Rogers storytelling
  6. Vancouver's corporate communications takes a turn with political releases sent out by non-partisan staff
  7. Questions are raised about the Ballem hiring, and inconsistencies of Mayor Robertson's story
  8. While attacking Project Civil City in opposition, the Vision government adopts it as its own
  9. Political connections are revealed between the new City Manager, Mayor's office staff and the City's non-partisan Director of Corporate Communications Laurie Best
  10. After dining out on Cambie Street construction as an opposition MLA, Robertson seemingly ignores the plight of the local merchants
  11. Arcane Council rules are used to suppress NPA Councilor Anton
  12. Snowmageddon begins, Mayor skips off to Mexico while the City digs itself out
  13. Comparisons to Seattle on handling snowstorms embarrasses Vision government to snap into action
  14. City balks at responsibility for weather-related car damage
  15. Lights go out at City Hall for "Nine Dark Days" of silence during Snowmageddon
  16. Vision with the help of high-priced PR talent begin the Athlete's Village spin campaign, blaming the previous government
  17. reveals that the City's risk on the Olympic Village project was in the public realm for almost a year, not "hidden" as implied by Vision
  18. Public learns that Vision Vancouver's Raymond Louie moved for controversial "completion guarantee" of SEFC project
  19. Mayor Robertson attends Big City Mayor's Caucus minus a wish list for the Feds, scraps requests for help to build 12 social housing projects
  20. Transparency gets pummeled again as City Manager meets privately with developer groups
  21. Olympic Village project leader and Deputy City Manager Jody Andrews quits, over rumours of meddling from new government
  22. Vision insiders begin to panic over heavy-handed politicking on SEFC
  23. Big Labour's political influence on Vision Council manifests in killing of GVLRB
  24. FOI's reveal huge spending on December inaugural event
  25. Vision kills Downtown Ambassador program support
  26. Heavy secrecy surrounds unusual public relations contract with Hoggan & Associates
  27. Councillor Louie hides donors despite pronouncements on continuous disclosure
  28. COPE backs onerous sign bylaw, Harry Rankin said to have rolled in his grave
  29. Mayor's public comments threaten a police investigation
  30. Councillor Louie pushes for expensive heritage restoration of Firehall No. 15
  31. Staff tables a recommended 8.29% property tax increase, with rumours that it may go higher
  32. Taxpayers wonder why Councillors receive nominal funding to attend labour sponsored retreat
  33. COPE proposes new business tax for City
  34. Vision skips plans to celebrate the one-year countdown to the Olympics
  35. Records show secret in-camera meetings jump 175%
  36. "Private" Olympic party held at Vancouver Club; only Vision reps invited; City skips Spirit of 2010 gathering
  37. Hoggan PR contract bypasses Council procurement policy; political influence on hiring cited
  38. 311 trial service secretly launched
  39. Pattern of unusual budgeting emerges for Mayor's pet projects
  40. City Manager reveals Fire Chief stepping down via email, skips letting the public know
  41. Newly renovated City Manager offices tossed for Ballem's proposed move to sixth floor
  42. Mayor Robertson axes office chairs citing "toxicity"
  43. Concerns about increasing culture of secrecy at City Hall voiced; heavy-handed Council tactics criticized
  44. One word: Chickens
  45. The Mayor Twitters about Geese and Gangs
  46. King Gregor decrees that City Hall will host a community garden

So as you can see, the first 90 days of this administration are not necessarily living up to all the hype and commitments made prior to the election. It’s still early days, but there are clearly a few disturbing trends beginning to emerge from this new administration, such as photo ops and empty gestures over matters of substance. Only time will tell if they’re simply an anomaly, or a sign of more things to come.


Did Sammo do that much in his first 3 years???
The above means nothing unless we compare it to The Sam or Larry show..

Gregor team also saved interest from Sam and Judy's Village financing.... I'm not a mathematician but I think he saved the City 1 million a day for his first quarter....not bad...a million a day saved...Thx Vision, Greg and Penny

Did Rita Sketer write this?

No, but we hear J. K. Rowling is one of our biggest fans.

As a first time reader I had high expectations for this list but it looks like dirty laundry from people who aren't particularly keen on Robertson.

Just because someone has a vacation scheduled during the holidays does not make for a political scandal. Canadians have a right to take a vacation with any full time job. That is part of our law.

Sure, he could have put someone on the task. I'm not justifying the snow or the way the mayor/council responded.

What I am trying to say is this:

You, dear author, do not justify your statements - the link to this reported "running away to Mexico" story does not even backing up the claim it is supposed to represent. Tisk Tisk.

Thanks, Brian. We said repeatedly that there are phones poolside in Mexico. He could have dialed in a few requests to his underlings. Follow our Snowmageddon tag in the Archives page for more background.

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