Finance and big projects in the eye of the “new”
Of the 14 municipal councilors’ seats in Sherbrooke, six are occupied by elected officials who are in their first steps in politics. Arrived mid-term, they will have the eye the evolution of major projects and management of finances. The Tribune sought to know their vision of politics in Sherbrooke.
Paul Gingues, from the University District, wonders if the City will have the means to fulfill its ambitions. “It looks like everything has come together with the Grandes-Fourches Bridge, West Galt Street and the South Well District. That’s good news, but it’s a lot of projects on the stove at the same time. It makes me a little dizzy about our ability to do things. We solicit a lot of financial, material and human resources. We stretch the sauce. ”
Mr. Gingues is particularly concerned that recent weather has recalled the urgency of moving the municipal garage, located in flood zone on the street of Grandes-Fourches. “It will take decisions. I advocate acting as a good father to control expenses. Until now, we have not acted as a father. The Mayor has not been precise in the directions to take. The economy is doing well and we continue to spend … ”
Pierre Tremblay, from the Deauville district, agrees. “There are a lot of projects going on at the same time, maybe too many projects. It scares me a bit. With the downtown yards, perhaps the revitalization of West Galt Street is premature. I try to imagine how motorists will get by during construction. I’m afraid our citizens are being held hostage. ”
Karine Godbout, from Ascot District, argues for the importance of having a global vision to make the right decisions, a thought that joins that of her colleagues Annie Godbout and Évelyne Beaudin. “Giving yourself a clear vision requires a strategic vision. We are in a transition. We see what is emerging, but we need to establish priorities in a more concrete way. ”
In the same vein, Karine Godbout raises the importance of having tools to track municipal spending. “Something needs to be put in place to help us track budget and get a better understanding of our spending. ”
All agree, however, that the Well South District project needed to take a new path and that citizens are better served with the new version. With the exception of Evelyne Beaudin, interim leader of the Sherbrooke Citizen Party, everyone also believes that the presence of majority independents helps to clean up the debate.
“There is more debate than before in the public square. The fact that there are a lot of independents means that more people want to express their point of view “, summarizes Pierre Avard, of Pin-Solitaire district.
Mr. Avard believes that we must dwell on the perception of citizens of the municipal apparatus. “You have to be consistent between what you say and what you do. Each year, we announce several projects that are not done. ”
According to him, the council could however gain in efficiency. “You have to look at the ways we do things. We have two municipal councils a month and they often stretch until midnight. Why should not there be three? When we do an in camera presentation and we do it again the next week to make the decision, why do not we take it the first time? We can have tools, I do not think we are effective. Often we hear the same files two or three times. ”
At the same time, Pierre Avard pleads for greater equity between the electoral districts. “The perception of people in the East is that they are less listened to than the others by the City. I want to make sure that some sectors are not privileged over others. ”
In the same sense, for Paul Gingues, it is necessary to improve the contact with the population. “The site of the city is archaic and we have been talking for a long time about a unique number to call the city. ”
In her report released Thursday, Evelyne Beaudin, from the Carrefour district, noted the difficulties of maintaining a balanced life. Talk to Karine Godbout.
Claude Charron, Lennoxville District, points out that the workload is important for elected officials. “It’s a lot harder than before to answer all the requests. It’s a part-time job, but maybe it’s good to have a permanent job. This is a disappointment of the newly elected: the workload. ”
“It’s a big charge. Requests come from everywhere: Messenger, text, Facebook, email, phone … There are no limits, so you have to put some. I’m a mother of three, so it’s still a challenge to find a balance with the family. ”
Paul Gingues confirms: “It’s a colossal job with atypical hours. ”
With two more years of work in front of them, elected officials who are on their first term do not lack projects. Claude Charron, president of the Sherbrooke Airport Corporation, will discuss the arrival of a commercial flight.
Paul Gingues wants to install water games at Lucien-Blanchard beach, to compensate for the poor quality of water that does not always allow citizens to cool off.
Karine Godbout, chair of the environment committee, will not be short of things. “We have already handled the files of bulky waste, mattresses, plastic bags, but the establishment of the Office of the Environment has been a big accomplishment. We will now have to work on building relationships with other services. We will not miss a book for the next few years. ”
For Pierre Avard, the City will have to position itself quickly on the future of the Expo-Sherbrooke building. “We can not let the kids train there for a long time. Parents tell me that they are thinking of giving up the sport because of the inventory. There are not just arenas in Sherbrooke. You have to think of other equipment. ”
Finally, Pierre Tremblay promises to focus on the recovery of Valoris and the restructuring of the paramunicipal. “I have the firm intention that this will happen in the next two years. These are major issues that are irritating. “