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(Written by Denis Bourbonnais – Translated by Cathleen Johnston) The Council of Mayors for the Haut-Saint-Laurent MRC has approved the appointment of a new director general on an interim basis to replace François Landreville who retired for family reasons after having held this position for 28 years.
The MRC applied to the Fédération québécoise des municipalités to find a successor for Landreville within a reasonable timeline and the candidate hired is Laurent Lampron originally from Lambton in the Eastern Townships and currently living in Gatineau.
The sixty three year old administrator completed a two year mandate as director general for the Outaouais Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) in 2016. Lampron assumed the same responsibilities at the helm of the Chaudière-Appalaches CRÉ from 2005 to 2014. Since leaving the CRÉ in Outaouais, he has worked as a consultant for various public agencies.
Lampron arrives at a time when the MRC administration must put its finances in order in a short period of time due to a $1 078 000 deficit accumulated over a three year period. The crisis came to a head on January 17 during a monthly meeting of the Council of Mayors when the incumbent Director General described the urgency of the situation. When the elected officials refused to increase the line of credit from $1.5 to 2 million, Landreville indicated that he did not have sufficient funds to pay the December bills.
The meeting ended following a resolution to request an extension until March for adopting the 2018 budget. The day after the stormy meeting, the Director General sent a letter to the executive council of the MRC indicating his decision to retire.
With regard to the new Director General taking up his duties, MRC Prefect, Louise Lebrun, has indicated that the length of the interim period remains undetermined. “Mr. Lampron has agreed to move to the area. We are going to take the necessary time to redress the finances and focus on a permanent position later,” confirmed Lebrun, while mentioning that Lampron has committed to working with the mayors until a new director general has been employed.
“There is a great deal of work to do. We must establish priorities and direction while taking into consideration the financial obligations that the council of mayors has committed to meeting,” confirmed Lebrun. The Prefect attributes the MRC deficit to three main components: the costs of expropriating the Droulers Site, Taxibus transactions and a certain complacency in the administration.
The interim Director General is expected to start work on Monday, March 12.