Côte St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather entered last week’s council meeting to a standing ovation from the audience, in tribute to his federal election victory and his nearly 10 years as mayor.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre also passed on his best wishes, via The Suburban, to Housefather.
Tribute first came from resident Bernard Tonchin, who has been attending council meetings for decades and has a very good rapport with Housefather.
“On behalf of myself and my wife, I wish you lots of good luck in everything that you do,” Tonchin said.
Each council member present also expressed their feelings of working for nearly a decade with the mayor.
“I learned a lot from you, because I was a rookie,” said Councillor Mike Cohen. “You’ve been a great teacher. I know you’re going to make a great MP.”
“You’re definitely the hardest working mayor I ever met in my life,” said Councillor Allan Levine.
“I want to thank you personally for your stewardship, your integrity, your intelligence in leading this city for the last many years and prior to that for this area,” said Councillor Glenn Nashen. “Your leadership has really been unparalleled. I served under three mayors, and your stewardship has been absolutely incredible.”
Councillor Mitchell Brownstein said working with Housefather was enjoyable.
“We have a very harmonious council and we all really care about each other and our city, and that comes from Anthony and the direction he’s given us,” he added.
Councillor Ruth Kovac said she also served under three mayors.
“I don’t think anyone has the energy or integrity that we’ve had from you, and the kind of leadership that has really been a role model for all of us,” she added. “You brought out the best in people, and that goes for the staff as well. What the residents don’t know is how many thousands of dollars in legal costs you have saved us — nobody has looked at documents the way Anthony does. From my and everybody’s part, I want to thank you for being the most incredible leader.”
Councillor Dida Berku served with Housefather for 14 years, during the merger and demerger eras.
“Never have I ever seen someone work so hard with such enthusiasm and sincerity in campaigning and really reaching people throughout the entire community. On top of the intellectual brilliance that we all recognize, on top of the stamina, the wonderful energy he has, he really does have a great appreciation for the constituents. I think he’s going to be one of our greatest MPs as he has been one of our greatest mayors.”
“I’ve never encountered anyone with the integrity, energy and intelligence of this young man,” said Councillor Sam Goldbloom.
An emotional Housefather thanked his colleagues.
“You are all my friends, you are like my family, and the same is true of our staff,” he told them. “I know we’ll continue to work on the many issues that we all confront. It’s not goodbye, it’s me in a different role.”