April 16, 2024

La Ronge Northerner

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Three departures within the municipality of Saint-Pétronille, plunged into turmoil

Three departures within the municipality of Saint-Pétronille, plunged into turmoil

During a more stormy session than the previous one, the citizens of Saint-Pétronille on the island of Orléans learned that three councilors had resigned their posts.

• Read more: Departures within the municipality of Saint-Pétronille plunged into turmoil

Still mired in turmoil, the municipal council is now without half of its advisers as elected officials Alain Laroche, Laine Gosselin and Claude Archambault have left their seats. The rumor was confirmed to loud applause.

“We can understand their decision,” Mayor Jean Cote explained. “We understand too! », a citizen in the room quickly answered. So election is necessary.

Salary increase

Incumbent Mayor Code began the evening with a renewed call for calm before announcing a draft ordinance to increase the salaries of elected officials still in office.

Also, while citizens were unhappy with the hiring of General Director Nathalie Paquet, four elected officials voted in favor of giving her a roughly 4% raise along with a bonus, the amount of which will remain confidential, according to the mayor. “Nothing to work with!” », immediately protested a citizen.



Photo by Jean-François Racine / Le Journal de Québec

Under the microscope of the Quebec Municipal Commission, the climate in Saint-Petron has not yet improved.

From the beginning, the mayor wanted to recall the definition of the word democracy, while the room was so narrow that dozens of citizens were stuck outside. His ten-minute speech did not pacify the crowd.



Photo by Jean-François Racine / Le Journal de Québec

Petition

Citizens also submitted a petition with 512 signatures condemning the climate in the village of about 1,000 people. However, the names were redacted for filing to avoid “another formal notice”.

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For his part, the mayor condemned the methods used and the “misinformation” attached to the petition.

The arrival of a new general director and conflict with library volunteers ignited the situation about eight months ago.

Between November 2023 and January 2024 the municipality of Sainte-Pétronille paid over $19,050 in legal fees. “There is no other option but the help of the municipality to re-establish the facts,” pleaded Mayor Cote.

Angry Counselor

Again, Question Time was particularly tense. “We want to know the names of those who threatened you. You started it to make us look like a gang of thugs,” former Central Vice President Louis Duclos said, targeting the mayor.

The evening ended with angry councilor Yves-André Beaulé raising his voice. “The climate at Saint-Pétronille is unhealthy. To find out all this, ask for an investigation and order to keep your mouth shut! We are bored! “, he exclaimed before the meeting adjourned.

Lacking a quorum for the session scheduled for May 6, the elected officials chose to move it to April 29.

In the future, the council also decided to award a communications support mandate to public relations firm TACT.

“Being a municipal elected official is very difficult,” said Mayor Jean Cote.

– In collaboration with Jean-Philippe Guilbault

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