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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Greenway

Low’s director-general doing a good job

Hire well and trust the talent.


For Low residents, it may seem like it’s a long, tedious and frustrating process, but things are slowly getting better when it comes to administration at the municipality.


The municipality hired well when it plucked director-general Sandra Martineau from her post in La Pêche — and now they are trusting her talents to clean up the mess left by former staffers and elected officials over the last several mandates. Now it’s time for the public to trust her, too.


Martineau’s 21 years of experience as La Pêche’s director of finance are already paying dividends. Since she was hired in August of 2022, Martineau has been tightening things up at the municipal level by bringing a fiscal responsibility to the administration that has been lacking in Low for years.


Martineau has become a wealth of knowledge at municipal council meetings, calling up financial information sometimes immediately when asked by engaged and often enraged citizens. If she doesn’t have the information on hand, she fiercely scribbles notes down and vows to follow up.


One of Martineau’s most significant projects will be updating the municipality’s retention schedule — a tool to manage the life cycle of data and how information is stored and archived. The municipality is now working with Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Quebec (library and archives) to digitize municipal documents so they are easily accessible for both councillors and staffers. This alone will modernize Low’s archival systems and will avoid information slipping through the cracks — something that has been an ongoing source of contention between councillors and residents.


But Martineau has become more than just a director-general with competent organization and financial skills. She has become the face of the municipality, especially throughout the pages of this newspaper over the last year. It’s often challenging to get Mayor Carole Robert to agree to an interview unless she’s pinned down in person at council meetings, but Martineau has never shied away from commenting on Low’s affairs.


She vehemently defended Coun. Maureen Rice over a controversial vote involving the forgiveness of back taxes on the councillor’s mother’s farm, but also – and perhaps more importantly – uncovered a judge’s decision that effectively puts an end to the mini-scandal that rattled the small town (see story page 3). Her sleuthing on this file also helped the municipality recoup nearly $15,000.


Although Martineau has been a godsend for Low, she’s not immune to the toxicity that has plagued former politicians and staffers — negativity that has come from frustrated citizens who show up in droves to voice their dissatisfaction. Martineau says that some of the comments made at council meetings have felt personal and have sometimes shaken her confidence.


Understandably citizens are frustrated — those whose taxes have gone up 400 per cent, who face repeated boil water advisories and those who are appalled at the conditions of municipal roads. But residents need to know they have the best person at the helm, and it’s time to trust that Sandra Martineau will steer Low toward the promised land.

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