By Jim Morrison
The small town of Senneville, at the southwest tip of the island, of 990 people, gathered at the George McLeish community center Monday night.
The meeting commenced at 7:34 with Mayor Jane Guest, welcoming the 70 citizens on hand of the regular sitting of the municipal council.
The agenda began with the addition of a resolution, made by Councilor Peter Csenar, of District 6, which would prove to be the lightning rod as the evening progressed.
Prior to Csenar's bombshell, council addressed that the junior squadron joint program, with the Baie d’Urfe Yacht club, would terminate after a 40 year relationship, on January 1, 2015. “It doesn’t fit in our budget.” Councilor Martin Gauthier, District 4, told the audience.
The agenda also included the site permit on the cemetery grounds for a mausoleum as well as the winter carnival will take place on Saturday, February 8th.
The biggest contention of the evening was the dysfunctional association between the mayor and the six council members.
Specifically, the adoption of the urban plan, where both parties are distinctly opposed to the utilization of 11 acres of land situated behind Ecole St-George.
The plan is to allow developers to build four-five homes with the approval of council. The mayor vetoed this plan which garnished no support from council. “I have no support. The council has the power.
I get out voted 4-2.” declared Guest to the assembled. Councilor Peter Csenar then read a prepared statement that contends Mayor Jane Guest's leadership to be in "a state of urgency"
The council then moved for a motion for Mayor Guest to step down, and appoint Councilor Brian McManus as interim mayor, which received substantial applause.
The next hour had Mayor Guest on the defensive, as the animated crowd demanded answers, and the next steps of council, in rectifying this situation.
“We cannot perform if we do not have a good coach,” a determined Councilor McManus, told the audience, to a slight round of applause.
George Mac Leish, who was the city's former mayor of 22 years, was disappointed with the shape of the dynamics of the new administration. “We never had this kind of animosity when I was here,” Mac Leish told The Suburban following the acrimonious council meeting.
Dialogue was still in full swing at 10:00pm, with the motion of the removal of Mayor Guest, undecided.
“It is a black eye to its citizens”, said a resident as she left the meeting in disgust.