Kirkland race heats up
After two decades in power and two victories by acclamation, John Meaney thinks he is doing a pretty good job.
The Kirkland mayor, however, is facing not one but two challengers this November 3rd: city councillor Michel Gibson and insurance broker Daniel La Tour.
And neither of them are mincing their words when it comes to pointing out Meaney's perceived shortcomings.
La Tour, 59, holds Meaney responsible for the 2011 cross-connected sewer debacle and its fallout - criticism that is also extended to Gibson.
"I blame inaction on the part of those elected officials who are now running for not responding to the urgent need to protect our environment," he told CJAD.
Gibson, who has worked alongside Meaney for over 20 years, says the 74-year-old mayor has become increasingly remote and disdainful of citizens' concerns in recent years.
"He's very, very arrogant," he says. "When you have a petition of 1,500 names in front of you and you say, 'That's just a petition,' that's pure arrogance. He's been there too long."
As for Meaney, he says he stands by his record. He has kept taxes steady while bringing the town's debt down, something he thinks he will be rewarded for next weekend.
"We're not looking for change, we're looking to keep things the way they are," he says. "Over 90 percent of the people I meet going door to door tell me, 'Mr. Meaney, please keep it the way it is.'"
Photo courtesy the West Island Gazette