Some elected officials are more prone to Blackberry blabbery than others
Vancouver Councillor Heather Deal is clearly a woman that likes technology. During the time I worked at City Hall, I sat across from her in the chamber as she actively typed away on her Blackberry sending countless messages to her caucus colleague (now Chair of the PNE Board) Raymond Louie.
As many people have found out the hard way, social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are great communication tools, but they also clearly have their downsides. Post too much personal information and voila, you can find yourself in a real pickle. The same can apply to elected officials who are prone to producing hundreds of "snappy" blackberry or email messages on every topic under the sun.
Speaking of "snappy" messages, one such piece of correspondence came across my desk relating to the Burrard Street Bridge trial. The email was from Vision Councillor Heather Deal, the woman Mayor Robertson appointed as the point person on the bridge lane closure.
When she's not writing emails to colleagues about having "brain farts" (yes, we actually have an email where she reveals this in writing to her council colleagues), or checking out where the next NDP campaign party is, Deal can be found musing about a creative way to celebrate the lane closure trial.
In an email exchange with Amy Walker, Publisher of MOMENTUM, "the magazine for self-propelled people", Deal reveals she's interested in one of her ideas regarding temporarily shutting the bridge down in its entirety. Walker writes on Friday, May 15th at 2:41 pm:
While it was disappointing to see what appeared to be block-voting and a foregone conclusion in the decision-making process for this lane reallocation, I am an optimist and a pragmatist and I know that there is a lot we can do to encourage this trial to be a success.
One idea for making the trial a success:
Have a celebration on the bridge - and invite EVERYBODY! Close down the whole thing for a few hours or an afternoon and have music, food and fun. It will provide a positive and memorable experience of the bridge and will help to heal the discontent of people who may be grumpy about not getting a two-lane trial - and those who are grumpy about the trial happening at all - but are curious enough to come out to a party...
In response, at 7:10 pm that same evening, Deal writes to Mayor Robertson and his Chief of Staff Mike Magee. Here is the full text of her carefully crafted message:
I like Amy and I like this idea.
Needless to say, the Mayor and Mike likely smiled when they received Deal's email, then quickly pushed the delete button - or was that the "CBC easy button"? Who can blame them...and it's lucky they did. They both clearly had enough political acumen to understand that shutting down the whole bridge for a party as a way to get public support for the trial would likely lead to political suicide.
With our crack research team on the 21st floor sifting through hundreds more pages of Councillor Deal's emails, who knows what we'll find next. Perhaps it was best summed up by one of our marketing staff who caught me in the hallway at CityCaucus Tower and stated "I hope Heather keeps it up, her snappy posts make for great reading on our blog"!