Every seat contested in Ogden
It has been a tumultuous year for the Ogden municipal council, perhaps the reason why every seat on council is now being contested. Among other challenges, the last year has seen former mayor Joe Stairs leave his position as mayor, in utter frustration, and long-time town general manager, Renee Donaldson, also resign.
Lise Routhier, the former mayor of Ogden who was elected by council after Mr. Stairs resigned, is hoping to regain her position as mayor. Asked what she believed were the main issues in Ogden, Mrs. Routhier replied: “We’ve tried to redo a new team at the town hall, and I’m very happy with them. Now we can continue with the work that needs to be done in the municipality. It’s important to keep a good atmosphere to work in and provide good service. Road maintenance is an issue; the maintenance of the roads is a little behind. But we must manage the municipality with the money that we have,” said Mrs. Routhier in a phone interview with the Stanstead Journal.
Mrs. Routhier has been living in Ogden since 1964. She was first elected to the town council in 2006, than regained her seat in 2009 by acclamation. She has
worked on the town’s finance committee and, more recently, the roads committee. “We have been working in teams rather than committees in the last few months because we have two empty seats at council,” she said.
Former Ogden mayor, Michael Sudlow, was hoping to retire soon from municipal politics but, instead, is jumping back in. Asked what his main concerns were, the former mayor answered: “Right now the council is going backwards when it comes to transparency and planning. I’d like to help restore council to make long-term goals rather than short-term goals for expediency.” He then spoke of the town’s recent sale of their road grader, in favour of contracting out the grading work. When it comes to a lack of transparency, Mr. Sudlow commented, as one example, that the councillors had been told by the former mayoress not to discuss pre-council meetings with the public.
Mr. Sudlow has been in municipal politics for twenty-four years: eight as Ogden mayor, eight as Ogden councillor, and eight as a Lennoxville councillor. “I have gotten involved to help improve the quality of life of my neighbours, to have a positive impact on the community. I like to feel that council is the solution to the problems,” he concluded.