• James Armstrong

Hudson Town Councillor Robert Spencer resigns


Hudson town council passed a resolution at the Monday, November 7 council meeting confirming the resignation of Councillor for District 1 Como, Robert Spencer.

Spencer’s resignation, according to his letter, is due to that fact that he has sold his home and will no longer be a Hudson resident and thus will not be able to act as a councillor. Council reassured the residents of District 1 that they are encouraged to contact any councillor, the pro-mayor, and mayor regarding any issues for their district.

Spencer’s resignation comes on the heels of Mayor Ed Prévost’s appearances before the Commission Municipale du Québec (CMQ) to face 151 allegations of municipal impropriety brought against him by Spencer. Though the decision has not yet been officially rendered by Judge Sylvie Piérard, the findings of both the prosecution and defense lawyers indicated there was no evidence to proceed with the charges.

“It was a huge waste of money – your money, and time,” said Mayor Prévost in reference to the more than $100,000 spent on his legal defense. Prévost thanked the hundreds of residents who voiced their support and concern for him and his family. He also expressed his gratitude to the council, Director General Jean-Pierre Roy, and the administration for their support.

As of November 7, council had not had a chance to make a decision concerning a replacement for Spencer. He was the only councillor to retain his seat in the 2013 municipal election. According to DG Roy, council cannot appoint anyone to the position as was suggested by resident Larry Gray. The next municipal general election for Quebec is scheduled to take place November 5, 2017.

Notices of motion were announced concerning proposed changes to three By-laws: 525, 526 and 527, concerning the planning program, zoning and subdivisions that affect the proposed Mayfair Project housing development. The changes to the by-laws are required to accommodate the subdivision of 12 lots on Mayfair Street in the Hudson Valleys development to permit the construction of semi-detached dwellings.

“Is it possible to involve the entire town in making the decision as to whether or not the Mayfair Project should go ahead?” asked Mayfair resident, Doug Seagrim. He pointed out that many people in the town are going through the process of downsizing and are seeking smaller houses in Hudson. “We share your concerns and will look into it,” responded Councillor Deborah Woodhead. The date for the public consultation regarding the project and the changes to the by-laws has not been set.

In other business, council approved the hiring of lawyer Cassandra Comin Bergonzi as Town Clerk, and Jasmyn Jin as Youth Centre Coordinator. Resident Bill Driver raised concern regarding the lack of a treasurer for the town. “That’s high on our list of priorities. We will follow the normal procedures for hiring and pay careful attention every step of the way,” the mayor replied.

Council also approved measures to be taken to bring private streets under municipal control. Councillor Nicole Durand said the town hopes to bring as many of the 99 private roads under municipal control as soon as possible. Currently, loan By-law 670-2016 for $1.5 million passed at the September council meeting for the paving of town roads is on hold at the provincial level due to a complaint by a resident to Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Occupation du territoire (MAMOT). The complaint, according to the DG as reported at the September meeting, is that the town did not seek the approval of the owners of private roads in Hudson before passing the loan by-law.