Interim mayoral hopefuls put in their bids
Published Wednesday, June 19, 2013 11:56AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 19, 2013 7:13PM EDT
Two candidates have thrown their hats into the ring so far as city council plans to choose the next interim mayor next Tuesday: Projet Montreal's Francois Croteau and Saint-Laurent borough Mayor Alan DeSousa.
Croteau has served as the mayor of the Rosemont-La Petite Patrie borough since 2009, when he was elected as a Vision Montreal candidate. He crossed the floor and joined Projet Montreal in 2011.
“I have proven in the past that I am not too partisan a person and I can negotiate with every person on the city council. Every person can trust me,” he said.
Alan DeSousa was a sitting member of the executive committee under former mayor Gerald Tremblay's Union Montreal.
He said his experience is what he brings to the table.
“I will offer everything that I have, including my integrity, that has been shown over the last 27 years of public service,” he said.
Candidates, who must be from the current 62-member city council, are jockeying for position to hold the reins of power until November and have until late Friday afternoon to submit their nomination to the city clerk.
The city clerk will only reveal the list of candidates once the window of opportunity closes.
Another possible candidate is Helen Fotopulos, formerly of Union Montreal who has since joined Team Denis Coderre.
Vision Montreal is endorsing the current executive committee President Laurent Blanchard, pointing out he does not come from a borough that has been investigated by UPAC.
"There's just four months until the next election, so I don’t think it's the time for big projects," said Blanchard.
Richard Deschamps, who ran unsuccessfully against Applebaum to become interim mayor, said he would prefer to see unity within council.
"I think the best thing for Montreal would be to have only one candidate who is going to become mayor... who is going to send a good message to Montrealers. It doesn't look like that right now," said Deschamps.
The current speaker of the council, Harout Chitilian, is also being touted as a possible mayor, and although he is considering the idea, he feels his job as councillor comes first.
"As a council we have responsibilities and I'm fulfilling those responsibilities," said Chitilian. “If ever I would go forward with my candidacy, it will be to make sure also that this function gets appropriate care for the coming months and that the council functions.”
Former mayor Michael Applebaum resigned from his position on Tuesday after being charged with 14 counts of fraud, corruption, and breach of trust.
He was only chosen as mayor last November after former Mayor Gerald Tremblay stepped down in the wake of revelations about rampant corruption happening under his nose at city hall for years.
In the wake of Applebaum running to become mayor his former party, Union Montreal, ended up dissolving after seeing more than half of its members leave to sit as independents.