Can­di­dates co­ming for­ward for 2013 mu­ni­ci­pal elections

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Though mayo­ral and mu­ni­ci­pal coun­cil can­di­dates can on­ly of­fi­cial­ly re­gis­ter them­selves with the Di­rec­teur gé­né­ral des élec­tions du Qué­bec’s of­fice from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4, ma­ny can­di­dates are not wai­ting that long to let po­ten­tial vo­ters know they’re going to run.

By all in­di­ca­tions, the Nov. 3 elec­tion ta­king place across Que­bec will be bu­sy as in­ter­est in en­te­ring in­to pu­blic ser­vice is on the rise even as pu­blic trust seems to be on the de­cline in an of­ten scan­dal filled do­main. Put­ting their best foots for­ward though, can­di­dates in ma­ny Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes towns have an­noun­ced they are ready to lead in their res­pec­tive mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties.

Hud­son

Hud­son has been wi­thout a mayor since Mi­chael El­liott re­si­gned on June 18 for health rea­sons. He un­derwent open heart sur­ge­ry last year.

Not long af­ter re­si­gning, it came to light that the for­mer mayor, who ser­ved the town for 30 years, twice as mayor and three times as a town coun­cil­lor, was one of 315 re­si­dents owing a to­tal of more than $1.2 mil­lion in un­paid taxes. Me­dia re­ports in­di­cate El­liott’s un­paid bill, da­ting to 2004, was the hi­ghest, to­ta­ling more than $60,000.

Meanw­hile, prior lea­ving, El­liott brought in the Sû­re­té du Qué­bec af­ter a March, 2013 au­dit of Hud­son’s af­fairs un­co­ve­red a le­ga­cy of pos­sible fraud in­vol­ving er­rors in em­ployee sa­la­ry de­duc­tions. The po­ten­tial wrong­doing, which is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, spans ma­ny years.

With all of that boi­ling over in the bu­co­lic town, whoe­ver takes over as mayor will have a com­pli­ca­ted job on their hands. Ready to forge ahead thus far are two men:

Ed Pre­vost: Hud­son Mayo­ral Can­di­date

Cal­ling him­self “Hud­son’s mayo­ral can­di­date with a dif­fe­rence,” Pre­vost, 72, has li­ved in Hud­son for the past nine years. With an Ho­nours B.A., and an M.B.A. in bu­si­ness, as well as other edu­ca­tio­nal cre­dits in the field of ad­ver­ti­sing, Pre­vost has held nu­me­rous CEO po­si­tions in va­ried in­dus­tries in­clu­ding broad­cas­ting, film pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion, brewing, paints and coa­tings, and mer­gers and ac­qui­si­tions. He conti­nues to chair two groups of CEOs and as­sist their pro­fes­sio­nal de­ve­lop­ment.

He was ins­pi­red to run, he says, be­cause he feels Hud­son needs lea­der­ship.

“If Hud­son was pro­gres­sing and hum­ming in the right di­rec­tion with res­pon­sible, ac­coun­table, and a trans­pa­rent ad­mi­nis­tra­tion, I would not be run­ning. The town di­re­ly needs to be fixed now,” Pre­vost said in a writ­ten sta­te­ment, ad­ding he wants to be “an agent for change.” If elec­ted, ho­we­ver, he plans to serve one and not more than two terms.

On ta­ck­ling what will un­doub­ted­ly be a mes­sy job at first, Pre­vost said he’s ready for the chal­lenge: “The ini­tial part of this man­date will be dif­fi­cult. No one re­lishes the role of being the bea­rer of bad news and tough de­ci­sions; but, there will be no choice. Ho­we­ver un­pa­la­table it will be, it will be done with com­pas­sion. Not­withs­tan­ding the ne­ces­sa­ry re­so­lu­tion of the ugly past, I am more concer­ned about the fu­ture,” he no­ted.

One thing he feels must change is what he dub­bed ad­ver­sa­rial, un­heal­thy and un­pro­duc­tive town coun­cil mee­tings.

Pre­vost would like to see such fo­rums be­come places of ho­nes­ty and open de­bate. “There is a fine line bet­ween ne­ga­tive and construc­tive cri­ti­cism. We need more of the lat­ter,” he said.

Pre­vost’s plan-of-ac­tion would in­clude re­crui­ting “like-min­ded coun­cil­lors” willing to help im­ple­ment a vi­sion he’ll de­ve­lop af­ter hos­ting a se­ries of in­for­mal pu­blic mee­tings with re­si­dents.

Cal­ling it “ob­vious and gra­tui­tous” for op­po­nents to talk about kee­ping taxes in check while in­crea­sing re­ve­nue, Pre­vost stresses the need to de­ve­lop de­tai­led plans and plat­forms.

He al­so wants to re­cruit re­si­dents to sit on a vo­lun­ta­ry stee­ring com­mit­tee to act upon re­quest, and will work clo­se­ly with mu­ni­ci­pal em­ployees.

“I am passionate about de­ve­lo­ping team spi­rit, par­ti­cu­lar­ly at the le­vel of town em­ployees. They are, af­ter all, en­trus­ted with the res­pon­si­bi­li­ty of ta­king care of our town on a dai­ly ba­sis.”

Saying he feels Hud­son re­si­dents “de­serve more and much bet­ter,” Pre­vost, who was wi­do­wed in 2005 and la­ter re­mar­ried Sandra John­son in 2009, is the fa­ther of four grown chil­dren and the grand­fa­ther of 12.

Jacques Bour­geois: Hud­son Mayo­ral Can­di­date

Ack­now­led­ging a small-town fact which al­lows eve­ryone to know each other, Jacques Bour­geois says ma­ny Hud­so­nites are ac­quain­ted with him from his 30 years of li­ving in Hud­son. For those who don’t know Bour­geois, the mar­ried fa­ther of four chil­dren all of whom were rai­sed in Hud­son, says he’s ready to lead the town.

Bour­geois, who holds an en­gi­nee­ring de­gree as well as a Ph.D. in bu­si­ness ad­mi­nis­tra­tion, and who wor­ked as a te­nu­red pro­fes­sor at McGill and Car­le­ton uni­ver­si­ties, says he’ll put his per­so­nal and pro­fes­sio­nal ex­pe­rience to use as Hud­son’s new mayor.

His bu­si­ness ex­pe­rience in­cludes hol­ding part­ner­ships with two con­sul­ting groups, as well as the pre­si­dents’ po­si­tion for two or­ga­ni­za­tions in tech­no­lo­gy and te­le­com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­tries.

“My com­mit­ment is to work di­li­gent­ly and pro­fes­sio­nal­ly on your be­half,” Bour­geois said in a writ­ten sta­te­ment, ad­ding, “I will treat eve­ryone with res­pect and ope­rate in a fair, open and trans­pa­rent man­ner.”

His pri­ma­ry goals in­clude: im­pro­ved go­ver­nance, re­du­cing costs, re­sis­ting tax in­creases and pro­vi­ding grea­ter trans­pa­ren­cy by en­ac­ting bian­nual mayo­ral sta­tus re­ports. Bour­geois al­so wants to create an im­pro­ved Web pre­sence, and en­cou­rage ci­ti­zen in­vol­ve­ment on mu­ni­ci­pal com­mit­tees.

He’ll im­prove ac­coun­ta­bi­li­ty by re­vie­wing mu­ni­ci­pal de­part­ment and re­mo­ving du­pli­ca­tion, re­du­cing ex­pen­di­tures, and tra­cking de­part­men­tal mea­sures of per­for­mance. His other goals in­clude ma­na­ging de­ve­lop­ment and wor­king to­ward avai­lable hou­sing for youn­ger fa­mi­lies, while fos­te­ring events for se­niors’ groups. He wants to pro­tect green spaces and en­cou­rage more wa­ter­front ac­cess, as well as trails and bike paths.

Vau­dreuil-Do­rion

Meanw­hile, in Vau­dreuil-Do­rion, re­sident Ga­ry Ma­cha­do an­noun­ced that he will run for ci­ty coun­cil in Dis­trict 3, which covers the du Fief/Ca­va­gnal sec­tion of town.

Ma­cha­do was ins­pi­red to run af­ter he hel­ped launch a so­cial net­wor­king site for lo­cal re­si­dents that fo­cu­sed on ci­ty and lo­cal news, as well as town events and by-laws af­fec­ting Vau­dreuil-Do­rion re­si­dents. He be­came known for spea­rhea­ding ef­forts to have key ques­tions ans­we­red about is­sues af­fec­ting concer­ned ci­ti­zens.

“I’ve seen the ci­ty grow from 22,087 re­si­dents to 34,806 over the span of eight years, and ma­ny of the per­sistent is­sues aren’t being ad­dres­sed pro­per­ly,” Ma­cha­do sta­ted in a press re­lease. Spe­ci­fi­cal­ly, he feels over de­ve­lop­ment in Vau­dreuil-Do­rion and “poor ur­ban plan­ning” have led to an in­crease in traf­fic and a de­crease in road sa­fe­ty.

“I stand by these facts: As a gro­wing ci­ty we have a need for first re­spon­ders and in­crea­sed pu­blic se­cu­ri­ty. Our road net­work must meet the current and up­co­ming de­mand. We must en­sure pro­per ur­ban plan­ning is exer­ci­sed with any pro­ject. With 45-percent of hou­se­holds in the ci­ty who have chil­dren it is cru­cial to build ad­di­tio­nal schools to ac­com­mo­date stu­dents,” he sta­ted.

Ma­cha­do says his goals as a town coun­cil­lor would be brin­ging new ideas to help ad­dress the is­sues in Dist. 3. He would al­so like to es­ta­blish an in­for­ma­tion pro­gram gi­ving re­sident current in­for­ma­tion about all pro­po­sed or ne­ces­sa­ry changes in the dis­trict.

“As your dis­trict ci­ty coun­cil­lor it’s my du­ty not on­ly to lis­ten but al­so hear what you have to say. To­ge­ther, we can make a dif­fe­rence wi­thin our com­mu­ni­ty.”

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