Response to allegations in Ogden
This letter is in response to divisive allegations about the outgoing Ogden Council by the ex-Mayor of Ogden, Mr. Joe Stairs. These were sent to select Ogden voters to support their “Team” campaign for the upcoming Ogden municipal elections.
Mr. Stairs claims that his resignation as Mayor was Mrs. Lise Routhier’s fault. But Mr. Stairs was Mayor and leader of Ogden Council at the time when he resigned. Did he not have enough strength to discuss issues with her to resolve the situation in a less contentious way?
Now that Mrs. Routhier is mayor, Mr. Stairs is making false allegations to discredit her:
Mrs. Routhier never claimed that all communications are to be in French. As with most councillors, she is not fully bilingual, but respects both the French and English communities equally.
Mr. Stairs claims that she alienated all employees, but in fact, only the Director General resigned. The building inspector was ordered by the CSST not to return to her job, which is considered too stressful for her. The road inspector retired voluntarily, with a 6 month salary severance pay.
Ogden now has a new Director General, a lawyer who is progressing very well. Ogden has a new road inspector with a positive and knowledgeable approach to maintenance of our roads. Ogden has a building inspector who has been an assistant building inspector for many years and has managed all dossiers without conflict. Ogden’s receptionist remains and has taken on additional responsibilities with a positive response. She has been recognized for her fine work. The present atmosphere with employees is very positive and professional.
A salary increase of 1.9% was awarded for 2013 which was the cost of living increase in 2012.
As for reducing the number of paid holidays by 3 days (i.e., office closed between Christmas and New Year’s); all employees (other than receptionist) are on monthly salary and therefore not affected. The receptionist is on an hourly basis, and Council agreed to pay her for the 3 days extra.
Question period at the beginning of Council meeting was removed from the agenda for 1 meeting, on a trial basis. After demand from the public it was reinstituted at the following meeting, showing that Council responds to citizens’ demands. Discussion was never limited.
These accusations against Mrs Routier, and by association, the outgoing Council, are unfounded and reflect the divisiveness of Mr. Stairs.
Rather, after 6 months of restructuring, and new hirings, Ogden administration is working in harmony to effectively and efficiently address the needs of Ogden residents.
On positive notes, the outgoing Council approved an Employee guideline manual which all employees approved after fully reading it, and they are enthusiastic about the clear guidelines.
The outgoing Council made changes to the accounting system to bring it in line with that of other municipalities, to streamline administration and to avoid irregularities.
All road-related major equipment was sold, as it had not been used for a number of years. Road work is given under contract at a significant savings to tax payers.
In conclusion, circulating emails and pamphlets suggest that this election is about personalities, and a ‘party’ line-approach for voting.
Think carefully on the qualities of the candidates for each Ogden Seat; you are voting for the best candidate to represent the interests of Ogden, not a party block that could impose its views on Council. Analyse the issues carefully, and discuss with fellow citizens before voting. Pierre Chiasson
What makes a community a great place to live in? The answer: Its citizens and their involvement. That is what makes a difference. Last Saturday night was a great example of that.
The Recreation Association has been organizing an event around Halloween for about 6 years now. This year, the committee spent over a month organizing the outdoor activity at the Stone Circle. It took place from 6 to 9 P.M. and involved over 40 Volunteers. Most of these Volunteers were on site in the cold and rain from 1 P.M. in the afternoon until 11 at night for setting up the scenes, acting and then picking up everything after the activity.
I would like to thank each one of them: Line Quirion, Christina Charron, Chloé Corbeil, Brenda and Francesca McIntyre, Amy Caron, Marissa Fauteux, Makayla Dubois, Sophie McIntyre, James Cavanagh who spent 4 hours doing makeup. Ross and Abigail Murray, Debbie Bishop with the help of Stanstead College students: Nayla Al-Ajami, Rosemarie Poulin, Elizabeth Giguère, Sophie Blair, Clementine Cohen, Sylvia Ortiz and Grant Baird. Serge and Francyne Tougas, Kathy Sheldon, Charles McIntyre, Felicia Kirby, Paul Stuart, Peggy Alger, Wayne and Megan Stratton, Karine Gagné, Constance Bedard, Pat Marr Parent, Réal and Nick Houle, Brigitte Lemay, Julie Cloutier, Wendy Kimpton, Maida Benoit and Denis Fleurant. Our tractor drivers: François Fauteux and Kevin Peloquin. Our security staff: Firechief Christopher Goodsell, firemen Scott Forest, Samuel Morin and Mary Hartley.
Sponsors of the event: Ville de Stanstead, IGA Famille Roy, Ferme Frondal Senc, Autobus Ashby.
Again, thank you everyone for your involvement and thank you to the 300 people who came out to enjoy the activity. See you all at the next activity; Christmas Celebration Downtown on December 7th. André-Jean Bédard,
President Stanstead Recreation