Letter to the editor 1, Sept. 21, 2017

Response to Mayor Robert Grimaudo

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in response to St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo’s letter to the editor found in the September 14 edition of Your Local Journal. In this letter, Grimaudo is defending himself and the council and blaming a resident for questioning the remuneration of councillors with regards to committees. He argues that proving that the remuneration was justified was a waste of town resources: time and money.

I would argue that the council needs to be accountable for finance and their books should be up to date. Checking the finances should be easy to do if done right. Also, the resident is within his rights to ask for details when it comes to spending taxpayers’ money.

Furthermore, I attended the meeting and the resident did not accuse the council of ‘stealing’ money: he merely wanted clarification as to the amounts given and also an explanation as to why signatures were missing. If the council of St. Lazare were more transparent, residents would not need to ask for clarification.

This brings me to my second point. Mayor Grimaudo states that a 3-hour question period is too long. Maybe if questions were dealt with properly the first time around, residents wouldn’t need to return to seek updates. Questions rarely have a clear answer and it takes many councillors and the DG to answer them. Also, if things were more transparent, there would be less questions.

My final qualm is in reference to Mayor Grimaudo’s ‘open door policy’ of which he is so proud. Mayor Grimaudo’s door is selectively open. It depends on the subject of conversation. When I approached town hall with my sinking house problem in 2015, I did not have an open door to Mayor Grimaudo. I had to speak to the receptionist, who informed me he was on holiday. Even upon his return, Mayor Grimaudo did not contact me right away to welcome me in his office. It took a letter to the editor of Your Local Journal for him to meet me.

Answering questions at town meetings, clarifying spending and meeting with residents is part of a mayor’s duties.

Concerned resident of St. Lazare,

Joanne Ackland

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