Frances Bula header image 2

Lesson 1 for new councillor: No mixing business with council work

December 20th, 2011 · 4 Comments

I’ve had a few calls about a blog post that appeared on the site of Curve Communications, the company that belongs to new councillor George Affleck.

In it, someone who appears to be a staffer trying to root for the boss wrote that Curve Communications, as well as Affleck, had received “a three-year mandate” from the City of Vancouver” and that anyone who had ideas for what the city should be doing should get in touch with Curve.

Hmm, a little dicey there. I emailed George to ask him about this and he’s removed the problematic parts of that blog post now (which were indeed written by a staffer), but he and his company will have to be careful that there’s not a shadow of a suggestion that he’s mixing his job as councillor with his business.

He’s the first councillor the city has had in a while who has such an active business going, one that might present possible conflicts.

Curve has had clients in the past who have links with the city — Ballet BC, an Amacon development, the David Suzuki Foundation, various businesses with licences in the city and so on — which might be tricky.

I talked to George about this a few weeks ago and he said he’s planning to make sure he declares any conflict whenever there’s a vote. He’ll also need to make sure he’s not using access to privileged information to benefit clients.

For those who care, a copy of the original post, written Dec. 6, is below.

Yesterday was an important day at Curve Communications, as President
and CEO George Affleck added another title to the list (those new
business cards are going to need a lot of ink…).  George was sworn in
(along with nine others) as a member of Vancouver City Council.

Readers of this blog will know George ran successfully for council
under the NPA banner.  It involved lots of campaigning, door knocking,
debates, meetings and general getting-to-know-you events, where he
wanted to find out as much as he possibly could about the issues
affecting his city.

Now sure, as many people have mentioned, George’s last name begins
with an “A” – but here’s the thing… George also runs a marketing
company and he knows the power of advertising. During the last weeks
of the campaign, George and Curve implemented the marketing campaign
he had been devising in the months preceding the election.

George put his efforts into grassroots advertising in community
newspapers, the heart of the city.  He also launched a poster campaign
that ensured his name was seen across Vancouver on every pole and
available wall space in key areas.  And look what happened.
Councillor Affleck along with Curve, have a three-year mandate with
the City of Vancouver.

While today marked the reward for months of hard work, it is now that
the REALLY hard work starts!
George says he is honoured to be serving the city – and if you have
any ideas or issues for him, then please don’t hesitate to get in
touch with us.  We at Curve will be representing Councillor Affleck
proudly as he takes on a role he has dreamed of for many years!

Categories: Uncategorized