The Great Swami Halabaloo knows what the future holds for the City Manager's job
The work of CityCaucus.com is made infinitely more easy by following the trail of breadcrumbs carefully dropped by Vision's favoured writers Allen Garr and Frances Bula. When the Beekeeper ever writes critically about anyone related to the Vision administration at City Hall, as he has done Friday, you can be sure it's not because Garr is suffering from a rare bout of lucidity. The Courier columnist is a strategic tool of Vancouver's lefty set, and he and his publisher are quite happy to play along.
So what, pray tell, is afoot now that Garr has labeled City Manager Penny Ballem as an insufferable "nanomanager" (good term, by the way) who is grinding down Vancouver's civil service into a morass of despair, second-guessing and stress leave? Months ago we repeated an expression, "Good governments get rid of bad people, and bad governments get rid of good people" to describe the decay unfolding under Gregor Robertson's watch. We could have hardly guessed then that working at City Hall would become as unsavoury as it has with Penny at the helm.
If we are reading Garr's attack on the City Manager correctly, Vancouver's civil service needs a white knight to rescue them from the ongoing indignities from above. But who could that person be? To answer this important question we enlisted the help of Vancouver's greatest political pundit, the Great Swami Halabaloo. He knows all, and for the right price, he tells all.
CityCaucus.com: Great Swami Halabaloo, please tell us, who can rescue Vancouver's civil service from its current despair?
GSH: Before I continue, what time is it? This can't run a minute past six. I'm on Global tonight talking about Dianne Watts for Premier.
CityCaucus.com: Check that. We've got lots of time. Now to my question...
GSH: You were asking me something about Penny Ballem? Hold on. I'm seeing something. The letter O, the letter E. Wait... Ontario. Ontario and the letter E. Does any of that make sense to you?
CityCaucus.com: Sort of. Do you mean e-Health?
GSH: Bang! That's it. Okay, I'm on a roll. Hang on...I'm, I'm seeing B. Bow? Take a bow? I don't know, my crystal ball seems to be on the fritz. Wait! Fritz Bowers!
CityCaucus.com: The late, great City Manager for Vancouver? Yes, Fritz Bowers is considered by many to have been Vancouver's greatest City Manager. He was an alderman, a city councillor, before being asked to step into the position of running Vancouver's civil service by his council colleagues.
GSH: I see history repeating itself, but not with Bowers, who has long since left us. I see another councillor with his eyes fixed on the City Manager's job.
CityCaucus.com: Great Swami Halabaloo, this is a revelation! Who? Who do you see getting Vancouver's top job? Who will get that $300,000 annual salary, and who will be negotiating Vancouver's labour contracts during the next term of council?
GSH: Silence! I'm trying to work here. Okay, now where was I? Yes, I see someone plotting to run the whole city. I see prominent M's and G's. I see the Mayor!
CityCaucus.com: Mayor Gregor? But you said...
GSH: NO, you ninny! Mayor, as in the real power in council. MEGGS. He will be council's choice for City Manager. He will run your town. He will be the one who negotiates with CUPE. He will broker the deals between Premier Robertson and Mayor Louie.
CityCaucus.com: Great Swami Halabaloo, with the greatest respect, your vision of the future seems pretty far-fetched. Meggs, Louie and Robertson - running the whole province?
GSH: Listen, you don't pay me for good news. But if there's any consolation, you may be blogging for a looong time to come. Okay, I think we're wrapped. Did I tell you that I'm now taking Visa and Mastercard?
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