Saturday, August 30, 2014

Worth Repeating - Spin Doctor Costs $140,000

This article first appeared in Feb. 2012 a few months after this trio was elected to city council.We now have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and can assess the value this costly position has brought to city hall. Many city hall watchers wonder aloud if we actually have a spin doctor as he seems to be nearly invisible. Word on the street has it, that his primary job is to coach our city council so they don't embarrass themselves or the city.

Clearly he must have been on vacation during the LeaderGate Fiasco, when this city council made Nanaimo infamous from coast to coast and even internationally.

Councillors George Anderson, Diane Brennan 
and Bill McKay Clearly Tax & Spenders!

It is a little discomforting to realize that our three newest city Councillors have adjusted quickly to council's true calling....... find as many ways as possible to spend YOUR tax dollars!

The first example of these new Councillors attitude to spending tax dollars creatively came at the recent FPCOW meeting where veteran tax spender Councillor Brennan led the charge to see the city hire a $143,000.00 a year SPIN DOCTOR so we can be told with OUR tax dollars what a wonderful job they are doing.

Can you imagine having to spend nearly $3,000 a week so some city hack can write propaganda designed to make you think they are spending your tax dollar wisely. Hiring a spin doctor to tell us how wisely they are spending money is one of things that is so ironic you just have to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

The new TAX & SPENDERS were joined by the seasoned spenders of Councillor Johnstone and Mayor Ruttan in making what is arguably the most symbolic example of a complete lack of concern over how much we are already being taxed for the privilege of living under this city administration.



  1. Shortly after the Finance/Policy Committee of the Whole meeting of Feb. 20, 2012, I emailed the two newbies on council, McKay and Anderson, (didn’t contact Brennan, as she had been on previous councils), with questions as to why they supported Brennan’s motion regarding hiring a communications officer at an annual operating cost of $140,000. As you know, her motion had NOT been disclosed on the Agenda for the F/PCOW meeting that had been posted online.

    Was familiar with the City’s Five-year Financial Plan 2012-2016 and asked each of them how they could justify their decision to support her motion. Anderson, at least, had the courtesy to respond to me. McKay did not. Soon after that FPCOW meeting, some members of council attended a taxpayer-funded event on the mainland!

    Jim, as you mentioned “LeaderGate” ....... any citizen interested in informing themselves on the role that their elected officials played in this political scandal, should at the very least, start by watching the City’s video of the Monday, May 5, 2014 COW meeting and review the emails that the City has provided on its website. From the City’s disclosure, it appears that the first councillor that Ms. E.T. Turner emailed on Thursday evening, May 1st, was Brennan and then, after learning on Monday, May 5th, that the parties had, in fact, NOT succeeded in having the VICC broadcast event cancelled “behind the scenes”, disclosure shows that an “upset” Coun. Pattje asked staffer, Ian Howat, to assist him in drafting that infamous motion for the May 5th meeting. Lucky Mr. Howat !!!

  2. Is your information about your assertion that Coun. Pattje and staffer Ian Howat drafted the motion, contained in the recently released 150 page report? If so, can you please reference the page etc. Thanks, I have not read through all the 150 pages of that report.

  3. (submitted by Janet Irvine) - Jim Taylor - reference page number 37 of the City’s Chronology of Events. Email from Ian Howat to Ted Swabey dated May 15, 2014, Re: NDN -Leadercast Notes to file.

    Refer to last bullet point of Howat’s email as follows: “Fred Pattje called me during the conference call with Andrea and wanted me to take the call. He was upset and wanted assistance with drafting a motion for tonight's meeting. (emails attached.)”


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