It has been 15 months since the municipality's residents elected a new municipal council to represent them and manage the affairs of our community.
Where are we now?
We are still waiting to know in which direction the municipality of Pontiac is heading! It must be noted that there was no presentation, no statement, not even a minimalist introduction to the 2019 budget. It has been the practice for years for the Mayor to present his or her budget to tax payers in order to explain the direction chosen by elected officials for the business of the coming year. But for a second consecutive year, there was no presentation. Our head of council was conspicuous by her absence when the 2018 budget was adopted, having chosen instead to be at a meeting of the regional municipal council in the MRC des Collines-de-l'Outaouais, leaving the task to the rookie Pro-mayor.
A question period during a public council meeting is not enough, and neither is it the way to present the municipality's budget. There are no substitutes for a formal presentation to explain the choices and projects put forth in the budget that Council is about to adopt for the coming year. Moreover, the 3-year program of capital expenditures is not — like the popular and mistaken belief of some of our elected officials — a "Wish List". The plan is a commitment by Council to residents and shows the clear direction of priorities that council transmits to the administration and the public for the next three years. Moreover, it is also an obligation prescribed by the Québec Municipal Code.
I will not make any judgments or throw the first stone; I am simply noting the great inexperience of five out of our seven elected officials on council. I sincerely invite them to take the level of communication with their fellow citizens a step further. They should try to be very attentive to the population rather than favouring discriminatory arguments. Sometimes — or even for once — confess that an error or omission has been made, rather than to try and justify it or try to get around it with legal linguistic gymnastics.
Clear and simple communication does not create a multitude of questions: it enlightens and informs the collective interest and well-being of our municipality and its citizens.
A leader who wants to lead! One can be a leader if the will and openness to serve the community is within them.