That’s The Whole Problem Mark, Dave

By September 5, 2014Issues

Lest Mark Rushton or Dave Loewen get the impression we are ganging up on them, it truly is the silly things they say we attack … not them personally. If we seem to single them out for ridicule it is probably due to the fact that they keep opening their mouths and saying things.

Last week we made fun of Mark [Abbotsford Needs A Political Enema] for scoffing at Abbotsford’s new political party – AbbotsfordFirst – not for their policies, platform, promises or what they have to say, but because, well, as far as he’s is concerned they are a slate which wants to change things. And that, apparently doesn’t sit well with Mark.

After his years working for the BC Liberals, Mark knows all about how dysfunctional and out of touch political parties can be so, by his strange logic, this must be a bad thing too. It wouldn’t occur to Mark that others might be able to a good job at running a political party. All he’s ever experienced is years working for the BC Liberals. The whole point of his column seemed to be, ‘Why don’t we all just calm down and vote for the Mayor Banman and Dave Holmberg?’

Dave Loewen

Dave Loewen

Well; Mark is at it again and Dave is right their alongside, cheering him on..

This week (with cheer leading support from fellow connected, old, white, man Dave Loewen) Mark wrote about how his experience complaining to the mayor got things done and took this as evidence that there has been a significant change at the City of Abbotsford.

Mark concluded that, because the mayor got the City Manager and senior staff involved in trying to solve his problem, this must mean that the culture has changed at City Hall from the old culture, which people have complained about for years, to a new, friendly, helpful culture.

It apparently never occurred to Mark that the reason he got such such prompt attention was because, as a columnist for the Abbotsford News, former editor of the Abbotsford News, former aide to Liberal cabinet minister Mike de Jong, and personal friend and supporter of Mayor Banman and his sidekick – Dave Holmberg – he kind of has the inside track in Abbotsford.

It summarizes and encapsulates everything which is wrong with Abbotsford. People like Mark and his cheer leading friend Dave just call up the mayor and shit gets done.

Most of us don’t have the prerogative of phoning our buddy the mayor. Most of us have to phone the information number on the City website, send in a general email or drive in to City Hall and ask city staff for help.

The entitlement which people like Rushton and Loewen take for granted (as well as all of the developers, Chamber and ADBA executives and anyone else with money and power) is precisely what is wrong with this community. Instead of getting favours done for friends our politicians ought to be spending their time solving the city’s problems. We’ve certainly got enough of them to work on.

Maybe if our politicians would do something for those outside of the circle of 200 or so people who call the mayor their friend, this city wouldn’t be so terribly run.

Maybe we should just take an example from Mark. Next time you have an issue or a complaint about the City just give Mark a call at home (he’s listed) and tell him about your problems. He can then give his buddy Bruce a call and get shit done for you.

Thanks Mark.

The other issue Mark and Dave forget to address in their mindless conclusion about the City is that, if the mayor, the city manager, senior staff and employees all down the chain have to drop everything in order to solve Mark’s problem because the mayor got on the phone and demanded something be done, how the hell are city staff supposed to their jobs?

The City of Abbotsford is not Bruce Banman’s private company. If it were it would be out of business. Mark Rushton and all the members of the 200 club can bloody well wait their turn and see how they like dealing with the beast the rest of us have grown to know as the City of Abbotsford bureaucracy.

Here’s an excerpt from Mark’s epistle from the mount about how he got shit done by calling the mayor. If this is not typical of your experience dealing with City Hall tell us about your experience and how different it was from Mark’s. Better yet … tell Mark about it [].

A refreshing change of city hall attitude

[excerpt] For example, I recently had an issue in my neighbourhood. Not only did the mayor respond, he passed the issue on to the city administrator who had senior staff contact me. Within a short period of time, action was begun.
As it turned out the entire issue was not, at least in my opinion, entirely resolved. I texted the senior staff member who replied immediately despite being on vacation.

Then this past long weekend, I again texted him, not expecting a reply until he returned to the office on Tuesday. Instead he got back to me immediately, asked for a more descriptive email to which he again replied, and yesterday morning at 9 a.m. both he and a staffer were on site to review the issue.

This dedication to the job, and the common-sense effort to resolve my concerns, is quite remarkable in comparison to a few years ago when the prevailing attitude seemed to be more no than yes.

Mark & Dave

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Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Observation says:

    Good Lord. Just when I thought Dave Loewen couldn’t get any dumber he surprised me. Really Dave? And, he’s an educator. #facepalm

  • Gerda Peachey says:

    Mike: It would be a lot easier to read your articles, if you’d stop using potty language. That should only be the domain of illiterates, who grasp for words to communicate, which is hardly you.
    Now as to the above article, you’re right about much of what you say there.
    Twice during this term with Bruce on the throne, a city employee has lamented (to me) about the big man, macho act of a mayor who wants to be re-elected, more than he wants to allow the employees who know their jobs, to perform them. So (as the employees told me) a citizen phones the mayor, with a complaint, and he assures them, he will get the job done. So he orders staff to deal with the complaint at once. So the work crews must stop what they’re doing, or revise their plans.
    Orders from the mayors office may not always make good sense. But they do make the general populace think a real man is in charge,at the top. City staff do not necessarily appreciate that Banman’s ego-boosting jobs should take priority over their list of work-sites, but the mayor’s jobs go to the front of the line.
    And yes, I would guess that Mark Ruston, who works for the Liberals, and who writes for the Abbotsford News, yes, Mark would likely receive good service, at the head of that job list.

    • Claudia Evens says:

      Gerda, I don’t always agree with you but just being able to say that is what democracy is all about and we can agree to disagree without being arrested and flogged 90 times. Your perspective on Banman and Mark Rushton is right on. It saddens me to see how Mark Rushton can write a column for a local newspaper and call himself a journalist without flinching when he is so politically connected to the provincial Liberals. I thought that journalists are to be politically impartial in order to be a good journalist. Unfortunately, most readers do not see through Mark’s rambling (his preferential treatment by city hall) and that is why it is so important to read the Abbotsford Today because it’s not the bull**** that is usually fed to the public by other news sources who are indifferent to reporting the actual truth. “A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies” which seems to be the practice of some journalists.

    • Gerda Peachey says:

      All right then, call it barnyard language. Growing up on a farm in Ontario, I cleaned plenty of stalls, but my uneducated mom would not tolerate the men in our home using ‘shit’ as descriptive of anything other than the stuff in the barns. I still say you, a capable journalist, would do a fine job without relying on ‘hell’ and barnyard talk. Since you are really the only other serious media in Abbotsford, it matters a lot that people don’t turn away from the substance of what you want to communicate because of such irritants.

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