Robin Adair quits - says he's had enough

Post by Mike Klassen in


Robin Adair
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. 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. 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 [] busy." Stay tuned for some more interesting news coming soon.


I can see the Hollyhock recruits polishing up their resumes as we speak.

Robin has been a breath of fresh air at the hall. This is a huge loss for the city.

Wow. You guys really must be on to something to get Frances Bula to take a shot at you while lazing on a beach in Hawaii. She says that she's not familiar enough to comment yet she manages to insinuate that it's all Robin's fault for his departure. Nice work, Frances.

It takes a true Visionista to do a spin job while on holiday, eh?

Just read Bula's blog. This woman is amazing. She is making more excuses for her pals in vision about Adair's departure. Robin was great to work with and he is another casualty of the autocratic leadership that now rules city hall. Bula has it all wrong and before she spouts off about something she doesn't know anything about, she should talk to some of us at city hall first.

Not quite the Robin Adair I interacted with. 'Warm' and 'breath of fresh air' maybe in the ironic use of the terms.

I heard that he just didn't "get" what it means to be in municipal life. Why did he have to shut down protocol? As if the city knows how to deal with all the dignitary visits, knows how to handle all those folks! That was a really bad bad decision to make.

As someone who spoke out against the 2008 Heat shelters fiasco in False Creek North, I found it interesting that the City had Robin Adair phone me personally to "finesse" the 2009-10 Heat shelter's impending opening here last winter.

I was impressed by him and found him very sincere. No wonder he didn't last a year with Visionistas. 'Nuff said.

Check out!

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