St. Lazare resident warned to stop spreading false information against town employee
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
St. Lazare resident Elizabeth Rozon prepares to hand over a letter to the town’s Director General Serge Tremblay to be read aloud during question period demanding she stop spreading false information regarding an administrative employee.
Things turned nasty during question period at the Tuesday evening council meeting March 7 after resident Elizabeth Rozon accused St. Lazare Director General Serge Tremblay of “intimidation” and “bullying” after receiving a letter from Tremblay demanding that she stop slandering and making unsubstantiated accusations against a town employee.
Tremblay told Your Local Journal that the issue came to a head when the town participated in a business meeting with representatives from the Centre local de développement de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (CLDVS) in Vaudreuil-Dorion on February 13 to promote its upcoming Festival au galop and study different business opportunities within the Municipalité Régionale de Communauté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
Four St. Lazare residents, including Rozon, also attended the event, said Tremblay. “During the meeting, Madam Rozon decided to go see other people. She told them ‘Do you know (the employee) is making $100,000 a year and doesn’t do anything?’ (Rozon) did that a couple of times. The next day this employee came to me and said she was devastated. She took it personally and is worried about how it will affect her reputation. It’s not fair and that’s when I said it’s enough.”
Rozon gave the letter dated February 21 to Tremblay who read it aloud in the council chamber at her request. The letter asks Rozon to stop spreading false information regarding the festival, especially concerning her allegation that $100,000 was supposedly paid to one town employee who organized the event in 2015 which wasn’t true, Tremblay said. The letter stated that two employees earned a total of $79,240 in compensation.
The letter ends by stating that if Rozon continues to spread what the town feels is false information about the festival or any of its employees, it will take whatever action is necessary as mandated by council to protect the interests of the town and its employees. Many citizens applauded in support of Tremblay after the letter was read.
Rozon has regularly attended council meetings the past four years and has often taken the town to task for what she feels is extravagant spending, especially when it comes to the festival and the annual expenditure to put on the event, which will amount to about $350,000 including salaries, this year.
‘Just doing her job’
“As Director General I’m responsible for the town’s administration,” said Tremblay. “I can deal with the political games. I’m not against that. But at one point, when you begin personally attacking someone, it’s no longer a political game. She was just doing her job. She doesn’t deserve that.”
Tremblay said because it was a personnel matter that doesn’t fall under council’s domain, it’s his responsibility to deal with all employee-related matters. “(Rozon) went too far and that’s why I decided to write her that letter. To me, that’s unacceptable.
“You have the right to your opinion, to be against a project, to express yourself, but you don’t have the right from my own point of view, to bash an employee who’s just doing their job. She’s attacking a person and doesn’t have the right to do that,” said Tremblay.
The letter had nothing to do with trying to intimidate or bully someone into not expressing their opinions, Tremblay added. “If she feels that I was bullying her, then I’m sorry. But she’s the one who is bullying and harassing my employee. She’s attacking a person and she doesn’t have the right to do that and to make false accusations. I will never allow anyone to bully one of my employees.”