Gregor could face a new Robertson in Vancouver's 2011 mayoral race

Could there be two Robertsons running for mayor of Vancouver in 2011? In a recent phone interview with the Straight, Non-Partisan Association park commissioner Ian Robertson said he is seriously considering seeking his party’s mayoral nomination in 2011.

“I’ve had a lot of people from Sam’s [Sullivan] camp, Peter’s [Ladner] camp, and from Larry Campbell’s camp call me and say, ”˜You know what? You may want to think a lot about that,’ ” Robertson said. “I guess that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving it a lot of thought.”

If he becomes the nominee and if Mayor Gregor Robertson seeks reelection, the two leading candidates would have the same surname.

Ian Robertson was one of four NPA candidates who survived the party’s 2008 slaughter. The two-term park commissioner said he is also considering running for city council in 2011.

He claimed that the Vision Vancouver–dominated city council is trying to transform the elected park board, which generates significant revenue, into another city department. He attributed the city’s willingness to interfere with the park board to council’s decision to appoint Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, as city manager shortly after the election.

“We’re seeing the consequences of a city manager who has not come through a traditional city administrative background and is really trying to micromanage the process—micromanage departments,” Robertson said. “I really do believe it’s why we’ve seen the departure of some really strong individuals from the city: James Ridge [former deputy city manager], to name one; number two, Dave Rudberg, who was running the Olympic operations.”

Meanwhile, the NPA’s lone city councillor, Suzanne Anton, won’t indicate if she’s interested in running for mayor in 2011. “Right now, I’m focusing on two things: one is doing my job as a councillor and the other is helping the NPA with the reestablishment of itself,” she told the Straight by phone. “We were a little battered after the last election. We are now putting together a pretty good team.”

She added that she gets asked all the time if she will run for mayor. “Your greatest supporters will tell you from the minute you enter politics, ”˜Oh, you should be mayor,’ ” Anton said. “One has to filter these [comments] in the reality of the much bigger world that there are 600,000 people in Vancouver.”

Anton supported Sullivan’s bid for the 2008 NPA mayoral nomination whereas Robertson backed the candidacy of then-councillor Ladner.