Rewrite

Hudson residents ask me what’s going on at their town hall, and with reason. For example, sharp-eyed residents consulting the minutes of the Dec. 16 budget meeting on the town’s website will note a significant change from the budget presented to residents.  The bottom line ($12,053,290) is the same as that adopted in December, but the administration has made a few crucial changes, such as adding $592,840 for public transportation. That was left out of the December budget presentation, but unless you took screen shots of the Powerpoint, taped the whole show or finagled a copy, how was anyone to know? Of course my confusion may be a function of my inability at basic math, so I’ll reserve further comment until the town files its budget with the municipal affairs ministry. One assumes this will be posted on the municipal website as in past years.

•••

Then there’s the $2,086.80 the town spent last fall on hotel rooms for the Radio Canada production crew in town to shoot a Petite Séduction episode. I was skeptical taxpayers would be asked to foot the bill to put them up, given Hudson’s proximity to the Maison Mère. So I emailed my questions and got this reply from Ophélie Simoncelli, the show’s researcher.

Nous avons tourné une magnifique émission à Hudson cet automne qui, sans aucun doute, aura de belles retombées sur votre communauté! Cet épisode sera diffusé en avril ou en mai prochain – nos calendriers de diffusion ne sont malheureusement pas encore complétés.

Les municipalités qui posent leur candidature pour recevoir La Petite Séduction le font en toute connaissance de cause. Le conseil municipal doit d’ailleurs adopter une résolution en ce sens, sachant qu’il doit réserver un budget pour la réalisation des activités et pour l’hébergement de l’équipe. L’équipe est sur le terrain 12 heures par jour et doit profiter de chaque minute de lumière pour faire la plus belle et la meilleure émission possible, voilà pourquoi nous sommes logés sur place, même si la municipalité est à une heure de route de Montréal.

Grâce au comité de citoyens qui a piloté cette Petite Séduction avec la complicité de notre équipe, Hudson profitera d’une visibilité enviable sur les ondes de Radio-Canada. Nous sommes regardés par une moyenne d’un million de téléspectateurs, d’un océan à un autre du pays.

Cet épisode sera à l’image de votre communauté : une émission colorée, aussi touchante qu’amusante, qui laisse une belle place à vos magnifiques paysages et au divers talents de vos concitoyens.

En espérant que vous apprécierez cette Petite Séduction à Hudson!

The council indeed adopted a resolution approving a maximum expenditure of $10,000.

I’ve since been told other expenses were incurred in staging the shoot but have so far been unable to quantify them. As for les rétombées economiques hinted at in Mme. Simoncelli’s email, residents will have to find the patience to await results. As Justin Trudeau pointed out in Davos, gladhanding and a lower Canadian dollar will take time to work their magic.

I bring this up because the shitstorm from the Petite Séduction episode appears have been behind the suspension  of Parks and Recreation Director Julia Schroeder for 15 days. The suspension, approved Jan. 15 by a council majority with only District 1’s Rob Spencer voting against, is based in part on an alleged violation of the town’s spanking new anti-harassment bylaw adopted at that very same confused Dec. 15 special meeting. Schroeder’s transgression was to have gone public with her concerns about Hudson’s indifference to the Petite Séduction shoot. A competent administration would have done a better sales job, like when Schroeder’s predecessors Mike Klaiman and Jean Chevalier recruited Hudsonites by the hundreds to vote their downtown core as one of the Seven Wonders of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

People familiar with the file believe Schroeder is being set up for dismissal because she’s not seen by the current administration as a team player. I hope this isn’t the case. My own experiences have taught me the wisdom of seeking a more positive, proactive solution to human relations. Successful managers realize it’s easier to get things done by selling the mission at hand – and ultimately their global vision – to the people assigned to deliver the results. Willing hands mean lighter work for everyone.

Grumbling and dissent are symptoms of a deeper malaise. Firing or suing one’s critics may silence dissent in the short term but does not cure the underlying condition.

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2 thoughts on “Rewrite

  1. Rewrite

    What happened to Schroeder

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Schroeder . This women took charge of our projects and makes it happen. Last spring I gave up on a situation in the History Garden had Schroeder not come along and saved it from extinction. Arrived to find the site look like demolition derby due. Following orders, town employees salted the paths, killing plants, and bach hoed to death the beds and path between the two buildings to install a thin cable wire, better laid down by an appropriate trencher. Schroeder set out protocols to avoid future mishaps.
    Wonder how many other people had similar good experience with Schroeder?

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  2. La Petite Seduction was under the jurisdiction of Culture and Tourism > Nicolas Pedneault . I have no idea whether the 10K budget was exhausted but the optics for an under budgeted Parks and Recreation may have been at the heart of Mrs. Schroeder”s exasperation. A lively exchange ensued on the Hudsonite Facebook site and is still there under La Petite Seduction. This administration seems to regularly patrol these sites looking for slights towards them of any sort and I say this from first hand knowledge as I have publicly pointed out I am a “person of interest” under their new defamation policy for the same reasons. While my case remains under review I guess Julia is in a more delicate position but I still respect her right to speak up when she has questions. We should all just hope for some answers………….few and far between though they may be.

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