Penny Ballem's controlled avalanche

Post by Mike Klassen in

17 comments

avalanche
Stand clear! City hall wants you to pay attention now rather than in September

The folks down at 12th & Cambie wants the public to get past the whole empty-building-new-mayor's-office-story now rather than in a couple of weeks. We've learned from inside sources that Penny Ballem described the strategy as a "controlled avalanche" to colleagues. Meaning that she's aware that most folks are still in summer mode, on vacation or out of town, thus reducing the political damage.

What we've also learned is that the city manager is not very happy about the move, which will take place in two parts. Yes, you read that correctly. Dr. Ballem and her staff will first move to the second floor of city hall, wait several months until the sixth floor is ready for occupancy.

Why the rush, you ask? That's where the story gets even more interesting. Last Friday Mike Magee walked into Ballem's office to notify staff that they were all to be moved out within a week. Some affected staff are still on vacation and will come back to find their desk on another floor.

The reason why Magee pressed for the immediate withdrawal is because Gregor Robertson leaves for China on September 4th and returns after 10 days. When he comes back Robertson's office will be fully outfitted where the city manager currently has her office. Magee wants no disruption for Hizonner, and he must have his new "private" office at the end of the hall on the third floor fully set up when he returns to Canada. We've been told it's getting a fresh coat of eco-friendly paint, tinted emerald forest green of course.

So, as we've argued since we first reported this story last year, this game of musical desks is not about space or privacy, but about Gregor Robertson's grip on power at city hall and the expansion of political staff.

The question now is what is the quid pro quo for city council? When will they get their own political aides? You can bet that a deal has already been struck to ensure that city councillors get their piece of cake next, otherwise Robertson risks a revolt from his own caucus. They're the ones who will have to answer for this reckless spending, and not Gregor who is carefully hidden under his desk.

Perhaps Ballem and Magee are the smart ones, and we won't remember this in a few weeks...

jeff-cityhall On another note, we'd like to recommend to our readers a charming video report by the Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee who broke the empty city hall story yesterday. Lee gained unprecedented access as media into the empty upper floors, and even rides the "secret" elevator used by the Mayor. Check it out by clicking the image on the right.

- post by Mike

17 Comments

Come on! They only pay her hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. What do you expect serfs?

What Jeff Lee didn't report or didn't know, is that the City has been paying for a whole floor at the Echelon Building on 8th and Cambie/Ash for 3 years without ever occupying it. Seems Michael Flannigan leased it without doing due diligence only to find out it's a sick building - nobody ever moved in. What's that costing? JeffLee's story also didn't mention the half empty ground floor of the VanCity building - owned by the City now. There's more to this than has seen the light of day so far.

What's goin' on down at city hall? Really? First vegetable gardens, then beehives, now Mayor Moonbeam and Mr. Magoo wanna recreate their own King's lair? From Citizen Sam to Emperor Gregor?

What's next? The renaming of Vancity Hall to the Hollyhock Tower?

Too funny.

Mike, unfortunately I think Ballem and Magee will get away with this one. In a few days the media will have moved on and the mayor will get his new gold-plated office. That's why these kinds of announcements are "leaked" in mid-summer. These guys truly give civic politics a bad name. The only thing we can do now is wait about a year and boot them all out of office.

Why won't even one member of Robertson's political party stand up to the mayor and speak their mind on this. Or do they all support this lunacy? Where is Suzanne Anton and COPE while all this is happening? Surely someone has the guts to speak out and put a halt to this. Raymond Louie (city budget chair) where are you when we need you?

PS Global TV did a great top story on this tonight. Kudos to them for exposing this colossal waste of money.

The Thought of The Day

"What you see is what I see. What I see is what you get."

Well, what I see is what I see. And yes, despite the opinion of one Vision Fluffer by the name of ‘Ian’ (on a previous post), I see Commie Wannabes disguised in Capitalist Hides.
But this time ...with a lemon drop twist. Because, these guys fancy Martinis.

100 years ago, Commies took some parts of the world over from the despicable Imperialists because the things were very bad.
Our own Vancouver Pseudo Capitalists today, want to take over because the things are too good.

It’s so, Visionish!

And what’s their most distinguishable feature in their MO (Modus Operandi)?
Look for something that’s working (a city), something good (its lifestyle), of good quality (people), something that turns out a profit (strong local economy), or have future potential (The Olympic Games are here, the Olympic Games are here...), well then, grab it, take it, or buy it (most favoured MO). Throw the people who made all this happen, out, replace them with your own Snake Oil salesmen, change the locks and the looks, re-brand, repackage, resell. And here's the thing, it's the same merchandise, only more expensive.

“Listen to me, my good people. If you do not say that the fields you are mowing belong to the Marquis de Carabas, each and every one of you will be cut into little pieces until you look like chopped meat!” PB

(PB - I know whatcha’ thinking, but no, these are the words of the ‘Puss in Boots’ from the story by Charles Perrault. Puss in Boots, a French literary fairy tale about a cat who uses trickery and deceit to gain power, wealth, and extra benefits like ...lots of money for no good reason, a generous severance package in case of an out of the blue return of the Ogre, the possibility of travel to exotic places, a lot, again for no good reason and many more, plus the hand of a princess in marriage for his penniless and low-born master. As one City Hall Insider would say ‘So passé!’

You think? Then think again.
BTW, the Reds, during their peak in power, had the audacity to plan ahead only 5 years for their centralized economies. These pricks of Solomonic proportions have the arrogance to pretend plan ahead for 500 years!
They must be talking ‘flea’ years.

Why does Robertson needs to go to China? Beats me. Maybe to get the recipe for the renowned Shanghai Coyote Soup or maybe to initiate a Bike Trial over the Lupu Bridge or maybe because China has the most Dinosaur fossils known to date.

Our planet went through billions of years of continuous change and evolution. Everything you can think of: Earthquakes, Floods, Fires, Famine, Meteoritic Rain...she can confirm,’ been there, done that’. She ‘carbon offset’ her own farts and in the end she came out on top. Over and over and over...The Dinosaurs? Not so much.

Ballemonaurus Rex, Robertsomimus, Meggsodon, Solomoclonius, Jasperteryx, Mageepondylus, and many,many more. Good stuff. The Extinction story? My favourite.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.


I get it now... we have turned in to a rich persons version of Sim City.

Brevity is the soul of wit...

Has that venerable piece of 1936 architecture ever been seismically upgraded?

@Gerry.

The seismic upgrade is in the works.

Just reading in today's 24 hours:

Chief of staff's mystery guest...
by Bob Mackin

Seems Magee charged the taxpayers for dinner/drink expenses but refuses to state who he spent the money on.

Open and transparent government working hard to spend your money.

The Thought of The Day

"Odin, Dva, Tri...Les Poupées Russes,
Kick the Visionauruses in the Balls!"

Gerry, my good man, how is this for brevity? And don't be serious, be sincere. The English language is a very soft, musical and beautiful, funny visceral language.

So I'm asking you, why should I put on a callous attitude and call one Vision operative a mere 'Jerk', when I could easily describe him as a 'Jackass of Erectile Proportions Regardless of his Kin'?

Now you be the judge. Hey, I'd love to stay but have to run, so...

We live In Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

What? Mayor Robertson's chief of staff spends over $600 bucks to "host" some unnamed people on the taxpayers dime and he won't give us any details.

Has city hall gone completely mad!! Taxpayers paid for this entertainment, and taxpayers deserve to know who was there and for what purpose.

Bar none, these visionistas are the most arrogant and cocky bunch to ever occupy the mayor's office. They think they are above media questions. I think 24 hours should keep up with their investigation and shed even more light on the mayor's spending habits. Let's hope they do this in time for the next election.

I know there is a trade commission coming to Vancouver on Sept. 13 for a VEF event. (VEF = Vancouver Enterprise Forum) (Peter Ladner had attended past events.)

Details for anyone interested:

We are pleased to inform you the DFAIT "Bootcamp to Access International Markets (AIM)" event is taking place in Vancouver on Monday, September 13, 2010. This is a full day event organized by the Trade Commissioners at DFAIT together with local sponsors including SFU TIME for the Vancouver event. The venue will be at the SFU Harbour Center Building (515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver). For this event, the Trade Commissioners in the San Jose and San Francisco Offices will bring up a delegation of investors, executives and consultants from the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area to interact with local technology companies and the community. The high level Agenda for the day includes:
1) Morning Lecture Style Session with speakers
2) Afternoon Presentation Sessions (three parallel sessions with selected local companies presenting)
3) An Evening Networking Event

Every Vancouver taxpayer should bookmark this Mike Magee story and pull it out before the next civic election. 24hrs newspaper deserves an award for exposing this crap.

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/local/2010/08/23/pf-15117086.html

So much for Gregor promising to have the most open and transparent government in Canada. Hahahahahahahahahaha. What a joke that was.

Chris,

How would Magee, possibly name Bambi, Vanity and Sweety Pie on his expense forms?

Plus, the man being the right hand of a God, not the God, a God. And you know what they say, 'What happens in New York stays in New York".

BTW I was just on the phone with Charlie Sheen and he confirmed for me that 'for that amount you can sometimes get a BJ in New York. And he meant a decent one and you don't have to get the broad completely drunk.

Hope it helped.

In other recent news I've heard that Robertson went to and left his Fart in San Francisco. The Cisco Kid.
GR

"How would Magee, possibly name Bambi, Vanity and Sweety Pie on his expense forms?" LMAO. That's too funny.
Glissy, for Chief of Staff!

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