Political newcomer Jacques Lorrain challenges incumbent Mayor Maria Tutino
© Chronicle photo Keith McAuliffe
Jacques Lorrain (right) is hoping to replace Maria Tutino as mayor Nov. 3, a position she's held since being acclaimed in 2005.
With about 4000 residents in the small, predominantly Anglophone town of Baie d’Urfé, it can get rather quiet on the political scene. After being acclaimed mayor in 2005 and 2009, Mayor Tutino will finally receive what she described as a “welcomed challenge” as Jacques Lorrain submitted his mayoral nomination papers on the Friday, Oct. 4 deadline.
Tutino is largely known for her role spearheading Baie d’Urfé’s de-merger from the Montreal mega-city and eight years of sound fiscal management.
“People know I’m a known commodity. I think they’re very comfortable putting their trust in my hands,” said the mayor.
And although Baie d’Urfé has registered eight years of surpluses and has the lowest tax rate on the island of Montreal, Tutino said there’s still work to be done on both the agglomeration and local levels.
The mayor wants to continue to voice her strong support for the Train de l’Ouest project, which she described as a must not just for West Islanders but also for the workers in Baie d’Urfé’s rather large industrial park who depend on public transportation.
“I can almost taste a solution coming. You want to make sure it’s there and not leave. If you have different players, things fall by the wayside. I want to finish what we started and bring forth to our citizens what’s rightly theirs to have,” said Tutino.
And with the town sound financially, Tutino wants input from residents with regards to the future direction of the city. In the interim, however, the extension of town hall is a priority. According to the mayor, the building doesn’t meet construction standards and cannot adequately house their entire staff.
But according to mayoral challenger Jacques Lorrain, Baie d’Urfé spending money on expansion without first exploring alternatives is irresponsible. There are various buildings throughout the town which may be used to house staff, said Lorrain.
The town’s management of money is the reason why the self-employed management consultant is running for mayor. “I don’t like the way the money is being spent. We’re spending money not very carefully,” said Lorrain.
While he acknowledged Baie d’Urfé’s low tax rate, Lorrain argued that one cannot compare “apples to oranges,” stating neighbouring cities like Beaconsfield and Pointe Claire have a plethora of public facilities which necessarily provoke higher taxes.
If elected, Lorrain promises to “better our control of expenses” and reopen discussion regarding the expansion of city hall for which he’d entertain the idea of holding a referendum on the issue.
Both candidates met with interested residents during the ‘Meet the Candidates’ night, last Thursday evening at the Red Barn.