Gregor Robertson praying that the Tsisserev story goes away

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

12 comments

old-timers-hockey
The loss of their star player has exposed Vision's lack of bench strength

This morning on CKNW's Bill Good Show, the civic affairs panel was convened to discuss the topics of the day. You'd think there would be a bit of interest in exploring the curious affair surrounding Vancouver's former Chief Electrician, the scandal dubbed "Gregorgate". Not so much, however.

Fellow panelist Frances Bula was lukewarm regarding the story and stated she felt the Mayor had been consistent with his messaging – even if she didn't completely buy his version of the events. As for Jim Green (former Vision mayoral candidate), he made it quite clear he wanted to change the dial and talk about other issues.

There have been a bewildering list of changes to the narrative by Gregor Robertson and Penny Ballem since Tsisserev was frog marched from the building. First, we were told he retired. Then we're told he was let go due to "restructuring" to reduce costs. Now we find out he was dismissed and he's settled out of court. Which version of this story is the public to believe? I think most residents simply want the good honest truth.

Here are a few questions that need answers:

  1. Was the safety of individuals who visited any of the free Olympic pavilions put at risk due to Tsisserev's departure?
  2. How much did taxpayers shell out to the City's former Chief Electrician as part of an apparent out-of-court settlement?
  3. Was a gag clause slapped on Tsisserev which now prevents him from talking to the media?
  4. Was the Mayor briefed on Tsisserev's departure prior to the in-camera meeting where the axe came down?

Vision ran on a platform of making Vancouver Council more open and accountable. However, one of their first actions was to fire the City Manager then put a gag clause on her. Now we're told the Chief Electrician was shown the door and he too may have a gag clause. Is this really what Mayor Robertson and his Vision team refer to as an open and transparent government?

There are clearly many people who think the Mayor's handling of the Tsisserev issue is no cause for concern. Some are saying that this is just inside baseball, or "who cares if the Mayor lied about whether he knew anything regarding the Tsisserev dismissal"? For those of you who are aligned with this position, I need to ask whether you would have been as generous with either Larry Campbell or Sam Sullivan in the big chair?

Robertson needs to regroup and question the terrible communications advice he's been getting over the last few days. His strategy of "let's just hope this one goes away" is simply not working. And any attempt by the Mayor's office to portray Tsisserev in a negative light to the media will not only backfire, it could well open up the City to another potential lawsuit.

With the "real" Mayor, Geoff Meggs, still recovering from his cycling injury, Vision is beginning to show their lack of bench strength. Having Meggs out of commission is akin to the Canucks losing the Sedin twins, Ryan Kesler and Luongo's goaltending all at the same time – there's not much left as a result. You can expect they won't be scoring too many goals any time soon and this will likely give their opponents a renewed sense of optimism.

The next test of the Mayor's commitment to openness and transparency will come next week at council. We're advised that NPA Councillor Suzanne Anton will be putting in a motion asking council to shed some light on who knew what and when regarding the Tsisserev dismissal. The mayor would be wise to support Anton's motion and demonstrate he has nothing to hide. Otherwise, you can expect this hockey game will be going into double overtime.

12 Comments

Was the blogger media used to leverage a lucrative retirement settlement?

Now, there you go again, Toowoozy.

That would be how Jim Green would surely play it.

If there was nothing to hide there would be no reason for the city to offer this so called 'lucrative retirement settlement' would there? The blogger media may have been leveraged, but there obviously was a reason for the vision to offer yet another 'hush up payout'!

There can be no justification for these gag clauses when taxpayer's money is being spent. It's obvious that they are imposed by politicians who have something to hide and use the public purse for their private convenience.

Nonetheless it's unfortunate that even when in a strong position former public servants allow themselves to apparently be bought off. It diminishes them, in my view, and reinforces the common perception that "they're all as bad as each other."

Rumours flying around the backrooms of vision tonight that Aaron Jasper may run for Mayor in 2011. He plans to ask the vision board if there will be an open nomination including the mayor's seat.

Apparently he's nun too happy with how the Mayor and his apparatchiks have been steamrolling over the park board and mishandling some of the big issues.

Could this be a Peter Lander vs Sam Sullivan all over again. Lord knows that anyone is better than Robertson right about now. Jasper would be a fresh face and he's got what it takes to lead the caucus. Let's hope there is some truth to the rumours. Let's go to Jasper in '11. Has a good ring to it.

Hmmm. Aaron Jasper, running for mayor...

I believe that the poet Robert Browning said it best:

"Oh that a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what are hallucinogens for?".

Do think that Greggy needs to go, though.

Toss our some more names, peanut gallery.

“Rumours flying around the back-rooms of vision tonight that Aaron Jasper may run for Mayor in 2011. Jasper would be a fresh face and he's got what it takes to lead the caucus.”

VisionPeep,
That was funny. Really funny.

But are we talking about the same Aaron Jasper that jumped ship from COPE to get in bed with the Vancouver Vision bedbugs? Is he the same guy who voted against saving the Bloedel Conservatory and the Children’s Petting Zoo in Stanley Park? Is he the same one parking for free across from his Realtor’s office, the same one that facilitated his wife to jump on the Board of Variance? Are we talking about the same guy who showed up uninvited at the Bloedel Fundraiser in order to save face only to cheapen out when asked to purchase a ticket?

Because if this is the same one, I’ll say, no thank you!
And since we are playing rumours, I’ll provide you mine. Enjoy!

The Rumour of The Day

“Rumours. It is rumoured that during the next Vancouver Vision nomination party, the nominees for the Mayoral spot are going to be all locked in one room; Sited around one table; With only one glass and one barrel of Whiskey big enough to send ten strapping lads into an alcoholic coma. They will then take turns drinking from the same glass, passing the glass around the table over and over and over until only one of them is left standing. This guy will automatically become their first choice for Mayor. Based on his vast experience, Larry Campbell is believed to have been offered and has since accepted to be the Referee and Tasting Master. Now, that is a rumour.”

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Geezus...

Are you feeling well? Russ Chamberlain was well underway when I came along. No one was covering this then, no one.

I never spoke to Russ or Mr. Tsisserev.

And how the hell would they angle that? Up until yesterday late afternoon that only thing heard out of Ballem was that it was restructuring and the Mayor was deep in denial until almost dinner time yesterday...

Gosh, the leverage...

You are toowozy alright...

Glissy:

If Jasper runs for Mayor in 2011, it will be the single greatest lightweight campaign in the history of Vancouver.

That alone shows you he doesn't care about the people of the city and only himself.

Plus, I've caught him lying thrice to me. He is not of the character that we want to save us.

However, if there is one thing that has come out of all of this, is that Gregor Robertson is unfit and ill-equipped to be Mayor. It started to show a little at the end of the last campaign, but now it's so obvious.

Daniel an Mike:

Happy to oblige in answering your excellent questions.

1) Was the safety of individuals who visited any of the free Olympic pavilions put at risk due to Tsisserev's departure?
Answer: Absolutely. It's spelled out in several letters to the mayor by life safety experts and electrical engineers and contractors.

2) How much did taxpayers shell out to the City's former Chief Electrician as part of an apparent out-of-court settlement?
Answer: Probably in the region of $300,000 considering his pay and that he was waiting until July of 2011.

3) Was a gag clause slapped on Tsisserev which now prevents him from talking to the media?
Answer: Yes, and this is extremely unusual. A mutual release, yes, a confidentiality agreement about process, yes, but an additional gag order about media--totally out of sync with closing contracts. It's absurd for the Mayor to claim otherwise.

4) Was the Mayor briefed on Tsisserev's departure prior to the in-camera meeting where the axe came down?
Answer: Absolutely. Penny Ballem sent up a memo to the Mayor's office. And in a subsequent interview with Kevin Quinlan, the Mayor's 'inside' propaganda jockey, he lied to me telling me, well after the in-camera mtng, that their office knew nothing of the firing but he'd ask Penny Ballem about it and get back to me. I'm still waiting...

These guys are in deep trouble.

Glissando :-)
Now that is a great rumor!!!

Please, please keep on this. I worked with Ark and was there the day he was dumped. Our managers gave us the same song and dance, that he wasn't fired, but laid off, then they said he retired, then they said that they knew the night before but were sworn to secrecy so he would be blindsided the next morning.
Ark was an honorable man, the City was lucky and not worthy to have him. He gave his blood, sweat and tears to his work and was stabbed in the back. I can't believe these idiots continue to get away with this. They are ruining our city.

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