Robin Adair (r) seen receiving an award from the Victoria Chamber of Commerce in 2007
Another day, another senior staffer takes a walk from Vancouver City Hall. This time it's Robin Adair, the former BC Liberal candidate who signed up for an 18-month contract last August. CityCaucus.com tweeted about his departure last night (all the more reason to make sure you become a Twitter follower). Word is that Adair will remain on staff until June.
We've heard that Adair had had enough of Penny Ballem's condescending management style and being whistled at like a dog by her, as well as being placed into the role of doling out layoffs to staff. Those familiar with Adair know that he's an immensely warm and likable person, not an HR-type who is skilled at firing people.
This week Adair gave his notice, which now leaves a significant hole in the ranks of Vancouver's management. CityCaucus.com broke the story about Adair's hiring last summer (so it's fitting we're giving the scoop on Robin's departure). His job was in part to be an "intergovernmental relations" representative for the City in dealings with the provincial government.
However, Adair's hands were tied by the lack of any vision from the Mayor's office. Instead of coming up with a proposal for senior levels of government to partner with the City of Vancouver on files like the Bombardier Streetcar, Mayor Robertson usually beaks off to the media about the lack of funding. It become impossible for Adair to move any files in Victoria with that kind of ham-fisted political strategy getting in the way.
With Adair gone, who will fill that role? Certainly it cannot be Penny Ballem herself, nor the Mayor. It does present a good opportunity for any BC Liberal with a thick skin for Ballem's nanomanagement style, and a tolerance for lots of travel to and from the Island.
It will be interesting to see how the Vision government close this gap in the City's ranks. Will they open their eyes to the meltdown in management, or does the agenda for social change trump that? Is Mayor Robertson done with trying to partner with the Province, or will big media announcements about bringing in US companies to open offices here help mask their failure to work with senior levels of government?
To paraphrase what one of our favourite commenters likes to say, "We live in Vancouver and this keeps [CityCaucus.com] busy." Stay tuned for some more interesting news coming soon.