Letter to the editor 5, Nov. 16, 2017

Robert Grimaudo and the art of political victimology

Dear Editor,

In a recent article on the re-election of Robert Grimaudo as Mayor of Saint-Lazare, he is quoted as being hurt by the criticisms leveled against him during the campaign period, without being specific about what exactly hurt him.

This is not the proper response of someone who was elected by only 37 per cent of the 37 per cent of the electorate, especially when an overwhelming majority of those who voted, voted against him. Maybe Mr. Grimaudo should be humbled by the results instead of feeling hurt by the ‘criticism’ of those who opposed him.

Grow up, Mr. Grimaudo. You willingly entered political life. Solid politicians know that the public aspect of their lives will be subjected to continuous scrutiny by the people and by the press. That scrutiny might be unpleasant at times.

Mr. Grimaudo thought that campaigning without criticizing anybody would usher in a sort of political quid pro quo, with the hope that he himself would not be criticized. Perhaps he forgot that he was the incumbent, and that his administration was going to be evaluated positively and negatively.

Ironically, for someone who had piously decided not to criticize his adversaries, Mr. Grimaudo should have known that his surrogates were eagerly disparaging those who were holding differing views. They also nearly succeeded in hogging the space on the Facebook page consecrated to the elections in order to stifle any negative comments about our mayor.

Mr. Grimaudo, democracy requires that citizens express their views on your administration. It is a fundamental right for those who pay taxes to examine the quality of your stewardship of public monies. It is clear that on this point you have been found wanting.

Most of us thought the decision to build extravagant public buildings was taken without significant community input and many of us think that the administration has cleverly shortened, or concealed as best it could, the notices required to inform the population of what council had resolved on that issue. Most of us were confronted with a fait accompli.

You have won the elections. Perhaps you should stop whining and get on with the job while taking into account that most of those who voted were not happy with your administration. Stop acting like a victim and strive to be a real leader. One way to start on the right foot is to take your place at council and become more independent of the whims of the administration.

Benoît Tremblay, lawyer

Expert in community governance

St. Lazare