For eight years now, the Town of Brome Lake Council has made its decisions behind closed doors. Everything is agreed upon in private before the public meetings. And during these private sessions, the august councillors rubber stamp what they have agreed upon outside of the public meetings. Whatever you do, don’t put a question to a member of the council, as the mayor will run to his or her aid – as if he were the only person able to answer. Unless of course he’s come to the conclusion that he can’t trust the councillor in question. 

The recent election on November 7th brings some new resources to the council: Shelly Judge, who beat the outgoing councillor with nearly 55% of the vote, and Patrick Ouvrard, who won his post with more than 56% of the vote in Foster. These results show that there was a certain dissatisfaction from the voters. There is nothing glorious about being being elected by default to a town council. 

To ask a question of the Town of Brome Lake Council is, apparently, to look for trouble. At least, this seems to be the presumption of Lee Patterson, who went door-to-door in support of the councillor defeated by Patrick Ouvrard. Let’s ignore for the moment ideas of healthy debate and democracy – concepts which seem abstract and meaningless to certain members of the present council. Let’s hope that with councillors such as Judge and Ouvard in place, reasoned debate between elected officials will return to Town of Brome Lake, for the good of our community. 

A period of adaptation will be required, but civilized exchanges will bring about solutions for the benefit of the whole community, openly and transparently. 

I suggest that Mayor Burcombe let his councillors answer questions that are directed at them. This way, responsability is shared and there will be a sense of accountability. 

And what, democratically speaking, is preventing the council from making decisions based on public debates after regular and special assemblies? 

It’s a question of transparency Mr. Mayor. 

Richard Champagne Brome Lake