Sometimes, it appears that Vancouver city council punches below its weight at the regional level.
Its underwhelming influence was apparent in Metro Vancouver's handling of its two biggest issues in this term: the solid-waste plan and the regional growth strategy.
Today, Mayor Gregor Robertson tried to rectify this by bringing a reinforement to an important meeting of the Mayors' Council on Region Transporation.
Sitting in the audience dressed in a suit was none other than Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs.
He's the party's point man on transportation issues. And clearly, he had the ear of the mayor during a break, when they were spotted in deep discussion.
While Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan, Delta mayor Lois Jackson, and Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie dominated the debate, Robertson kept his mouth shut, for the most part, while supporting the plan. He appeared to spend a great deal of time scribbling down notes.
The plan, which Vision politicians support, was approved by the mayors. Meggs, as a good apparatchik, kept a low profile. But he was there in case the mayor ran into trouble.
As the election looms, don't be surprised if Meggs is spotted lurking in the background at other high-profile events involving the mayor. As a former B.C. government director of communications, Meggs knows how to spin the media. And with the NPA's Suzanne Anton running a stronger-than-expected campaign, Robertson could probably use the help.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.