James Ridge (Vancouver Sun photo)
In what has to be yet another blow to Vancouver's accomplished public service, Mayor Gregor Robertson is blaming increased workload as the reason why his top managers are all quitting before the 2010 Olympics.
In a story by Jeff Lee of the Vancouver Sun titled "Mayor blames agenda, Olympics for bureaucrats' resignations," Robertson cited the "increased tempo" and his government's focus on "productivity" for today's loss of Deputy City Manager James Ridge among many others. This is the first time anyone in the new City government has publicly suggested that Vancouver's civil service was not up to the job.
"We're doing more in these last several months than I think city hall has achieved in several years' time," boasted Robertson without a single shred of evidence to back up this claim. The Mayor also blamed "pressure of 2010" in reference to the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games the City has been preparing for over the last several years. Eyes are rolling all over Vancouver City Hall today in response.
This morning CityCaucus.com broke the story of Ridge's departure from Vancouver City Hall after only 2 years of employment. He is taking up a new position at UBC, and is taking a modest reduction in salary by making the move. Vision Vancouver has insisted that both Penny Ballem and new CFO Patrice Impey also took "pay cuts" for their new roles at 12th & Cambie.
It's believed that more news of significant departures in Vancouver's public service are still to come.