Frances Bula header image 2

The Judy Rogers rumour mill

December 8th, 2008 · 14 Comments

It feels wrong to cover civic politics in Vancouver these days without mentioning that someone somewhere, at least once an hour, claims to have inside information that city manager Judy Rogers is going to be canned by the incoming crew.

Some of the rumours seem to have originated in the city works yard and then mushroom-clouded out around the city from there. Others come from the second and third circles of the Visionista cell.

I hear reports that people have marched into various offices here and there saying “She has to go.” Certainly, the role she played in the civic strike, especially the disastrous final-offer vote and her leaked letter (oh, another leak!) with her opinions on the motivation for the strike, is something that really rankles with a whole set of people.

But, to date, there is absolutely no solid evidence that she is going anywhere. And what I’m getting from the first circle of the Visionista cell is that no one wants to rock the boat too severely at city hall.

With everything else that needs to be accomplished, the last thing the incoming team needs is a bureaucracy in chaos. And, I feel I have to mention here, Judy is being somewhat unfairly accused of an awful lot of things.

Yes, there are legitimate criticisms to be made of someone who has had such a strong role, especially after two weak and fractured administrations. But she’s not responsible for every bad thing that happened at city hall.

I hope this post isn’t going to unleash the predictable round of Judy-bashing — I think your opinions are well known by now, so no need to repeat! New thoughts, however, always welcomed.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • George

    Regardless of the Judy Rogers issue, and my opinions are well known, who actually has responsibility for a City Manager in Vancouver? Who reviews their performance, decides on compensation, disciplines if necessary? It seems that everyone is afraid of her, which is what happens if there is no oversight of someone in power, regardless of who they are.

  • fbula

    George,

    Judy is one of the four employees of city hall who is appointed or unappointed by city council and, presumably, that body is responsible for oversight of the city manager’s performance.

    As I wrote in my Vancouver magazine story, people from both parties noted that there had been no performance review for her that they knew of.

    As well, no one could seem to find her contract in the last few months, when they went looking. That may have been cleared up by now.

  • Maybe this is too obvious, but wouldn’t she have a copy of her contract?

  • tommi

    It’s time for Judy to resign. Gregor and Vision will be seen as a total wimps and sellouts if they do not get rid of Judy Rogers. The fact that Raymond Louie immediately announced Rogers didn’t have to worry about her job the day after the election was the stupidest first announcement that Vision could have made. Already they have sealed their fate, which is now in the tainted hands of Judy Rogers. Vision will pay for this error for the next 3 years.

  • T W

    If there are no performance reviews and no performance criteria, then it almost takes an Act of God to remove a senior executive without incurring enormous severance payments. And this and previous Mayors were supposedly acting in the public interest. Apalling.

  • T W

    That should read appalling.

    Either way, it is still an appalling lack of appropriate governance at City Hall.

  • St. Petersburg

    Anyone note if Judy attended the big Sunset inaugural? That might the tip-off. No shortage of city staff there, I bet. Any idea what this bash cost?

    And what’s with no comments for the Vancouver Kid post? After years of dishing it out, Frances, you think that we’d have a few points to make about this guy.

    I guess the new precedent here is if it involves any irreverence about Vision, you’re not welcome.

  • Curious Guy

    Frances wrote:
    “Judy is one of the four employees of city hall who is appointed or unappointed by city council”

    Wasn’t Estelle Lo as Director of Finance also one of those four? And didn’t Judy Rogers usurp Council’s power to unappoint her by purchasing her resignation, without even informing Council (or do you think all those Councillors were lying to us during the election)?

    I don’t see how any self-respecting Councillor could keep a City Manager who pulled a stunt like that.

  • Max

    estimates for todays event begin at 25k

  • david m.

    my guess is that rogers is out. louie has to know that a new city manager would make governing a lot easier. it gives the vision team the opportunity to appoint a reliable manager, sets the successor up to clear out the rest of the insubordinates and puts the rest of the upper staff on notice. city hall is a snakepit, you need to put yourself in the best position you can if you want to get anything done.

  • Coldwater

    The provincial enacted legislation that severely limits severance packages in the public sector. Won’t be that expensive if they really want to do it.

  • Wagamuffin

    I think she stays. Here’s why.

    Bothe she and the re-elected Vision councillors have the goods on each other.

    I think that’s called a draw.

    Expect to see Richard Peck put out to pasture soon (Suzanne Anton can’t make all the noise by herself), the Millenium stuff get released and people go “tut tut” because of the numbers, but no smoking gun from Estelle Lo—other than that she had a difference of opinion with the ubergruppenfurher. There cannot be two bosses, and we know who won that one.

    Thusly, we will all go back to sleep again.

    If I am right, I expect a 2-4 of Bud Lite, ( the preferred beer of Gregor’s US supporters) to land on my desk from y’all just in time for the holiday season. 😉

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    Rogers has earned her dismissal in spades…for everyone of the reasons printed here and then some, which I will save, for now…

    Primarily though, what I found most offensive is the way she shielded and often times directed Sam lather. Particularly during the strike, it was unbelievable.

    Don’t let the door hit her ass on the way out…

    Good riddance.

  • trent1280

    The next to go will be Sue Harvey, the director of Cultural Services. She has virtually no support in the arts community; indeed, her stature is quite the opposite. She sabotages anything not on her personal radar. And Vision knows it, having heard so from the community of artists for years.