Mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion 2017

Two may­oral can­di­dates in Ayer’s Cliff

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - By Matthew Mc­cully

Out­go­ing Mayor Alec van Zuiden an­nounced early in the fi­nal year of his term that he would not seek re-elec­tion, giv­ing po­ten­tial can­di­dates plenty of time to con­sider run­ning for the po­si­tion.

John Ba­trie and Vin­cent Gérin, both with coun­cil ex­pe­ri­ence in Ayer’s Cliff, have en­tered the race.

The Record in­ter­viewed the two can­di­dates and asked what they con­sid­ered to be the ma­jor is­sues in their com­mu­nity, what makes them a good can­di­date for mayor, and what their vi­sion for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity would be dur­ing their man­date.

Re­gard­ing is­sues in the com­mu­nity, Ba­trie said there are a lot of things go­ing on at the mo­ment, re­fer­ring to the fire depart­ment mov­ing out of town hall, as well as the newly ac­quired beach.

He added that the town will have some in­fra­struc­ture projects to deal with in the near fu­ture.

“I think I’ve learned the ropes pretty good,” Ba­trie, said, when asked what made him a good can­di­date for mayor.

Ba­trie has 16 years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a coun­cil­lor in Ayer’s cliff.

“I have good project and good peo­ple man­age­ment skills,” he added.

Ba­trie said he has a tal­ent for ur­ban­ism and has ini­ti­ated a num­ber of projects with the town dur­ing his ten­ure, in­clud­ing a struc­ture on the wharf that he first pre­sented to coun­cil in 1999.

When asked about his vi­sion for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the com­ing years, Ba­trie said he had no plan for any mega projects, per se.

“There are some big pri­vate projects

com­ing up that will re­quire some ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Ba­trie said. He also sug­gested it was time to do some con­sol­i­da­tion, but ex­plained that there is a lot go­ing on with the town right now and his im­me­di­ate plan would be to ‘deal with what’s on the plate.’

Gérin said pre­serv­ing what Ayer’s cliff cur­rently has and fo­cus­ing on com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment to give the mu­nic­i­pal­ity an ex­tra edge would be his main fo­cus.

He added that it would be im­por­tant to strike a bal­ance with the up­com­ing de­vel­op­ment plans for the Rip­ple­cove while re­spect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and sur­round­ing neigh­bours.

Main­tain­ing strong lead­er­ship would is the key to a thriv­ing com­mu­nity, ac­cord­ing to Gérin.

Gérin has eight years of ex­pe­ri­ence as mayor of Ayer’s Cliff. He was also a coun­cil­lor pre­vi­ously.

He stepped down after his last man­date to be able to fo­cus more on his full­time em­ploy­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Gérin, his time away from coun­cil has al­lowed him to see the town from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. He be­lieves the com­bi­na­tion of his pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence and a new, more global view of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity make him a good may­oral can­di­date.

Gérin said his vi­sion for the fu­ture of Ayer’s Cliff is to make it a re­gional hub within the MRC.

He said no other town of its size can boast close to 400 in­dus­trial jobs, a health clinic, a gro­cery store, and fair­grounds that are ac­tive vir­tu­ally each week­end. Gérin said he would like to main­tain the cur­rent dy­namism of the town and pro­vide a lead­er­ship role to in­crease Ayer’s Cliff’s po­ten­tial.

Among the coun­cil­lors, Patrick Proulx (Seat 1) and Robert La­coste (Seat 2) have been elected by ac­cla­ma­tion.

The other four seats have mul­ti­ple can­di­dates run­ning.

Peter James Mcharg (Seat 3) is run­ning for re-elec­tion, and is up against Philippe Dusseault to keep his po­si­tion.

France Coulombe (Seat 6), also run­ning for re-elec­tion, is be­ing chal­lenged by Michael Crook.

Three can­di­dates, Roland Lamoureux, Luc Jetté and Stacey Belk­nap-keet are vy­ing for the po­si­tion of coun­cil­lor Seat 5.

Nicholas Plourde and Stephane Richard are run­ning against each other for Seat 4 on the Ayer’s Cliff mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil.

COURTESY

John Ba­trie

COURTESY

Vin­cent Gérin

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