• James Armstrong

Hudson appoints new treasurer


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Hudson has appointed a town treasurer but not without opposition from Councillor Ron Goldenberg while Councillors Nicole Durand (centre) and Natalie Best approved.

Hudson Town Council passed a resolution appointing Claudia Ouellette as treasurer at a special meeting held Tuesday, May 16, in the conference room at the fire station.

It was not a unanimous vote, however – Councillor Ron Goldenberg took exception to the decision because the individual hired does not have professional status as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) or a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

“As a CPA and head of the finance committee for the Town of Hudson, I cannot agree with the hiring of a treasurer without the proper degree. It does not guarantee success at the job but it does give an indication of the candidate’s minimum level of competence,” said Goldenburg. “The town has never hired a Town Clerk without a law degree. The same standard and qualification should apply to the position of Treasurer. A town with a track record like ours has no choice,” he added.

Goldenburg’s statement appeared to catch the other council members by surprise although they knew about his opposition from caucus meeting discussions. “We weren’t expecting a statement like this,” said Councillor Natalie Best who chaired the meeting.

During the question period that followed, resident Bill Nash asked how those who voted to hire the candidate fulfilled their fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers.

Best responded that the candidate’s references had been verified and that she had successfully passed through two interviews.

“She has experience as a town treasurer with Otterburn Park,” said Best adding that the town has not always hired lawyers for the position of Town Clerk. Best also pointed out that Ouellette is accredited by the Corporation des officiers municipaux agréés du Québec (COMAQ) and has extensive experience with PG System software currently used by the town.

Resident Jamie Nicholls questioned how the references were verified, if it was elected officials that provided them or administration members. Best replied that it was the people she had worked with but did not elaborate further. “These are Human Resources issues and they are not for public discussion,” said Best adding, “are we satisfied with her references? Yes, we are.”

Former Interim Mayor Diane Piacente also voiced her concerns regarding the decision. “I’m with Ron on this,” she said.

Emergency Measures Report

Council also tabled an Emergency Measures Status Report concerning the recent flooding disaster in Hudson. According to the report, Mayor Ed Prévost declared the state of emergency Sunday, May 7, at 11:30 a.m. and that it was in effect for a period of 48 hours. By accepting the report, council affirmed the actions taken by the Public Security Department to deal with the emergency situation. It also permits the town to apply for financial assistance for flood damage to municipal property.

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