New mayor suggests ‘old boys’ club’ is gone

Mayor Leslie O'Shaughnessy, right, signs the oath of office while City Clerk Helen Finn looks on. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Ushering in a new chapter of Cornwall city politics, the new mayor is focusing on change, accountability and transparency.

During his inaugural address to the city, Leslie O’Shaughnessy suggested the era of the previous administration is gone.

“Let me assure you, if an old boys’ club was in existence yesterday, it is gone as of today,” O’Shaughnessy told a crowd of roughly 100 at the Cornwall Civic Complex Monday night.

O’Shaughnessy said his modest, promise- and favour-free campaign will help him make the tough decisions that lie ahead.

The mayor also said the 10 councillors sitting around the table agreed that transparency and keeping the public informed has to be a priority. “Starting this evening that must be a priority of this council.”

Pictured, from left, are Couns. Claude McIntosh, Elaine MacDonald, Brock Frost, Maurice Dupelle and Bernadette Clement. The 2014-2018 Cornwall city council was sworn in Dec. 1, 2014. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Pictured, from left, are Couns. Claude McIntosh, Elaine MacDonald, Brock Frost, Maurice Dupelle and Bernadette Clement. The 2014-2018 Cornwall city council was sworn in Dec. 1, 2014. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

The night also saw speeches from MPP Jim McDonell, SD&G Warden Eric Duncan, Akwesasne Chief Brian David and SD&G Highlanders Lt.-Col. Steven J. Young. (Grand Chief Mike Mitchell, MP Guy Lauzon and Massena Mayor Tim Currier were unable to attend).

After taking the oaths of office, the ten councillors took a few moments to thank the public and to talk about the challenges ahead.

Coun. Mark A. MacDonald said he is anxious to get started, calling this Cornwall’s “big bang moment” and that the previous administration has handed the new council “a big mess” just before budget time.

Coun. David Murphy said it was a new and exciting time for the Seaway City. “The city will not be the same in 48 months…I can guarantee it.”

Pictured, from left, are Couns. Mark MacDonald, Andre Rivette, Carilyne Hebert, Justin Towndale, David Murphy and Town Crier Wes Libby. The new administration was sworn in Dec. 1, 2014. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Pictured, from left, are Couns. Mark MacDonald, Andre Rivette, Carilyne Hebert, Justin Towndale, David Murphy and Town Crier Wes Libbey. The new administration was sworn in Dec. 1, 2014. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

The new council will be in a all-day orientation session starting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The next meeting is Monday at 7 p.m. (Dec. 8) when council gets down to business.

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