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November 2021

Here are the City Councillor Portfolios Announced by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein

City Councillor Portfolios

 

Within portfolio

Dida Berku, Deputy Mayor, Master Plan, Rezoning & Re- Development, Community Engagement & Living Lab

 

Master plan, central city, Cavendish Extension, Public Consultations for Masterplan, living lab

Steven Erdelyi, Finance, Climate Change & Resiliency, Hydro Quebec and Vcops

 

Water, green infrastructure, electrification, waste, heat island mitigation, air quality, Aqueduc-Saraguay Project

Mitch Kujavsky, Urban Development, Parks, Public Spaces & Engineering

 

Includes Traffic Committee, Urban Planning, PAC

2021-11-15 Council - Oath and Photos 010

Mike Cohen, Library Culture, Communications, Toponymy, Animal Welfare & Local Commerce & PME MTL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website, publications Local Commerce Committee, PME Rep St Laurent, Hampstead, CSL, Montreal West, grants, young entrepreneurs.

Sidney Benizri, Public Works and Intercommunity relations

  Communicating with community organizations based in the city and managing the dossier of synagogues in residential zones.

Oren Sebag, Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness

 

Public Safety Dept, EPP Plan (being re-done this year), Emergency Preparedness Committee

Lior Azerad, NextGen CSL and sponsorships

 

Youth, young adults, Families and sponsorships for programs, events and facilities

Andee Shuster, Recreation & Wellbeing Cities

 

Recreation, Dramatic Society, Community Activities & Initiatives Committee and Seniors, Age-friendly city, Advisory Council, poverty, social isolation, accessibility, newcomers, sanitation


Maison Fleuries winners announced for 2021 and District 2 fares well

Not even a pandemic could stop our annual Maison  Fleuries contest, showcasing beautiful flower arrangements at homes, buildings and businesses.

MikeFrankSandra2
Worthy winners Frank Palucci and Sandra Cambone devote a lot of TLC to their garden. I am always pleased to visit with them.

Councillor Sidney Benizri and I once again co-chaired the awards ceremony, which was done virtually for the second year in a row.  A big thanks to our team at the Parks and Recreation Department for overseeing the entire program. This included the judging, photographs and coordinating the video production.

District 2 had several worthy award winners.  Please watch this short video to see who got the nod.

 

 


Community mourns the passing of dynamo Miriam Lang

The community is mourning the passing of Miriam Lang, the longtime first lady of Côte Saint-Luc. Her late husband, Bernard Lang, served Côte Saint-Luc as mayor and a member of city council for 35 years. He passed away in 2014. The couple were married for 65 years.

In her own right, Miriam Lang was an active figure in our community. I first met her when I was a toddler. My parents sent me to the Davis YM-YWHA Nursery School on Kellert Avenue, where Hebrew Academy is presently located. Miriam Lang was the director and de facto Principal. Growing up I was a frequent visitor to that locale. She also ran the Laval branch for many years. 

 

Miriam
Miriam Lang

 

My late dad preceded me as a writer for The Suburban and he was regularly called upon to emcee city events so he interacted with the Lang’s regularly. In 1985 I was hired as a news reporter for The Suburban and my beat was Côte Saint-Luc City Hall. At that time I got to know the Langs very well.

Miriam was a true first lady, just as Elaine Brownstein is to Mayor Mitchell Brownstein today. Miriam attended all events and got involved in many dossiers and projects. She was instrumental in the establishment of our most lauded  CSL Public Library.

Sixteen years ago, at the age of 80, Mayor Lang attempted a comeback and challenged Anthony Housefather for the top job. He was defeated and while Miriam told me privately she was not thrilled with her husband’s decision she backed him nonetheless.

Miriam and Bernard became grandparents for the first and only time late in life when Dylan came into their lives, the son of Harvey. They forged an extraordinarily close relationship with this young man. Miriam was also the mother and mother-in-law of David Lang and Molly Hilsenrath and the late Barbara Asselin.

“Miriam was a great community activist and mentor for me when I was a very young city Councillor,” commented Mayor Brownstein. “ She had a great love for the City of Côte Saint Luc with a special place in her heart for the Library. She was a wonderful first lady, always there to support Mayor Lang in everything he did. She will be dearly missed.”

“Miriam was a powerful advocate for all aspects of community life in Cote Saint-Luc over many, many years,” added former Councillor Glenn J Nashen. “She was a stalwart supporter of Mayor Lang helping to move plans forward.”

Susan Puritz of Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel had this to say: “I first met her in 1984 when she was Director of the Laval branch of the YM-YWHA and I was secretary to the Executive Director. Miriam may have been short in stature, but she was a fierce advocate for all things relating to the Y. I re-connected with Miriam in 2010 when I accepted a position at CMDA. Although many years had intervened, Miriam was still a force to be reckoned with. As a past president and member of the board, Miriam had very strong ideas and did not hesitate to let her views be known. I had great respect for her and I will miss her and our many conversations. I am glad that I did get to speak with her this past Friday."

My City Council colleague Sidney Benizri is the national executive director of CMDA. Miriam first joined the organization in 1991 and became the first woman on their board of directors. She served two terms as president and was a co-editor of the 40th anniversary tribute book which just came out last year. “Researching the 40th Anniversary book, she had great appreciation of those who were instrumental in establishing CMDA – their visions, courage and dedication to make CMDA a reality and an important part of Magen David Adom Israel,” a passage in the book itself states. “She was very involved in all aspects of CMDA – fundraising events, chapters, presentations and more. Her primary goal was to make CMDA a truly national charity represented across Canada by promoting the creation of new chapters in every major city. Her efforts also included expanding the organization’s marketing, membership and fundraising.”


Should you wish to attend contact the family directly please do so at miriaml@sympatico.ca or (514) 484-3252. Contributions in Miriam’s memory may be made to the Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel, (514) 731-4400.


Reflecting on what life is like as city councillor on the eve of a fifth mandate

For the past 16 years I have measured my life in elections. Wow, how quickly a four-year mandate comes and goes.

I was first elected in 2005 as the city councillor for District 2. Twice I faced opponents and three times I was acclaimed, most recently on October 1. A huge thanks to my father-in-law Reuben Spector, who has served as my campaign manager for all five elections. Without the support of my wife, daughter and mother-in-law none of this would have been possible.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 and simply did not go away, I wondered how we would even manage to hold an election.  But life has gone on with new precautions. I personally started my re-election efforts in the summer of 2020 when I decided to walk the entire district at least five days a week with business cards and a pen and paper in hand. This included regular stops at the well-utilized Rembrandt Park and engaging in dialogue with every person I met, be it someone walking by or sitting on their balcony. I took note of potholes, damaged sidewalks, lights that did not work and speeding vehicles.

Melodie
My opponent from 2017, Melodie Cohn, supported my re-election bid.

 

I also turned to Zoom, creating my own District Advisory Council with reps from all buildings and streets. It proved to be an excellent exchange of information. I write this blog, host a podcast and have multiple Facebook pages.

Council meetings and committees moved to Zoom and while we will go back in public soon, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and our council led the way in COVID-19 safeguards. Our online meetings resulted in more citizens following our activities.

 I formally launched my 2021 re-election campaign last June, with a committee in place. While I stepped up my walkabouts, door to door began after Labour Day with visits to homes and some meet and greets at apartment and condo buildings.  The message was loud and clear: please do not come walking down our hallways during a pandemic.

It has  been my adage that a city councillor should always be in election mode, responding to every inquiry regardless of when the next vote may be. When I got calls at midnight on a freezing winter night that a new high rise had its generator making so much noise people could not sleep I got dressed, drove over and recorded a YouTube video. That was sent to the building owners and our inspectors at City Hall. Action was taken.

I am honoured to have been acclaimed again this year. It is my sincere hope that the efforts I make during my 48 months in office contribute to that.

Dr1
Chatting with constituents like prominent oncologist Dr. Nathanial Bouganim, make my walkabouts that much more pleasant

 

This election campaign began in September 2020 when Councillor David Tordjman met a Global TV reporter at a park and announced he would run for Mayor. Incumbent Mayor Brownstein waited a full year, until September 17, 2021, to declare his re-election plans.

There were races for mayor and in seven out of eight districts. Tordjman had a team of five candidates. One dropped out two weeks before the vote. That meant Councillor Steven Erdelyi was acclaimed in District 4, he too having now served for 16 years.

You can see the results here 

When all was said and done, just less than 9,000 residents voted out of about the 24,000 eligible.

Returned to office was Mayor Brownstein and Councillors Oren Sebag, Dida Berku, Mitch Kujavsky, Sidney Benizri, as well as myself and Erdelyi.  Our two newcomers are Lior Azerad and Andee Shuster.

Congratulations to all of the candidates. Some people wonder why candidates get acclaimed. Ask anyone who runs for public office. This is no simple task. You must be able to finance your campaign to print posters and literature; open a  bank account; get the posters affixed to poles; go door to door at least five days a week, followed by hours at home reviewing your lists; volunteers need to be enlisted to accompany you; after the campaign detailed financial reports need to be filed; and on advance poll and election day, you are on the clock for a good 16 hours.

Smaj
You need a good team to get those posters up.

 

If you get elected, being a councillor is no easy task. The phone calls and emails roll in non-stop. There are multiple meetings and commitments to attend. You are a moving target for complaints wherever you go and in this day in age, there is consistent abuse via social media. Family time is constantly disrupted. It is all enough for some people to say, “this is not for me.”

I have been a community activist all  ofmy life and I am proud to serve in this position. Indeed, I take pride knowing how many initiatives I have been able to push through these past 16 years,.

The next mandate will be busy, starting with proposals to redevelop our three major malls – Quartier Cavendish, Decarie Square and the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre. There is major work coming from Hydro Québec and much more. Our online portals will this easier to communicate, especially in the cold winter and for Snowbirds who can remain in the loop.

The first meeting of our new council will take place next Monday night, November 15 at 8 pm. Stay tuned to www.cotesaintluc.org for the live YouTube link.


It is the first ever Scoop the Poop Month in CSL

Four years ago at this time I was completing my door to door campaign for the 2017 elections, with a pledge to create a Côte Saint-Luc Dog Owners Committee and allow dogs in parks.

It was mission accomplished on both counts. Jonathan Goldman, Anna Marie Katz and Tamar Hertz (representing non-dog owners) were among those who stepped up. Jonathan and Anna paid special attention to our two dog runs, notably the one on Mackle Road.

Dog

One idea I had was to create a system of special reps in each district. These individuals would serve as our eyes and ears, taking note of any developments and speading the word on our mandate to other dog owners. We just needed someone to steer that ship. In recent months a leader surfaced in Sivan Rehan, who just happens to be the wife of Jonathan Goldman.

Sivan has recruited a committee and a meeting will be held sometime after the election.

In the meantime, we have declared November  Scoop the Poop Month.

Sivan lists the following reason why you should pick up after your dog:

1) Common Courtesy 

2) Dog waste can carry diseases that are harmful to humans and other pets.  families walking around may step on it and carry it to their homes creating an unsafe environment.

3) Dog waste is not a fertilizer.

Since dogs' diets are high in protein, dog poop is exceptionally high in nitrogen and phosphorus. It can cause burns on lawns. 

4) Dog poop will not wash away on its own - dog waste can take as long as a year to naturally break down, especially in colder climates. 

Go to Section 4.2 here from our bylaws  to learn more about the rules of picking up after your dog. It is part of the law.