« It was a close-fought battle, » Cyr said, regarding his competition with Gabriel Ngameni for the Ward 2 seat. « I think the voter turnout here was the highest for all of the wards. »
Cyr praised Ngameni for being a worthy competitor for the ward seat. He noted that the final tally of showed a narrow margin between him and his competitor.
Cyr has been a council member before but his interest in municipal affairs had to take a back seat in 2010 to family priorities. Now after a week’s rest, Cyr is ready to take his place again on the City of Clarence-Rockland council.
« Politics is a passion that I have always had at heart, » he said, adding that he studied political science and often served on various local committees before he first decided to run for council.
« It is a real passion, » he said. « I love meeting people. I love the exchange of ideas. Going to bed at night knowing that I made a difference helps me get up in the morning. As long as people want me, I’ll be ready to serve. »
Cyr noted that there is « a lot of work on the table » for him and the rest of the new council, starting with discussions this month on next year’s municipal budget. He noted that with the trheat of another recession looming and inflation raising the prices of good and services all over, one of the challenges for the new council will be to try to maintain local services and programs and deal with needed infrastructure improvements without increasing the financial burden residential taxpayers.
That dovetails with Cyr’s other priority during his first year back on council, finding ways to foster more economic development for Clarence-Rockland.
« We need to bring in more big industry, » he said. »More business will help alleviate the residential taxpayer’s burden. »
Another issue that kept coming up during his door-to-door election campaigning is traffic safety in residential neighbourhoods throughout Clarence-Rockland. His ward, he noted, has problems with motorists speeding through some residential neighbourhoods, ignoring the posted speed limit.
« One of every four people brought this up, » said Cyr, adding that council and administration will need to look at ways to curb the speeding problem.
Cyr’s other main priority during his term is getting high-speed Internet access for all of Clarence-Rockland, including rural areas that have either slow dial-up or no Internet access at all. The federal government gave Bell the contract to provide high-speed Internet service for the western half of Eastern Ontario, which includes Clarence-Rockland, but so far the telecommunications company has not yet fulfilled its mandate.
« I’m still on dial-up, » he said, adding that he is having a wireless connection installed at his house, because he needs it for hiw own work as senior government worker.
« But it (wifi) not what I expected to have, » Cyr said, « and it’s extremely expensive. »
Cyr observed that in modern society high-speed Internet access « is a necessity » for work, education, and many social and health services.
« There’s no excuse for a community that is so close to the national capital not to have high-speed, » said Cyr.
Another local issue Cyr wants to deal with concerns the future of the Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena building.
« We need to sit down and discuss what are our options, » he said, adding that he applauds Mayor Mario Zanth’s suggestion for creation of a citizens advisory committee to make recommendations for future use of the building
« It’s going to be a busy four years, » said Cyr, « and I am looking forward to it. »