Mayor Steve Lussier on Wednesday took stock of the last year at city council.
Share November 5, 2020 3:00 am Updated at 12:52 pm Share Report of Mayor Lussier: “I brought the City to another level”
Jonathan Custeau La Tribune It has been three years since Steve Lussier took the reins of the City of Sherbrooke by defeating outgoing mayor Bernard Sévigny. If he is proud of his record, he will have had to face several pitfalls over the past year. In addition to the pandemic, he again faced strained relations around the board table and grim financial records. He nevertheless believes that he has brought the City to another level. He took part in the game of the big interview with La Tribune to take stock of the actions he took.
For the third year of his mandate, Steve Lussier refuses to give himself a mark, although he had given himself seven out of ten at mid-term. “I don't like to write myself down. People will rate what I did after the last year. I am proud that there were no high cost overruns on budget this year. We are in such a great momentum. I obviously wish there was no pandemic, but people have asked us to change the city and that is what we are doing. I don't see what I would do differently. “
Whoever confirms that he will seek a second term as an independent (to be read on Saturday) admits that the COVID-19 pandemic has upset plans in recent months.
“It hasn't been an ordinary year. We had to do a lot of interventions because of the pandemic. You have to understand that we had to review all our strategies, to check whether we should keep all the projects. But we had to keep projects to prepare for the post-pandemic. I wanted to make sure that we would maintain economic vitality. », Summarizes Mr. Lussier about the pandemic which has forced all political spheres to review their priorities.
“It took agility and understanding to reposition yourself. We put a COVID committee in place quickly to keep citizens safe. We had to put 531 employees in telework. “
Sherbrooke has obtained government assistance of $ 16 million which could extend until 2022 in addition to $ 1.9 million for merchants. “It was timely. We must not forget that we have also postponed tax payments to give citizens some air. “
The town hall has been closed to citizens since the start of the pandemic. “It's to preserve the executives and ensure the smooth running of the City. You should be careful. Neither the mayor nor his entourage have also had to go into administrative segregation because of the pandemic.
The services continued to be offered to citizens despite everything, says the mayor. “I wanted the libraries to be reopened quickly. We have set up webcasting facilities for our consultations and we need to make construction appointments. I haven't heard any employee complain about our way of doing things. The fact remains that elected officials have tried to find ways to save money. The idea of closing ice rinks has sparked an uproar that forces elected officials to find a way to open them as much as possible.
Recently, Steve Lussier estimated that the loss of revenue related to COVID could amount to $ 4 million in the City of Sherbrooke.
On the eve of the unveiling of the 2021 budget, scheduled for December 14, the mayor insists that he still wants to respect citizens' ability to pay. “This year we have reviewed everything we can. We have restructured our priorities. The budget will be low. We had unexpected income in transfer rights. And if we want to prosper and create good jobs, we cannot stop our projects. “
Among the successes of the first three years of his mandate, Steve Lussier cites the transformation of the city center, in particular the Well Sud project, on which he had decreed a moratorium before relaunching it practically identically. “We had more social acceptability because we included people. In the city center, we will also give back the banks to the citizens. “
Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Bobr Times, Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116