Toxic climate: elected officials resign en masse in Abercorn
The mayor and three city councilors resigned Monday night in Abercorn.
The toxic climate in Abercon has pushed the mayor, Guy Gravel, and three city councilors , François Cusson, Raphaël Delacombaz and Pierre-Marc Parent, to resign during the municipal council on Monday evening. The still strong tensions in the municipality have pushed the elected officials to turn their backs on the town hall.
Recently, six people were arrested in connection with an alleged act of intimidation towards a village elected official and for obstructing a police investigation. The Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP), however, had not laid charges in this case.
Following the last closed session, which went very badly, we started to think separately and at a certain point, I announced my decision to the mayor, says Pierre-Marc Parent. Afterwards, I realized that other advisers had made the same decision as me.
According to him, the prevailing toxic climate has been entrenched for many years.
The people who are gone are the people who have the impression that they are not contributing to the height of their expectations to the development of the municipality, and that their contribution will be able to make a change in this climate, he explained.
< p class="e-p">The wave of resignations did not surprise city councilor Bernard Guilbault, who is one of three councilors still in office.
I did not resign because I think I I have the support of the population, then I think they want me to stay there.
However, a lot of work awaits the elected officials who remain in office since, according to Bernard Guilbault, there there are several shortcomings at the administrative level.
The financial statement has not been filed. […] We do not know where we are at with the expenses. There are tax accounts that have not been sent. We have to tackle that. Accounting is the sinews of war for a municipality. You have to know where you are going, explains Bernard Guilbault.
The latter also wants to help restore harmony in the village.
Everyone wants to put their shoulder to the wheel and redress the toxic climate that currently exists. With the resignation of a councilor and the mayor, I think it will improve the situation with the citizens.
The resigning mayor, Guy Gravel, declined to comment. He stuck to the resignation letter he submitted on Monday evening, in which this excerpt can be read.
For too long, incivility , harassment, intimidation, disrespect of others reign at City Hall. The municipal council represents the entire population, but when decisions on the direction and priorities for action of the Municipality are dictated by a small group of citizens, the population is greatly harmed.
According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, it is now impossible for the small municipality to hold meetings of the municipal council since there is a loss of quorum. The mandate of administration then falls to the Commission municipale du Québec.
The latter will be responsible for management until a full board is again in office.