The city of Vancouver, Canada, announced March 13 that its general manager of Olympic and Paralympic operations has announced his retirement. According to The Vancouver Sun, Dave Rudberg has been head of the city’s preparations for the 2010 Winter Games since 2004, but the former city engineer will leave his post this spring, just months before the event.
Since the political party Vision Vancouver swept the city council elections last fall, multiple major players in the city have stepped down. Vancouver’s Olympic Village project manager/deputy city manager has resigned, the city manager has been replaced, the city’s CFO has resigned, and the fire chief announced his retirement. A press release issued by the city stated that Rudberg is retiring in order to spend more time with his grandchildren and that “plans for 2010 are proceeding well.”
A civic-issues website in Vancouver–citycaucus.com–published both the city’s press release regarding Rudberg’s retirement and what it claimed was an internal e-mail from Vancouver City Manager Cindy Ballem, in which Ballem said, “It was clear in our discussions that it has been a long hard run and the challenges of the next 12 months were looking less doable and retirement more inviting!” She also stated that Rudberg had agreed to be available to the city if needed to consult on specific issues, and that a city executive team had “agreed that it would be a good idea to have an experienced individual help us set up a process to evalute (sic) our current level of readiness for our hosting duties. It is our hope that we can get this done before Dave leaves…”
The Sun quoted City Councillor Suzanne Anton, a member of the Non-Partisan Association as saying she was “very surprised” to hear about Rudberg’s retirement.
“There was certainly never any hint that he would retire before the Olympics,” she said. “I’m seeing a pattern at City Hall that I don’t like at all.”