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St. Lambert mayor Sean Finn follows tradition by stepping down

 

 

By David Johnston , The Gazette

September 9, 2009 8:45 PM

 

 

1977129.bin

St. Lambert mayor Sean Finn says he won't seek a second term.

Photograph by: Tyrel Featherstone, Gazette file photo

 

St. Lambert Mayor Sean Finn, who said on Wednesday he would not seek a second term in office, has been a busy multi-tasker since 2006 who sometimes betrayed his impatience by looking at his watch and saying, “Listen, I got a railway to run.”

 

In his case, it wasn’t a cliché. He has juggled his mayoral duties with his full-time job as executive vice-president and chief legal officer of the Montreal-based Canadian National Railway.

 

In the four years he ran the South Shore suburb, Finn didn’t draw a salary and never filed an expense account. His announcement yesterday is in keeping with the tradition in St. Lambert of mayors staying in office for only one term. In 150 years, there has only been one exception.

 

“It’s a tradition that helps the mayors make decisions that are in the best interests of their citizens, not in their own self-interest,” Finn said in an interview yesterday.

 

Finn cited his administration’s openness to a referendum last May on a proposed loosening of zoning bylaws, to favour more development, as an example of the one-term tradition working in practice.

 

“How many administrations would hold a referendum in May before an election in November, and take the risk of it becoming a popularity contest?” Finn asked.

 

The city’s proposal to loosen the zoning bylaw passed by a margin of 53 to 47 per cent. New development was seen by Finn and the Yes side as needed to help keep feeding more money to the Longueuil political agglomeration while keeping a lid on local taxes.

 

Finn was a councillor for 11 years before becoming mayor with the demergers in 2006. The other three demerged suburbs in the agglomeration are Brossard, St. Bruno and Boucherville.

 

Finn said his work at CN helped teach him “how to make tough decisions and make them quickly.”

 

Finn, who is fluently bilingual, said he has no plans for a political future at the federal or provincial level. But he said “you should never say never.”

 

Councillor Philippe Brunet has expressed interest in suceeding Finn. It is expected that someone from the No side in the May zoning-bylaw referendum will likely stand as a mayoral candidate, too.

© Copyright © The Montreal Gazette

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Lambert+mayor+Sean+Finn+follows+tradition+stepping+down/1977123/story.html

 

I was really hoping that he would seekk re-election. In that case, I hope Finn's ally, councillor Philippe Brunet wins the election. Or former local Conservative candidate Patrick Clune, who is rumoured to be running. As long as its not a "No" side committee member.

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