Pierre Kary steps down early as Saint-lazare mayor
Politics in town a ‘bit like cancer’
It was no April Fools joke. Pierre Kary stepped down as mayor of Saint-lazare on April 1 following a resignation letter written and handed into the town on March 30.
The now former mayor of Saint-lazare resigned from his duties three months earlier than expected, citing professional and health reasons. In December, Kary had said he would step down on June 29 due to an undisclosed health issue.
On Monday, Kary said he accelerated the decision to resign due to a job offer he’s considering, which will most likely take the family back to Europe, where they once lived.
Kary admitted an ongoing issue with his health also played a role in the decision.
“I’ve had health reasons and now my professional career has presented certain opportunities,” Kary said, adding, “I can’t keep burning the candle at both ends. I need to focus on my health, my career and my family.”
And now that he is private citizen, Pierre Kary, the former mayor, is free to speak his mind, saying he thinks Saint-lazare’s elected officials need to put politics aside and focus on the collective good of the residents.
“Someone described (politics in SaintLazare) to me as a cancer. The majority of the cells are perfectly fine, but the minority makes the body really sick.”
He feels some town councillors are “personalizing politics,” which he said is “never the right thing to do.”
Nevertheless, Kary said the decision to step down early had nothing to do with the often acrimonious atmosphere among members of council.
“My lifestyle decisions, my issues have nothing to do with the behaviour of others.”
Kary is leaving with a clean conscience, having accomplished many of the goals he set out to achieve at the beginning of his mandate, he says.
Kary, 42, was elected to his first four-year mayoral term in November 2009.
Elected with him as part of the Shared Vision Party were Councillors Jean-pierre Giguère, Gilbert Arsenault, Jean-claude Gauthier and Nathalie Richard, who was voted pro-mayor at the first council meeting in 2009.
Councillors Brigitte Asselin and Michel Lambert defeated candidates from Kary’s party to round out the municipal team.
While expressing disappointment at Kary’s early departure, District #2 councillor Nathalie Richard said Monday she wishes the former mayor well.
“I guess his job search went better than expected... I’m happy for him,” she said
Richard also feels Kary’s early departure means Saint-lazare can get “settled quicker” with a newmayor.
Heading into last night’s monthly town council meeting, it was widely expected Richard was going to be replaced as pro-mayor by the official opposition.
The working mother of two said she does not plan to run for Kary’s seat. “This is not a job for a mom with two young kids,” she noted.
Meanwhile, district #4 councillor Michel Lambert, whose battles with Kary have been long and public, said Monday he was not surprised by the mayor’s abrupt departure from office.
Lambert would not say if he felt Richard would be replaced as pro-mayor, nor if he had any plans to run for the mayor’s job.
“I don’t knowyet,” he commented.
With Kary gone, Richard and District #5 councillor Gilbert Arsenault are left in the minority to face off against official opposition councillors Michel Lambert, JeanClaude Gauthier, Brigitte Asselin and JeanPierre Giguère, who has at times supported the minority on certain issues.
Richard hopes councillors can put aside their differences to work for the collective good. “You never know in politics, but hopefully we can work for the good of Saint-lazare residents,” she noted.
The rapidly growing town has gone from 17,000 residents in 2006, to more than 20,000 today. Saint-lazare was also named a town with one of the youngest populations, with 31-percent of residents being under the age of 30.
According to provincial law, Saint-lazare residents will head to the polls to elect a new mayor sometime before the end of June.
Kary, a European patent attorney who has a PH.D in chemistry, said the family is strongly considering a move to Europe where his Danish wife lived prior to Kary’s returning to his native Canada. The couple have two young children, and Kary feels the work/family balance is easier to maintain in Europe. In addition, Kary’s wife, a pharmacist and chemist, can work in both of her chosen fields in Europe. She is not certified to work in pharmacy in Canada. Kary’s home in the Boisé champêtre development is currently up for sale.