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?’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.
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 [email@example.com].
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.
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