An unusual series of events played out last night (August 18) at the monthly MRC council of mayors meeting, held at the Bryson Lions Club.
The first in-person meeting held in 2021, it began with a lengthy in-camera session that lasted roughly 50 minutes. In-camera refers to a private discussion involving only elected officials and relevant bureaucrats, and typically occurs when council is discussing an HR issue, which was the case in this instance.
The session occurred at the very start of the evening rather than during the regular council meeting, due to concerns about confidentiality since it was being live-streamed to social media.
Pontiac Warden Jane Toller was excluded from the council chambers during the discussion, and declared a conflict of interest related to the resolution in the regular meeting. Litchfield Mayor Colleen Larivière also declared a conflict of interest and was present during the in-camera discussion, but did not vote on the resolution.
The draft resolution itself doesn’t offer much information, but it was read out by MRC Director General Bernard Roy before the vote:
“It is moved by and resolved that an agreement be reached with respect to an outstanding HR file, in accordance with the information shared with the mayors regarding said agreement.”
Waltham Mayor David Rochon offered to move the resolution. Clarendon Mayor John Armstrong, Campbell’s Bay Mayor Maurice Beauregard and L’Isle aux Allumettes Mayor Winston Sunstrum were the only votes against the resolution.
“I just got the information this afternoon, about 3:15, I haven’t had time to study it,” Sunstrum said following his no vote. “And there’s also a lack of transparency.”
Reached after the meeting, Armstrong also said that his reason for voting against the motion was a lack of transparency, but declined to comment further due to the confidential nature of the resolution. CHIP 101.9 has reached out to Beauregard for comment.