Race is on

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

Four­months from now, we will have brand new mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils to com­plain about! Yes, mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion time is about to be­gin.

Now the cyn­i­cal in us all will say that this is a use­less ex­er­cise, that most if not all of those elected are some­how crooked and what else. Cor­rupted all and good rid­dance if we could get away with them.

None of that is true and more so since the Lac Mé­gan­tic disas­ter. If a week be­fore we were in the bur­lesque, an in­terim mayor re­sign­ing af­ter his de­nial that hir­ing ladies of the night to dress up and take a boat ride with him con­sti­tutes a sex­ual act, the last of a long se­ries of mis­deeds by elected mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials seen over the last year, the re­sponse by a tiny mayor, from a ‘neck in the woods’ town, lit­er­ally, it’s the ma­jor re­source for most ma­jor in­dus­tries there, was ex­cep­tional. Co­lette Roy-Laroche had just come back from her last grand tour in France, her town is twinned with Dour­dan and she is not run­ning again. Af­ter all, she’s in her very late six­ties and, to be po­lite, it was time to re­tire.

Well, Mrs. Roy-Laroche re­tired a lot of peo­ple from pol­i­tics, dressed-up in­terim may­ors and oth­ers of the same cloth.

We share some­thing with Lac Mé­gan­tic here in Stanstead, we were for quite a while in the same fed­eral rid­ing, a cou­ple of hours apart, and it was re­fresh­ing to see our for­mer MP, Mau­rice Bernier wear­ing (lit­er­ally) the hat of pre­fect. Elected, by the way.

So, you do not have to be a crook to be a mu­nic­i­pal elected of­fi­cial. It is not shame­ful to be one. Far from it.

You must care for your mu­nic­i­pal­ity, of­fer new ideas or even re­cy­cle old ones. We need you, your ideas, your dreams, your com­plaints.

We need peo­ple who are not afraid of risk, who can pro­mote their ideas and none are as crazy as they sound first on the long run. We need men, but also more women, who are un­afraid to rock the boat, get rid of con­ven­tions while main­tain­ing tra­di­tion and her­itage. Who are not afraid to say no, to their own civil ser­vants or those from Que­bec, but who can ask re­lent­lessly for an­swers when they get the runaround. Who un­der­stand that com­pro­mise is not the real ba­sis for con­sen­sus, that de­fend­ing its ideas, its con­vic­tions is the best ram­part against cor­rup­tion.

In other words, we need you, and you and you. To come for­ward, to present your vi­sion of what your town, your vil­lage should and must be.

You have a cou­ple of weeks to do so. Do not be afraid of tak­ing the plunge. If not di­rectly, by run­ning, at least by ex­press­ing what you ex­pect of those who do.

Photo Cindy Weed

of Franklin, who turned 101 years young on June 17th, poses with her daugh­ter-in-law and son, Nancy and Ray­mond Dubuque, of Moores Forks, NY, at the Franklin Car­riage House where she has lived for four years. The happy go lucky cen­te­nar­ian man­aged her own home un­til she was into her 97th year. What’s her se­cret to longevity? “Peo­ple are al­ways ask­ing me that,” said Lor­raine Dubuque. “I’ve just had a com­mon life.” As a “house­keeper”, she lived “in a beau­ti­ful big house” on a farm on the lake in North Hero, raised two chil­dren, tended to a “big” gar­den in­clud­ing “pota­toes and ev­ery­thing”, fed the small farm an­i­mals such as chick­ens and bowled for a hobby not­ing that she “wasn’t very good.” She and Ch­ester, her hus­band of 65 years who died in 1994, also en­joyed danc­ing to the mu­sic of Weed’s Im­pe­rial Orches­tra, a band that “ev­ery­one loved.” Lastly, the diminu­tive woman claimed that she was never sick, not a wor­rier, “al­ways ate what she wanted”, never smoked, and still en­joys a glass of wine.

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