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Judy Rogers-Penny Ballem 3

December 14th, 2008 · 2 Comments

The party talk this weekend is all about the Visionista’s move to replace Judy Rogers with former deputy health minister Penny Ballem, a highly unusual move at a local government level.

It’s not unusual to get rid of a city manager. It is unusual to put in someone with zero experience in city issues. Typically, cities see it as wildly adventurous to get their city manager from a city department besides engineering.

People are splitting, of course, somewhat along party lines, but not always. Leftoids see Ballem as stunningly competent and not at all a political appointee. One NDP MLA told me she was never seen as particularly doing anything to help them while she was the deputy minister for health and she worked for five years in the Campbell government before her final flamet-out, which was more directed at deputy premier Jessica McDonald than Campbell.

But one developer type said, if the new government was going to make a change, better they make it quick and at the beginning.

Others, of course, see it as the completely politicization of the bureaucracy, the lefties bringing in a fellow traveller to do their bidding. (I kind of doubt anyone with a reputation like Ballem’s of being a strong, forceful manager is going to be quite that compliant with anyone.)

I’ll have more about the dynamics of firing city managers on my CTV blog tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s the final version of my Globe story today.

Categories: City Hall Talk