This is the kind of attention Cllr Reimer wasn't looking for as a civic politician
It's been a little over two years since we launched this blog and we've chronicled much of what has transpired at Vancouver City Hall and beyond. Now that we're officially in an election year, rest assured that civic journalists and bloggers will have no shortage of items to write about.
Given how people are a bit retrospective these days, we thought it might be fun to review some of the more interesting tv stories emanating out of city hall. You'll laugh, you'll cry and experience all the emotions in between. Grab some popcorn and enjoy part one of this two part post. It should bring back some interesting memories.
Twitter slip up "stupid": Vision Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer commits one of the most blatant acts of stupidity displayed by the current crop of elected officials at City Hall. She lashes out at Housing Minister Rich Coleman on Twitter and refers to his weight by saying he should be picked up and brought to Jenny Craig. The look on Reimer's face as she's grilled by GlobalTV's Rumina Daya is simply priceless.
Backyard Chickens: One of the first stories that went to air regarding Vision Vancouver's plans to get chickens in everyone's backyards was seen here on GlobalTV. We love the image of "green acres"...nice touch! Not to be outdone, David Kincaid over at CTV news did this funny piece where Pamela Martin opens it up by saying this story hatched up some controversy.
Inaugural Party Expenses: Who could forget Vision Vancouver's decision to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a lavish party congratulating themselves for their election victory. When details began to emerge on just how much the Mayor had spent, it made it on the 6 o'clock news.
Olympic pre-party: Maybe they were a bit gun shy after getting slammed for spending so much on their inaugural party, however, Vision were a no-show for the one-year countdown to their own Olympic Games. CTV's Peter Grainger tries to find out why Vancouver was so subdued.
Snowmageddon 2008: It was one of his first experiences dealing with angry voters. Mayor Gregor Robertson is seen here in a GlobalTV report trying to explain the City's lack of response when it came to clearing streets and sidewalks after several snowstorms.
Olympic Village Untendered Contracts: Controversy began swirling shortly after Mayor Gregor took office when it was discovered $60,000 worth of no-bid contracts were provided to a local PR company. City policy at the time restricted these types of financial transactions, but they happened anyhow. GlobalTV reports here.
City Hall Makeover Phase I: If you visited City Hall just before the Olympics, it was hard to miss how the old building was getting a costly makeover. Ted Field from GlobalTV reports on how much this was costing taxpayers and why Mayor Gregor didn't like his brand spankin new stinky chairs. You gotta see the part where Ted gets on his knees to smell the chairs!
Tunnel to nowhere: Watch Vision Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson in his role as Chair of the Metro Vancouver Water Committee defend massive cost overruns for a local infrastructure project. GlobalTV's Ted Chernecki does an excellent job of keeping public officials accountable for this mess which received little media attention despite the size of the project.
Veggie Garden: Ted Chernecki continues his coverage of Vancouver City Hall with a feature story on the controversy brewing over Mayor Gregor's plans to build a veggie garden on the north lawn. With little consultation to speak of, Gregor's Garden got built faster than you can say asparagus.
Gold Plated Contract: Shannon Paterson of CTV News reports on the "gold plated contract" awarded by Vancouver City Council to their new CFO. CTV questions the timing of this given all the budget cutbacks and threats of tax hikes.
Green City Meetings Held in Secret: So just what exactly were the folks on Mayor Gregor's Greenest City Action Team talking about during all those closed-door meetings? GlobalTV sheds some light on why it took a Freedom of Information request to get more details on the Mayor's green plans for Vancouver.
Viva Las Vegas: Despite Vision Vancouver's claims that they were trying to cut back expenses at City Hall, GlobalTV reports that 5 staff took a trip to Vegas on the taxpayers dime. No Vision Vancouver politician dared touch this one with a ten foot pole and sent out a staffer to speak with Ted Field instead.
Ontario E-Health controversy: Who would have thought that Vancouver's hand-picked City Manager would get caught up in a controversy regarding e-health in Ontario. However that's exactly what happened when it was discovered she was one of many people who received thousands of dollars worth of untendered contracts. CBC National first broke the story and if you look closely you can see Penny Ballem's name appear on the spreadsheet panned by the camera.
There's more interesting tv coverage of City Hall coming in part II of our post tomorrow.