Monday, June 20, 2011

Riot: City Manager admitted today that she Never Read Recommendations to Avoid Violence -- and Downtown Eastsiders know it's not her first time

Penny Ballem admitted to the media this morning that she had never read the Report on the 1994 Riot containing recommendations on what to do differently to avoid future violence.  This is the City manager who is notorious for micromanaging at City Hall, and once defended this management style to the media. "That's why they pay me the big bucks."

This is not the first time Ballem has ignored a report containing recommendations on how to avoid future harm to citizens.

At a meeting in January 2010 at City Hall about the epidemic of security guard violence and barrings of people from Carnegie Community Centre and library for speaking up, Ballem promised -- PROMISED repeatedly -- that she would read a report written a decade earlier containing recommendations for changes to the barring policy.  That report had been written after consultations with Carnegie members.

Ballem broke her promise.

There has been no sign that Ballem ever read the report. There has been no sign that any recommendations were implemented.  There has been no sign of follow up after the meeting by Ballem or her subordinate Brenda Procton. A woman who attended the meeting with Ballem told me she never received a phone call or an email or a letter, nothing.  Ballem stuck her head in the sand and allowed the violence by Carnegie security guards to escalate until a victim of subsequent violence called police.

A host on CKNW radio expressed outrage today that Ballem had not read the recommendations in the riot report.  Downtown Eastsiders have seen it all before.