Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nanaimo's Movers and Shakers

Mayor Ruttan Top of The Heap

According to the Daily News Mayor Ruttan heads their list of the twenty most powerful people in Nanaimo. While the list makes for some interesting reading the accuracy of the list as to who the real Movers and Shakers are in Nanaimo is suspect. If the list is the product of the paper's editorial staff with the help of a few ballots from the public it makes for some interesting opinion and little else.

I suspect the REAL power brokers in Nanaimo shun the bright light of the camera's glare and choose to exercise their influence in the notorious 'back rooms' where of course we all know, the genuine power resides. It truly resides in the shadows where agendas are formed, politicians are funded and the direction of the community is planned and influenced by people, whose names will never make the 'most powerful' list.

One glaring example, puts Mayor Ruttan in first place with City Manager Al Kenning in 7th. Anyone who closely watches how city hall functions will realize the order here is completely reversed. You will seldom find a Mayor or Councilor who will not take the recommendations of the City Manager who, in my opinion is the one who actually crafts civic policy and directs city council in whatever direction he chooses.

Another name on the list which may not be entirely accurate is Mr. Duddy, publisher of the Daily News and others. While his influence at the helm of a large local media concern is considerable (presuming the public still reads papers) I would suspect the REAL power comes from his corporate bosses and local advertisers who may exercise considerable sway as to how his press handles different news items. Of course I could be wrong and in fact the local press may be fully autonomous and exists for the sole purpose of filling it's role as the fourth estate, desiring only to serve the public.

It could be my opinion is wrong and they did in fact fairly and in a balanced fashion report to the public on the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, low barrier housing and several issues flowing from city hall. Readers of this website will know, I sometimes feel that rather than printing presses, the local Daily engages spinning wheels as they craft their stories to influence public opinion at the direction of city hall and others.

Of course, I realize that is merely my opinion, and can remember finding myself mistaken many times over during my lifetime.


1 comment:

  1. The editorial accompanying the story more or less admits that the annual list is designed to generate discussion. That point should have been made in the story, but it's likely that even the most unsophisticated reader would recognize that many on the list excercise very little "power," although they may have a measure of influence. Rick Windley's inclusion this year is long overdue -- his rise to corporate strength is linked directly to his influence at city hall, the annex decision being only the most recent and perhaps most blatant example of favouritism that is positively harmful to taxpayers. We can expect other municipalities to play the same game and the end result will be less competition for major contracts, hence greater cost to the taxpayer.


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