Penny Ballem signs off July 8th on Adair hire, referring him to soon departed HR manager
A CityCaucus.com FOI request on the hiring of Mr. Robin Adair, former BC Liberal candidate for South Saanich returned this letter from City Manager Penny Ballem. The terms of Adair's 18-month contract as the newly created General Manager, Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Partnership (aka Victoria lobbyist) are clearly laid out. Adair will be receiving $146,117, plus all the usual vacation and EDO (earned days off) perks of a city employee, in the face of a hiring freeze started last Spring.
CityCaucus.com broke the news about the Adair hire around the time the ink was drying on Ballem's signature (a quill was supposedly used), July 10th. It's interesting to note that soon to be departed HR manager Kevin Ramsay (who only recently filled in for the retired Mike Zora) is also mentioned in the interchange.
The Adair hiring certainly caused a stir, with threats of retribution to staff caught talking with CityCaucus.com propagated by blogger Frances Bula. My colleague Daniel summed up the subsequent loss of Ramsey as a huge vote of non-confidence in Mayor Robertson's hand-picked City Manager Penny Ballem.
Some simmering resentment began to brew among the Vision/COPE coalition supporters who have begun to wonder when one of their own will land these plum management jobs. Indeed, with the City Manager and Robin Adair so clearly linked to Premier Gordon Campbell, it is becoming more apparent that the lines are getting permanently blurred between this government and the one it replaced.
Ballem expresses her "delight" in having an old chum from Victoria on-board. Given the battle she's facing from Mayor Meggs and Coun. Louie on her ideas for layoffs, she might need an old ally in her court.