Ste. Anne decisions adding up to questions

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A wonderful editorial from the Chronicle that summarizes how Ste. Anne is being run: wasted tax dollars on a toilet, never ending construction, bankrupt merchants, and no transparency from our elected officials. Is this democracy?

Public toilet that works just fine will be moved – to the tune of $200,000
Source: West Island Chronicle, June 20, 2012

It seems Ste. Anne de Bellevue is shopping at the same pace as the U.S. Armed Forces, because they are spending nearly $200,000 on a toilet. OK, it’s not all being spent on the toilet; it’s also being spent on moving the exiting public toilet (which works just fine, by the way) from its spot on Ste. Anne de Bellevue’s boardwalk, installing a parking lot where the existing toilet currently stands, and building the new water closet, which sources confirmed would be a one-person, unisex toilet.

We don’t necessarily disagree with the idea, but $200,000 seems like a lot of money for the town, whose three-year-long roadwork interlude is finally finished (until sidewalks are finished sometime in September) and who are now ready to welcome visitors to the ‘ West Island’s summer playground,’ as it has been described.

Well, the terraces are ready to go, the massive novelty umbrellas are up, and pedestrians are starting to make their way to the West Island’s only boardwalk, but ideas coming out of Ste. Anne city hall are not making a whole lot of sense these days.

The recent furor over the city’s newest urban plan, which calls for the construction of 1,600 new homes in Ste. Anne’s northern sector, was the first sign that something wasn’t right. The unanimity of the residents already living in that part of town, currently serviced by just two points of entry, should’ve been the first sign that the plan was flawed no matter how city hall officials try to spin the controversy. More recently, the three-year roadwork project that dug up Ste. Anne Street and caused merchants no end of headache has only now come to end, and the hard part will be to lure retail merchants back to the strip, which almost has one vacant storefront for every occupied one on the drag’s north side.

That’s not to mention the staggering lack of transparence currently employed by the Ste. Anne de Bellevue elected administration. Questions for the mayor are sloughed onto underlings or ignored altogether – a practice that has been in place since Francis Deroo supplanted Bill Tierney as mayor in 2009.

There are troubling signs that not all is well in Ste. Anne de Bellevue these days, but there is some optimism as well.

Merchants have started to re-invest back into the village, with summer upon us once more, and those that have invested their time and money into the village are confident they have made a smart move. That’s good enough for us, for now, but sooner rather than later, the Ste. Anne de Bellevue public decisions are going to have to start making more sense if that optimism is to last.

Source: West Island Chronicle, June 20, 2012