Retired Deputy City Manager Brent MacGregor with Commissioner Korina Houghton at the November 2007 NPA dinner
On Tuesday's CKNW civic affairs panel on the Bill Good Show, a caller raised the question of why so many of Vancouver's top talented managers are bailing out of City Hall. He asserted, we think correctly, that the City is really being hurt by the losses which he attributes to a toxic new administration.
However, panelist Frances Bula would have none of it. "To be fair," she stated, as if to suggest that the caller was out to lunch, "several people left under the previous administration." My CityCaucus.com colleague Daniel Fontaine argued that, on the contrary, senior managers were not "pushed out" or left for any other reasons than it was just time to move on. Bula stood her ground, and so Fontaine pressed her for names.
"Brent MacGregor," said Frances.
We think it's too bad that the former Deputy City Manager can't just enjoy his retirement from the Hall without becoming a political football. If indeed Brent left Vancouver's Number Two position in the civil service because of his intense dislike for Sam Sullivan, then what the heck was he doing at the NPA dinner right after he left?
At the dinner, Brent was smiling and in good spirits, making exchanges with several of the elected caucus including Councillor Peter Ladner and Mayor Sullivan. If Brent bailed from his job at City Hall because he had issues with the NPA administration, he sure had a funny way of demonstrating his displeasure.
Vision's spin on the loss of so many of their top managers just doesn't hold water. For commentators like Bula to suggest that losing so much of the City's leadership is a normal state of affairs, then they better double-check their facts.