Four-year residential tax rate freeze proposed by Vaudreuil-Dorion mayor candidate Pierre Séguin
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Pierre Séguin said his 25 years of experience in municipal law will enable him to properly serve all Vaudreuil-Dorion citizens if he is elected as mayor in the upcoming municipal election.
A four-year residential property tax rate freeze is just one of several components regarding Pierre Séguin’s vision for the future of Vaudreuil-Dorion as the mayoral candidate outlined his election campaign platform during an interview with Your Local Journal on Tuesday, October 17.
He also proposes more sustainable development with a focus on improving the city’s parks and public spaces and limiting urban sprawl by keeping future development within the city’s perimeter. Séguin is running under the political party banner of Équipe nous sommes / Team we are with a team of eight candidates vying for their respective council seat in each district.
“There is a lack of vision in our city,” said Séguin. Years of commercial development along Boulevard de la Gare and the recent addition of multi-storey retirement residences has turned the off-island city into a replica of Laval, he said.
While he doesn’t oppose development, Séguin feels Vaudreuil-Dorion should strive to create its own unique cachet that will distinguish it from other municipalities. He would start by trying to revive the original business district along the older part of Avenue St. Charles
“If you look at the historical core of the city, there is no civic life. The local commerce is not there anymore. We have to focus on bringing back local businesses to revive its social fabric,” said Séguin.
Centre Multisports deficit
Séguin said he wants to rein in unnecessary spending of city finances such as the consistent annual deficits being accumulated by the Centre MultiSports which he says amount to ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.’
According to Séguin, the centre still isn’t self-financing because it doesn’t generate enough revenue. “There was no business plan when the centre was conceived and as a result of that, the city has to pay for its deficits. The city has to cover fees that were never supposed to have been covered by the municipality,” he said.
“I’m not saying the Centre MultiSports has to make a profit but it was supposed to be self-financing from the revenue it made. On its website, it says the centre is there to provide services for the entire Vaudreuil-Soulanges region but it’s only our municipality that pays for its deficit and operating costs,” said Séguin.
New commercial tax protocol
He’s also adamant he will adopt a new commercial property assessment protocol that would result in a more favourable tax formula being adopted. This will enable the city to generate the proper tax revenue for the nearly vacant Future Electronics tower and adjoining buildings which currently only brings in about $136,000 annually, said Séguin.
“If I’m elected, you can be sure we’re going to mandate a firm to evaluate the entire property and make sure it’s properly assessed so the owner pays the correct municipal taxes. It’s not the fault of the owner – it’s the responsibility of council to make sure it’s properly assessed,” said Séguin.
Ability to lead
His lack of political experience wouldn’t hamper his ability to properly lead the city, said Séguin. Many municipal mayors were elected without a political background, he added.
“I’ve specialized in municipal law for 25 years so I know how cities operate. Vaudreuil-Dorion has given me legal mandates for more than 20 years so it means I must know something. I foresee no problem if I’m elected mayor,” said Séguin.
“I’m very motivated. Going door-to-door is the best experience for a politician because you have direct contact with people. Most of the time they want to talk to you about their concerns. It’s more efficient than using social media,” Séguin added.
He is also confident the eight candidates running for council will be able the serve their constituents and were chosen for the diverse backgrounds and experience.