Ro­bert Gri­mau­do rea­dy to ta­ckle four full years in Saint La­zare

Ad­mit­ted ‘green mayor’ set­ting prio­ri­ties ear­ly

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Now I can do what I’ve al­ways wan­ted to do which is to in­volve the re­si­dents and ci­ti­zens in the de­ci­sion ma­king of this town,” Gri­mau­do said Mon­day mor­ning from his of­fice at SaintLa­zare’s town hall.

One thing he’s al­rea­dy be­gun is a plan to se­pa­rate the ur­ba­nism from en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

“They shouldn’t be the same de­part­ment,” Gri­mau­do said. “En­vi­ron­ment has to be part of eve­ry­thing.”

Ad­mit­ting he had not yet spo­ken to Mi­chel Lam­bert, who had ser­ved as a town coun­cil­lor du­ring Gri­mau­do’s man­date and who ran against him du­ring the elec­tion, the new mayor said he was sure he would.

In a cam­pai­gn fraught with ru­mors and ac­cu­sa­tions of wrong­doing ai­med at Gri­mau­do (which were pro­ven false) Gri­mau­do said he’s proud he ne­ver “sank to that le­vel.”

He’s al­so plea­sed to have run a pa­per­less cam­pai­gn.

“I’m ve­ry hap­py to see that a grass­roots cam­pai­gn can func­tion com­ple­te­ly wi­thout pos­ters and no big dol­lars spent on ad­ver­ti­sing,” he no­ted.

Gri­mau­do cre­dits the victory to a team of 25 “ti­re­less foot sol­diers who wor­ked end­less­ly with me.”

He’s al­so plea­sed with a “qua­li­ty pair of wal­king shoes” that saw the re-elec­ted mayor through a wal­king marathon that in­clu­ded door-to-door vi­sits to some 800 Saint La­zare homes.

New coun­cil

Saint La­zare mayor Ro­bert Gri­mau­do says being re-elec­ted Sun­day to a full four-year term – ra­ther than the 17-month man­date he’d filled when elec­ted in June, 2012 fol­lo­wing Pierre Ka­ry’s re­si­gna­tion – will make all the dif­fe­rence in his goals for the town.

Ad­mit­ting that the in­co­ming coun­cil in­cludes on­ly one re­tur­ning coun­cil­lor, Bri­gitte As­se­lin (Dist. 3) a mem­ber of Lam­bert’s Al­liance Saint-La­zare team who was re-elec­ted with 61.9 % of votes, Gri­mau­do says he has full confi­dence he has an ef­fec­tive team. Dis­trict 4 coun­cil­lor De­nis Briard, the on­ly other Al­liance Saint-La­zare mem­ber, was elec­ted wi­thout op­po­si­tion. The re­mai­ning four mem­bers of the new coun­cil are in­de­pen­dents who Gri­mau­do ne­ver­the­less sup­por­ted. They in­clude: Lise Jo­li­coeur for Dist. 1 who gar­ne­red 50.2 % of the vote; Pa­me­la Trem­blay with 76.61 %; Serge David for Dist. 5 with 59.59 % of votes; Dist. 6’s Ri­chard Na­taf with 53.73 % of votes.

“We have new coun­cil­lors who have ne­ver been in­vol­ved in mu­ni­ci­pal po­li­tics... We’ll have a mix of ex­pe­rience and pas­sion on coun­cil and coun­cil­lors who have on­ly the re­si­dents’ best in­ter­est in mind,” he said, ad­ding As­se­lin and Briard will be wel­co­med at all wor­king tables and cau­cus mee­tings.

“I have no ani­mo­si­ty. The town has to work as a team; I would ne­ver think to ex­clude anyone from my team.”

Get­ting to work

The mayor and new­ly elec­ted coun­cil are ex­pec­ted to be sworn in on Fri­day.

And the first coun­cil mee­ting will take place, ex­cep­tio­nal­ly, on Nov. 19.

“We have some big de­ci­sions to get to right away,” Gri­mau­do said, re­fer­ring to se­ve­ral large-scale pro­jects on the agenda in­clu­ding: the buil­ding of a roun­da­bout and a new fire hall, which needs to be fi­nan­ced. Coun­cil must al­so adopt a bud­get be­fore the end of the year.

And at least one grass­roots or­ga­ni­za­tion ex­pects the new­ly elec­ted coun­cil to save an old-growth fo­rest in Saint La­zare.

The Friends of Dunes Lake, which has wor­ked for the past se­ve­ral years to save the fo­rest bet­ween the lake and the Bor­de­lais Bog, re­joi­ced that what it cal­led “a green coun­cil” had been elec­ted.

“I would agree that we de­fi­ni­te­ly have a green coun­cil,” Gri­mau­do said, ad­ding he has a stra­te­gy for the Dunes Fo­rest, as well as all fo­rests in Saint La­zare.

“It’s a big dos­sier and will in­volve in­put from the pu­blic and re­si­dents,” he ex­plai­ned.

Gri­mau­do’s stron­gest elec­tion sup­port came from Dist. 1, where he re­cei­ved over 82 % of the vote, fol­lo­wed by Dist. 2, with 73 % sup­port. Both dis­tricts are si­tua­ted in what is consi­de­red the Dunes Fo­rest area. Gri­mau­do still did well in Dists. 3 and 4, where As­se­lin and Lam­bert ser­ved, gar­ne­ring 46 % and 45 % votes res­pec­ti­ve­ly. He took 56 % of the vote in Dist. 5, and 67 % in Dist. 6.

PHOTOTHEQUE

Hud­son’s new mayor, Ed Pré­vost will try to lead the town in abet­ter direction.

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