TICKETS TO PARADISE
Ever had one of those days when you think- geez, wouldn't it be nice if someone just came along and gave me a ticket to paradise?
Well, wouldn't you know it- that's exactly what happened last Wednesday after a city hall press conference! There I was, near the back steps of city hall, waiting to speak to Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Along comes this long-haired dude I can only describe as a likely fan of the Grateful Dead who asks me: "Do you want a ticket to paradise?"
"Of course," I said.
"Trust me," he counselled. "You won't regret it."
He handed me the "ticket"-a business card featuring what appeared to be the Pearly Gates and accompanied by some quotes from a well-known tome.
Here's a taste: "[Romans: 8] Redeemable by sharing in the burden therefore share in the glory of upholding God's Creation; in this way we inherit the earth, by returning to the mindset of the ancients [the Grand Awakening in harmony with the lost cord]."
Hmmm, wasn't really what I was after.
Not sure what the mayor thought about the advice, since he also accepted a "ticket" and dropped it in his back pocket. The dude also handed out a few more to fellow scribes and gave one to Robertson's policy guy, Kevin Quinlan, who appreciates a good pop culture reference.
So when said dude offered Quinlan a second ticket, he couldn't believe his good fortune and replied: "No, I don't need two tickets to paradise."
Somewhere, Eddie Money is smiling/dumbfounded/asleep or maybe intrigued by the mystical ticket broker's beliefs. After all, Money had a hit in the late 1980s with "Walk on Water."
(Note to faithful readers wondering about the need for me to publish such questionable insight into a day on the job: Uh, council is on summer break.)
In other questionable use of my time, I tracked the latest Twitter sniping between NPA Coun. George Affleck and Quinlan over the mayor's trip to London.
If you read my story online, you'd know that Affleck says he was surprised Robertson was off to London with chief of staff Mike Magee and city manager Penny Ballem.
The trio was to join members of the Vancouver Economic Commission, which receives the majority of its funding from the city.
The cost for the entire delegations's trip was around $100,000.
To Affleck's outburst on Twitter, Quinlan sent out his own tweet pointing the NPA councillor to a March report in which he voted on the commission's request for up to $2.9 million in funding.
And, yes, there is a section where we learn the commission had plans to go to London. But there was no indication the mayor, Magee and Ballem would be going.
But since the mayor is the chairperson of the commission's board of directors and Ballem is a director, maybe it's not surprising they jetted off to the U.K.
So, yes, Affleck voted on that report.
But the minutes show he voted against it.
His reason had to do with scant details of how the $2.9 million was going to be spent. It had nothing to do with the mayor's trip because it wasn't noted in the report.
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