Saint-Lazare formally informed of Councillor Tremblay’s resignation


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Despite the empty places at the Saint-Lazare Town Council table, there were enough members present to declare a quorum for the April 23 extraordinary meeting.

The extraordinary Saint-Lazare town council meeting held Tuesday, April 23 was extremely short and well attended by citizens.

“Technically, this meeting is a formality to advise council of a resignation so that we can have elections on June 9,” said Mayor Robert Grimaudo as he welcomed the crowd. “I’m sure there will be questions during the question period,” he commented. His prediction proved incorrect as no one approached the microphone. The document deposited gave council formal notice of the resignation of Councillor for District 2, Pamela Tremblay, who was present in the audience to witness the proceedings. Former Councillor for District 3 Martin Couture resigned his seat on March 12.

Potential politicians

“I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people here this evening,” the mayor told The Journal following the meeting. He speculated that residents were concerned something might be passed unannounced. “But that’s never the case in Saint-Lazare because transparency is what we are all about,” he said adding that it was also an opportunity for some potential candidates to do some politicking.

Indeed, one potential candidate, Benoît Tremblay, told The Journal he intends to officially deposit his candidature papers with the town on Friday. He is planning to run in District 3 where he resides.

Unhealthy workplace

When the mayor was asked why two councillors had resigned, he replied in both cases, the letters of resignation stated that it was due to an unhealthy work environment.

“I have tried to improve the situation,” said Grimaudo. “Unfortunately, a majority of council voted to bring Councillor Richard Chartrand back to the caucus table.” It was Chartrand’s aggressive behavior on March 5 that resulted in him being barred from caucus for an undetermined period of time. He was absent from the meeting on Tuesday evening because he was on vacation.

“We have a code of ethics,” said Grimaudo,” and before Pamela Tremblay resigned, a code of conduct was proposed. However, council prefers to wait until after the election to start working on it.”

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO

The only Saint-Lazare councillor to serve a second term after the 2017 municipal elections, District 2 Councillor Pamela Tremblay announced her resignation April 16 saying she no longer identified with the current council.

Code of conduct

“It only makes sense to delay a maximum of two months until we have a full council following the election,” said District 6 Councillor Brian Trainor regarding the proposed code of conduct. “It’s very important that we have one and we will have one,” he added. Trainor said he was absolutely in agreement with Chartrand returning to the caucus table.

“He agreed to and did all the stipulations of council including attending an anger management course,” said the councillor. The most important element that was missing, according to Trainor, was council could not come to an agreement as to what would permit Chartrand’s return.

“The majority of council was not willing to wait for three, or six or 12 months for that to happen.”

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