Will John Furlong be convinced to run for Mayor of Vancouver in 2011?
After 7 years of planning and 16 days of Olympic activity, the party is almost over. Before we know it, the flame at the outdoor cauldron will be snuffed out and 60,000 people will be heading home after taking part in the closing ceremonies. Vancouver has been on such a high over the last 3 weeks, it feels like we're setting ourselves up for one big downer after the Games are over. Yes, back to backyard chicken motions and hearing about the benefits of planting vegetable gardens on the front lawn of City Hall.
The one question I've heard time and time again over the last couple of weeks is what will VANOC CEO John Furlong do next. He successfully led VANOC from the outset, and it has arguably hosted one of the most successful Winter Olympic Games ever. Furlong rightfully deserves a lot of credit for this achievement. Most Olympic CEOs never make if past a few years, but Furlong made it all the way to the finish line and was cool as a cucumber while doing it. For that effort, Furlong clearly deserves some serious recognition from Mayor Robertson and his council.
That said, it's hard to imagine what the City could do to properly recognize Furlong's efforts. Should the Mayor declare John Furlong Day? Should he hand him the keys to the city? Or, perhaps the best way Vancouverites could recognize Furlong's achievements would be to elect him as their Mayor in 2011 and keep the party going.
It's pretty obvious that if John Furlong declared tomorrow that he wanted to run for Mayor of Vancouver, he would be elected in a heartbeat. He has high name recognition (some would argue higher than the guy who currently occupies the chair) and would clearly be able to attract better talent to City Hall. Furlong not only has the ability to inspire, he knows how to get the job done! As the CEO of VANOC, he's also had to handle some pretty difficult political situations.
The question is whether Furlong wants to do it. You can anticipate that he'll likely be provided with many offers of employment after the Games are over. I suspect many of them won't include attending public hearings until 11 pm. However, being Mayor of the City would be a great way to cap off Furlong's career and his dedication to making Vancouver the best that it can be.
I'm told a group of individuals has been quietly working behind the scenes over the last few months to see if Furlong is open to the possibility of being called his Worship in 2011. They are apparently polling like mad to see what is possible. They hope to put a compelling package in front of him that will entice him to provide Vancouver with the leadership it so desperately lacks at the moment. If they are successful at convincing Furlong to throw his hat in the ring, they too should be awarded a gold medal.