Re­sponse to al­le­ga­tions in Og­den

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

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


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