Vision Vancouver never really embraced the 2010 Games and a staff report now confirms it
We're all flying like mad here at CityCaucus.com tower this week as the number of brown envelopes and tips we've been receiving over the last several weeks has grown exponentially. Not sure why so many Vancouver City staff are so keen to talk to us lately, but they're keeping our team really busy. We'll have more to report on those tips in the coming weeks.
Despite the craziness, we simply couldn't let a report on Vancouver's so-called "2010 Olympic costs" go without some commentary. A more detailed analysis will be coming this weekend, but prior to that we are highly recommending you read Jeff Lee's blog post on the report. Lee captures what most people must be thinking when they read that Vision Vancouver included the following as 2010 Olympic Games expenses:
- seismic upgrading of the Granville Bridge
- upgrades to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre
- Granville Mall updgrades
- Expo deck repairs
- the list goes on...and on
It's really interesting that some things like the cost to operate the HEAT shelters which kept people off the street (and away from the international media) during the Games were not included? Given Vision threw everything into the report except the kitchen sink, I fully expected to see the cost of dog catchers included. After all, I'm sure a few visitors to Vancouver during the Games brought their pets and this must have cost the City something.
I'm clearly not the only one who thinks this report has to be one of the most partisan documents to come out of the City Manager's Office in a long time. That's likely why Ken Bayne, one of the City's most respected bean counters, didn't attach his name to it. I don't blame him. Here is what Olympic reporter Jeff Lee had to say about the City's report:
I just look at this and wonder why the city put this report out without balancing it against the offsets it will receive or putting it into context. You can't lay the blame for 26 days of events on a half-billion dollar bill. This wouldn't fly by an accountant, I think.
Moreover, I am surprised that the report - written by two senior managers, Peter Judd, the general manager of Olympic operations and Patrice Impey, the general manager of financial services, appears to be so full of holes. That's not the normal pattern of normally careful civic bureaucrats. I'm reminded of a lesson Fritz Bowers, the scrupulous city manager who years ago made the transition from being an elected politician so well that he was known for sending back to staff reports that appeared to have political overtones. You could almost see the scars on his backside left from sitting on the fence.
We'll have a lot more to report on this questionable report in the days to come. Stay tuned for more.