• John Jantak

Grimaudo re-elected St. Lazare mayor after tight race


Robert Grimaudo, who was re-elected as St. Lazare mayor is congratulated by Pamela Tremblay, the only re-elected councillor on Sunday, November 5.

Robert Grimaudo was re-elected to his second consecutive full-term mandate as St. Lazare mayor on Sunday, November 5. Grimaudo won by 203 votes, defeating former District 1 councillor Lise Jolicoeur and Michel Lambert who was unsuccessful in his second bid to become mayor.

Grimaudo received 2,078 votes (37.82 per cent), Jolicoeur 1,855 votes (34.09 per cent) and Alliance Saint-Lazare candidate Lambert 1,528 votes (28.08 per cent). There were 78 spoiled ballots. Out of 14,748 eligible voters, only 5,519 ballots were cast; a voter participation rate of 37.4 per cent.

Pamela Tremblay was the only re-elected councillor. The five new councillors are Geneviève Lachance, Martin Couture, Michel Poitras, Richard Chartrand and Brian Trainor.

Wipe the slate clean

Grimaudo was visibly nervous during the vote tally on Sunday evening and only announced his victory after the final ballots were counted at around 11 p.m. He was disappointed with the low turnout despite his win.

“I’m very happy about my win but it was a very close race and we knew it would be very close. The reality is it could have gone either way. This is why we always encourage our citizens to vote,” Grimaudo told Your Local Journal.

Grimaudo credits his positive approach as one reason for his election win. “I ran a positive campaign and never openly criticized anybody. Even my door-to-door visits were always positive. Winning by 203 votes is not a huge amount. All three candidates split the vote,” he said.

The mayor would also like all citizens to move forward. “There were a lot of things that were said and done in this election that were hurtful,” said Grimaudo. “Now we can wipe the slate clean. We are a group of seven who have to work together for the betterment of the town.”

Time to settle in

With most major infrastructure projects taken care of during his last term, Grimaudo said his council will begin tackling other issues. But before they can do that, the five new councillors will have to learn about their responsibilities, he added.

“All the hard decisions were made over the last four years and now we can look forward to other things. They need to know how the system works. There will be a swearing-in ceremony. After that, they will meet the directors and have their first ‘kick-at-the-can’. We’re going to have our first working table meeting next week,” said Grimaudo.

“Will there be any major decisions made at the beginning? I don’t know. It depends how quickly they want to get their feet wet. As I’ve always said, it’s council that makes the decisions. My job is to assemble them and make sure they work as a team for the good of the town. I will work with everybody,” Grimaudo added.

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