Mayor Sanders: "our greenest city will be built one bucket at a time"
It has not been a good media week for Mayor Gregor Robertson, City Manager Penny Ballem and Vision Vancouver. We broke the story about the $34,000 party for city staff, with GlobalTV we've covered subsequent remarks by Penny "drop in the bucket" Ballem, there was the 12% increase in homelessness, and the embarrassing tiff with the Housing Minister that followed. And of course, Vision laid an egg when it finally approved almost at midnight Thursday the $20,000 homeless shelter for chickens and a chickens bill of rights.
Vision Vancouver's very first policy initiative entirely of their own making is not resonating as they would hope. In fact, you feel the swell of mocking remarks starting to identify this problematic city government. Province columnist Mike Smyth launched into one of his best tirades of his career this morning on CKNW, referring to Robertson as Mayor Moonbeam in a tip of the hat to the old Doonesbury-promoted spoof of Governor Jerry Brown. And this morning's weekly provincial political panel Cutting Edge of the Leg' dissected the chicken subject, with Keith Baldrey being teased by his colleague Vaughn Palmer as the "Colonel Sanders of Fairfield". Better yet, Gregor Robertson's new handle is the Colonel Sanders of Fairview.
Gary Mason wrote perhaps his most hard-hitting op-ed in the last 15 months for the Globe and Mail, giving you the distinct impression that Vision's shine is wearing off for him. You have to wonder if any of these pundits must be hearing from business people and homeowners who are saying, I just paid $2 million for my Dunbar bungelow, and now I have to deal with the aroma of chicken shit?
Then there is this delicious story by veteran TV reporter David Kincaid of CTV. The banter at the end with Pamela Martin, who herself puzzles over the chicken bill of rights, is worth watching it alone.
Veteran CTV reporter David Kincaid explains Vancouver's Chicken Charter
Interestingly, on the chicken file we see that Coun. Andrea Reimer, who hatched this idea in the first place, is nowhere to be seen in the media defending the decision. Many have noted to us that Coun. Kerry Jang and Heather Deal have been hung out by the Mayor's office to sell this jalopy, and neither look particularly happy doing so. Reimer, considered the Mayor's most loyal member of caucus in true Hollyhock fashion, is being brought under the Robertson's wing to shield her reputation from the bad old media.
The other casualty of these policy disasters is possibly looking like City Manager Penny Ballem. We're hearing substantive rumours of concerns within Vision about the woman heading Vancouver's civil service. It probably doesn't help her that when you google her name a CityCaucus.com post comes up first. Ballem must be taking a hard look at going back to the private sector, given the recent bumpy ride she's had.
For Vision Vancouver, the words 'thank god it's Friday' must take on a whole new meaning today.
- post by Mike