By Kevin Woodhouse
During the last municipal election, longtime Kirkland Councillor Michel Gibson ran on a platform stressing the need to listen to the citizens’ needs. Now as mayor, Gibson has taken a step in that direction having recently instituted informal get togethers with citizens at city hall Saturday mornings.
In an effort to create a structured open house concept, registration is needed so that citizens are not left waiting unnecessarily.
“The last two years of the last council’s mandate, there were problems created that could have been fixed from the start,” Gibson told The Suburban, referring to the cross piped connection dossier and the city’s eventual handling of financial aid for affected homeowners.
“We are turning the page, starting fresh and being open and honest with our citizens,” Gibson said. To date, the Saturday Meet and Greet sessions have been fruitful since many of the issues concerned the citizen in question. “Most were minor neighbour concerns that were resolved,” the Kirkland mayor said.
Another change is the council’s decision to be more inclusive in the city of Montreal’s agglomeration, sending councilor André Allard as a member of the agglo’s commission dealing with the awarding of contracts.
“The commission’s mandate is to review any contract over $10 million,” said Gibson. “We’re proud that we’re doing a little more of Kirkland’s share to help.”
The mayor and council have some projects in the works and a facet of the population Gibson wants to service more is the city’s over 65 population, who make up 13 per cent of the city’s residents with that number to rise within the next few years.
“We want to over more programs for seniors and are looking into a free shuttle service,” said Gibson.
With a new administration in place, both in Kirkland and Montreal, Gibson thinks the “future will be good because Mayor Denis Coderre wants Montreal to move forward and be progressive.”
To register for a Saturday Meet and Greet with Mayor Michel Gibson, consult the city’s website at www.ville.kirkland.qc.ca
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