Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Christina de Marco too?

with 2 comments

I have just read a tweet that linked to this news story

Forget the piffle from the always predictable Maureen Enser (and thank goodness she is on her way out too). The list of people who have been “let go” is now definitely an honour roll (Enser just worked out her time, that’s different). I took dismissal at age 55 really hard, but I have to admit that this early retirement kick has – so far – been a blast. I reviewed much of that today with a former co-worker from Translink and we both felt that the last few years away from the job have been a lot more fun for us than the years before that. But on the other hand we do seem to be getting rid of the people who not only have high intelligence, really good experience and relevant education but also a great track record.

They went to Chicago to attract Mike Shiffer. He had the sort of knowledge, competence and experience that had been sadly lacking at the top of  Translink’s planning department. He lasted less than three years.  You cannot say that about the GVRD/Metro Vancouver planning department: they may not have had much in the way of effectiveness or real power, but everybody (who had their head screwed on) acknowledged the intellectual power of the arguments advanced by people like Ken Cameron – and Christina de Marco. I am very proud that we worked closely together, as professional planners, when our political masters were busy tripping over their own shoelaces. She (and Tamim Raad at Translink) deserve the credit for winning the largest federal contribution (apart from the politically necessary but spurious award to Quebec for a bunch of hybrid buses) for the Urban Transportation Showcase Program. That was the thing that got us the Central Valley Greenway and the Main Street transit improvements – among other significant advances in integrated planning. These demonstration projects provided the data that showed that “sustainable transportation” was more than just a catchy phrase.

I just hope that gave her a decent package and that one of our planning schools scoops her up real quick. Such knowledge and experience needs to be passed along.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Maybe she wanted to go? Her husband just retired as Program Coordinator at Langara’s urban planning diploma program.

    Jim

    June 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

  2. Jim – I do hope you are right

    Stephen Rees

    June 27, 2012 at 7:46 am


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